Ad campaigns have a funny way of sticking in our minds. Even the simplest slogan can reverberate in our lives longer than we wish. Although I was very young when the ads came out, I can still sing “I’d like to buy the world a coke”. It’s no wonder major corporations spend billions upon billions for advertising each year.

Remember when Ziploc introduced colorful zip lock bags so you could see when the bag was sealed? The marketing campaign was based on the elementary color blending lesson, yellow and blue make green. The ads even had kids repeating the phrase in joyous, sing-song tones. What a clear, effective and concise way of promoting a new twist on an old product. Well, thanks to the ad geniuses at Ziploc, that phrase subconsciously stuck with me.

I noticed something peculiar last week. I was filing receipts and bank info in my home office. (As I mentioned previously, my partner and I are both self-employed.) My stuff in the yellow folder, Khaia’s in the blue folder, and our joint accounts in the green file.

Without even thinking about it, I incorporated the color coding into our filing system. My yellow plus her blue equals our green.

I find advertising fascinating. Information strategically placed to stick in our minds and sway our actions later. Humans even tend to purchase products based on package recognition as opposed to product quality or cost. Moorea even mentioned how beauty products, which are almost identical, are packaged differently — and sold at a premium.

I am reminded of one of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons. Giant billboard characters come to life after Homer questions his favorite donuts ad claim that they’re colossal. In order to prevent them from stomping all over the city, Paul Anka and Lisa Simpson sing,

“To stop those monsters 1-2-3
Here’s a fresh new way that’s trouble free
It’s got Paul Anka’s guarantee…
Guarantee void in Tennessee!
Just don’t look!
Just don’t look!
Just don’t look!
Just don’t look!”

As Springfield residents ignore the advertising characters, they loose their power. Fortunately, the Ziploc ad campaign manifested in a positive way for me”as a helpful tool for organizing. But what can we do to become informed consumers without becoming zombies sucked in by big, flashy advertising campaigns? Is the key to becoming an educated consumer being able to ignore the multi-million dollar ad campaigns? Just don’t look. Just don’t look.

TIP: Here’s a creative use for Ziploc bags…store your leftover wine in them to preserve freshness!