I’ve always been interested in marketing and advertising. Some people like to watch Super Bowl commercials, but not me. I love to watch Super Bowl commercials; searching for them on YouTube the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday just to get one more dose of the ads has become a ritual for me. Because of my interest in marketing and Super Bowl commercials, I knew that when I got to Northwestern, I wanted to pursue a degree in marketing and was pleased to find the Integrated Marketing Communications certificate.

Last quarter, I enrolled in my first Integrated Marketing Communications class: Consumer Insight. Consumer Insight focused on examining how marketers can tap into knowledge about consumers and their decision-making process to develop innovative strategies to market goods and services. Obviously, given how easily I buy into marketing, I was extremely interested to see what insights marketers use to get people like me to buy in. Drawing on principles from sociology, psychology and economics, we dug right down to what motivates consumers.

My favorite concept we covered was on the ideal self and the actual self. Marketers try to present their product or service as a way for consumers to go from their actual self to their ideal self, the person they want to be. Professor Humphreys, my teacher for Consumer Insight, always did a great job of integrating real life examples of marketers using concepts we discussed. For our discussion on the ideal self, we watched those Old Spice commercials that starred the Old Spice guy and dissected how the Old Spice guy was every man’s ideal self and how only Old Spice body wash could get them there. I never thought I would be discussing the Old Spice guy in an academic discussion, but I’m so glad that I did.

Our class happened to fall the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday, so naturally we spent around an hour re-watching commercials and discussing how they related to concepts we were learning about. It’s always a great feeling when classes can relate real life examples to the concepts we discuss, but it’s an even better feeling when the real life examples are things you just saw the previous evening. Professor Humphreys always did a great job making marketing interesting, and I can’t wait to continue my studies in the Integrated Marketing Communications program.

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