CB concept focus: Manipulation of consumers

There are many consumer behaviour concepts that allow companies to grow in the market but one in particular that gets used a lot but maybe not identified all the time is the manipulation of consumers. Manipulation of consumers is the use of knowledge regarding consumer perception and learning and how it can be used to favourably alter consumers behaviours (Solomon, 2006). It can be about turning a want into a need in the eyes of a customer.


Qantas’ campaigns hint a lot at the consumers social and physical surroundings, which has a huge effect on their motives and decisions. Advertisements like the one below try to separate Qantas from other airlines and try to make the viewer see them as the provider of comfort (Solomon, 2006).

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 3.57.57 pm

Flying can be a very scary experience for some people so they go with the brand that they trust the most and have faith in. Qantas is a brand that is ‘well known and respected’:

  • For being ‘transparent and honest’
  • For ‘putting customers before profits’
  • Delivering ‘quality service’

(Qantas, 2017)

A lot of their campaigns have a sense of calmness about them as well, they are quite pleasant to watch and most of the time they make you feel happy. The emotions these campaigns cause, represent how it would be to fly with Qantas. They also make customers feel safe by promoting that they are the ‘World’s Safest Airline’ 4 years running (Qantas, 2017).


Red Bull are known for their fast pace and exciting campaigns, their unconventional marketing techniques involve producing almost as much content as a publishing company, hosting extreme stunt events and sponsoring fast paced sports. They put more importance on these elements than directly promoting their products. They use manipulation to draw in consumers within their target market by the use of addictive content that consumers can’t help but watch/read (Bergstrom 2017). The three important elements of Red Bulls marketing strategy are:

  • Covering topics that interest their target market
  • Sell their brand rather than their products
  • Publishes content at a professional level

They are selling an experience rather than a product and convincing consumers that this is something that they want.


Another company that uses manipulation is Norton, who uses a cyber safety scare tactics. Their advertisements make it seem as though if you don’t have their software protection products that you will be hacked and lose personal data. This company has previously gone too far into manipulating consumers and has been taken to court regarding their scare tactics (Whittaker 2012). They have had to rebrand because of this and have toned down their advertisements.

There are many different ways marketers use manipulation, some much more obvious than others. It is a technique that has been used for many years and will continue to be used, especially because we as marketers are learning more and more about the market and who is in it.




Bergstrom, B 2017, Red Bull Marketing Strategy: What You Need to Know, CoSchedule, viewed 1st May 2016, <;

Solomon, M, Bamossy, G, Askegaard, S, Hogg, M 2006, Consumer Behaviour- A European Perspective, Prentice Hall

Whittaker, Z 2012, Symantec accused of using ‘scareware’ tactics to sell full-version products, ZDNet, viewed 1st May 2018, <;

2017, Brand and Marketing as a Competitive Advantage – Qantas’ Qantas, viewed 1st May 2018, <;



One thought on “CB concept focus: Manipulation of consumers

  1. Great blog and use of layout, no cluttered information. Great use of visual stimulus to reinforce your writing and understanding of the concept. Great use of relevant media and knowledge to link to the brand.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s