Marketing expert talks sales tax holiday, Olympics advertising

Haim Mano, associate professor of marketing at UMSL, recently weighed in on the marketing gains of the Missouri sales tax holiday and advertising during the Olympics in a pair of St. Louis Post-Dispatch articles. (Photo by August Jennewein)

When it comes to advertising, consumer behavior is the key to any successful campaign, according to marketing expert Haim Mano. Whether selling school supplies or car rentals, he explained to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that advertisers must appeal to the buyer.

Mano, associate professor of marketing at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, recently talked to the newspaper about the upcoming sales tax holiday and a car rental company’s use of emotion in its advertising during the Olympics.

Missouri’s back-to-school sales tax holiday starts this weekend. This is the ninth year for the tax holiday, which eliminates the 4.225 percent state sales tax on eligible clothing, school supplies, computers and other items.

Mano agreed that the event is great for consumers.

“But it’s even better for the marketer,” he told the Post.

The holiday, he said, brings in more shoppers who are in good moods and generally pick up additional items not on their list.

“People buy more stuff when they think it’s on sale,” he said in the article.

While some retailers appeal to consumers’ wallets, others grasp for the emotional heartstrings of Americans. Enterprise Holdings, for example, unveiled its new “thank you” commercial campaign, which is airing on NBC throughout the Olympic games. In the commercials the car rental company, based in Clayton, Mo., thanks consumers for their business and pledges to plant 50 million trees in appreciation.

Mano said the commercial is a good move for Enterprise.

“I think it is going to be a very successful ad,” he told the newspaper. “It’s creating goodwill for the company. They are doing good for the country — it’s patriotism. The emotions stay, linger, and come back in the future when you are about to rent the car. Emotions have been used by advertisers for years. There’s no other artistic medium that can move people to tears in 30 seconds.”


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