Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Are you marketing to your own happiness this annus mirabilis?

When I was pregnant with my second son, my acupuncturist, who is a doctor from China, said it was important to surround myself with beauty to make the pregnancy successful. She suggested I look at things such as lovely pictures, listen to beautiful music, and have flowers in as many rooms as possible.

I thought is was an interesting concept at the time, but didn't really heed it as advice. Lately, however, during this annus mirabilis, Latin for miraculous year, I've started reading more and more about the subconscious and how it picks up cues from your surroundings constantly through all of your senses. Even when "you" are not looking, your subconscious is.

This is why you are instructed to have the smell of simmering apples if you're trying to sell a house. That smell cues the subconscious with feelings of home and warmth. Marketers have learned certain music affects you while shopping and television ads of perfect people makes one associate beer with health and vitality.

It has been estimated that we see an average of 5000 ads a day. And it occurs to me that much of this is somewhat negative. The message is often you are not quite good enough as you are and need to buy this or that product to fit in or be accepted or admired.

So the question then occurs, can we market to our own happiness in our homes? If everything we see sends the conscious or subconscious messages of health, wealth, happiness, love, gratitude and joy, would we be adding to our own happiness?

I don't know the answer, but considering the millions McDonald's and Coca Cola spend on having us see their logos and advertisements, there must be some effect surely. My goal now is to put positive "marketing" in each of the rooms of the house. I already have inspiring messages on the refrigerator and along the upstairs hall and in our bedroom, but I'm moving on from there.

I liked my acupuncturist's idea to speak to the other senses and am starting to burn more candles and play music more often. I've also started collecting things from nature, like pine cones, sea shells, and interesting rocks as I always find nature soothing. This may be part of what Oprah is referring to when she says our homes should "rise up to meet us."

Since some inspirational posters and pictures can get pricey, I've been getting them at thrift stores. And recently for 85 cents, I got an old address book that had a lot of Mary Engelbreit's art work and pithy, positive quotes. I just cut these out and thumb tacked them to the walls.

I'm not sure I'll match the 5000 marketer's ads, which include posters on the back of the bathroom stalls, but I'm working on it. Speaking of the back of the toilet, there's still some white space there.....;-) Possibilities, possibilities...And if it starts to look a bit kooky to visitors, I can always say I read about an experiment on the Frugal Millionairess and am giving it a try;-). Best wishes. Eileen


  1. Eileen, what you are trying to do with your educational idea is EXACTLY like the simmering apples, in fact, I love that as a name for your company... You are trying to create something that is subtly consistent in the back ground, but influential in the forefront... right?
    [the surgery went fine, I am just feeling like someone pulled one of my organs from my bellybutton, which is essentially what the Doc did]
    Thanks for keeping me in the game, even when I am mostly out of the real playing...


  2. Antoinette,

    First many good wishes for a speedy recovery. It's tough to be so far from home (meaning the U.S. though I realize wherever you are with your family is home) when you're not feeling well. I hope you baby yourself to no end with treats and goodies and favorite books. Sending you a virtual hug and fruit basket!

    And thanks for the wonderful analogy about simmering apples. I hadn't even put that together. But I am going to work with that. I made a list of words like constant and learning and environment, spent some time with a thesaurus and varieties on each of those and came up with the learning milieau. But when I emailed that to Sarah(CEO of Posi-Pair) today, she thought it would be too hard to spell for people to easily find over the internet. But I love your line - subtly consistent in the background, but influential in the forefront. Do you have some marketing background? When this tired mom has had her caffeine tomorrow, I'm going to work on that - it is a great description of the goal of the company....many, many thanks!

    Goodnight - hoping each day makes you feel a bit better. Eileen