Advertisements are everywhere: On towering signs along highways, on the radio, social media, television, in email and in website pop-ups. Although ads affect people in various ways, they tend to catch virtually everyone's attention to some degree (even subconsciously) and sometimes prompt a response. Ever gotten up for a snack after watching a mouth-watering commercial? If so, you were at least partly affected by the persuasiveness of what you saw. If you added the exact advertised goody to your shopping list, then the marketers did the job well. But what about other ways that advertising affects consumer behavior?

Making Memories

The public may not pay much attention to plumbing-company ads, for example, until a waterline breaks. Then, they're frantic to find a pipe-fixing pro. If a name doesn't come to mind, a harried homeowner typically turns to the Internet, where a local company might jump out at him for some reason. Although advertisements may cross screens or airwaves seemingly unnoticed, people often subconsciously commit business names (and perhaps associated jingles) to memory, recognizing them later, when the need arises.

Developing Recognition

It's no secret that colors affect mood and memories, however, they also build a sense of association (think about how traffic-light colors relate to danger, caution or safety in various other aspects). Mood, memorability and association are crucial in advertising, but by using key colors in their ads, brands can also develop recognition and awareness. Have you noticed how the color of a few main elements in a commercial -- actors' clothing, the walls, flowers or furniture, for example -- match the company's logo color? Even if the intentional color association between a logo and advertisement affects viewers subtly, it's an important part of the plan to become more readily recognized and build brand awareness.

Retaining Attention and Market Share

If companies did everything right but didn't bother to advertise, how would anyone know they existed? So, another major goal of advertising is to, of course, remind consumers that your business is still out there. The more often listeners hear the name, the more they become familiar with it. In a similar way, a memorable, catchy tagline or humorous jingle, used over and over (and over) in television, digital and radio ads often gives a company an edge that sets it apart from the competition. "Jingles don't get stuck in my head," said no one, ever.

An Emotional Affect

"Affective conditioning" basically refers to the effect that advertising has on folks' emotions or feelings, while regarding truth-in-advertising rules -- there's no deception allowed. So, how do marketers stir emotions? Partly by pairing a product with a suitable voice-over or a positive item, prop or mascot, for instance. It may be as low-key as a bathroom-tissue advertisement starring soft, fluffy critters rather than, say, hedgehogs or porcupines, but affective conditioning aims to create a friendly emotional connection between the viewer and the brand or product in question.

Another way that companies play on emotions is through nostalgia. To reach a certain demographic, say, the device savvy millennial crowd, marketers might create a social media ad in the style of a late 20th-century video game. At least, some consumers in the targeted age group would recognize, relate to and ponder the company's advertisement, and then ideally, would share it.

It's wise to note that many millennials (and shoppers of all sorts, today) aren't allowing themselves to be easily affected by advertisements, unless they see more from the venture involved: more earnest concern about the environment, more authenticity, more of your mission-statement's story or other positive influences, regarding the world beyond business.