Afraid

Finally, as we get older, advertising and other forms of marketing take aim squarely at the range of emotions and insecurities we're prone to as adults. Fear, envy, lust, inadequacy - the full spectrum of feelings and conditions that arise from unfulfilled needs - are the focus of ads that target adults and their wallets. Most of the images we're inundated with on television and in magazines show people living the lives we think we should be living. Cosmetics, moisturizers, hair-growth formulas, wrinkle creams, self-help books, diet pills, sports cars, jewelry and alcohol are just a few of the products that are specifically marketed and sold to make us feel like a better, more beautiful or more successful person. Unfortunately, we forget to ask, "Compared to whom?" Instead, we buy into the notion that our imperfections need to be corrected, spending significant portions of our income every year trying to do so.

Speedster Car

In addition to the motivations we've already discussed, there is another that is particularly tempting for adults: the sense of entitlement. It is difficult for many of us to watch as our peers (or worse, younger adults!) are paid more than we are for the same forty-hour workweek. Of course, their jobs may be more difficult or dangerous or require education that we didn't pursue, but, as our emotional impulses tell us, we worked forty hours, too! We want the same things they've got! It looks childish on paper, but the unconscious notion that we're entitled to buy something beyond our budget, simply because we have a job, is a very real factor in many spending decisions.