The total US advertising expenditure in 2014 was just over $180 billion, which is leaps and bounds more than any other advertising market in the world. It comes as no surprise that the advertising and marketing industry has a huge influence on the way people spend their money and time. Although $180 billion seems like an enormous amount, it isn't anywhere near as much as what consumers in America spend on goods and services every year. By better understanding the way the advertising and marketing industries entice us to spend money, we can be better prepared to make informed decisions and spend or save our money intelligently. 

Joseph Pine: What Consumers Want

The speaker explained how over centuries, people have evolved from spending their money on commodities (raw goods) to spending their money on experiences. He explains this by using the example of the cost of actual coffee beans compared to the cost of coffee at a diner, and then even to a cup of coffee at an upscale coffee shop. His presentation showed how consumers spend more money on things if they feel like they are getting a better, more authentic experience from a certain product. 

Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce

The speaker explained that consumers don't always know exactly what they want, which makes it hard for them to tell suppliers what they want. This makes it difficult for suppliers to research and make a product that everyone will want. The fact behind it is that suppliers can't look for a "one size fits all" product, but instead try many different things in order to please a larger audience.

Dan Cobley: What Physics Taught Me about Marketing

The speaker compared rules of marketing to different laws of physics. One of these examples was that it is hard to change the direction or image of a large brand, like it is hard to change the direction of a large object in motion. He used multiple analogies and was a very engaging speaker.

Paul Kemp-Robertson: Bitcoin. Sweat. Tide. Meet the Future of Branded Currency

This speakers explained a few examples of new "currency" available today. It was a wide range of ideas, with the main idea being that people can earn types of "points" through different programs that have real value. 

Sheena Iyengar: How to Make Choosing Easier

This speaker explained the choice overload problem. Sometimes we are given so many different options that we end up not choosing any. The speaker showed how that had an impact at the grocery store and when choosing a 401k plan. She showed how we need to cut and categorize our choices in order to make them easier to choose from.

Graham Hill: Less Stuff, More Happiness

This speaker explained how having less is more. He showed that even though the average American has more space than ever before, we still don't ever seem to have enough. He showed that by editing our lives and getting rid of things we don't need, we can increase the amount of savings and freedom that we have. 

Michael Norton: How to Buy Happiness

This speaker said that happiness can, in fact, be bought. What matters is what we spend it on. He explained, through studies, that when people spend their money on other people, everyone becomes more productive and motivated to do their best work because they are happier.

Morgan Spurlock: The Greatest TED Talk Ever Sold

The speaker was the creator of "Supersize Me" and was presenting about another film that he was trying to make. It was planned to be sponsored completely by advertising agencies and would feature advertising for them in the movie. He was doing this to show the importance of branding and advertising, and what kind of an influence it has on people.

Molly Crockett: Beware Neuro-bunk

The speaker is a neuroscientist and she spoke about the claims that products make about their effects on neuro activity. Some supplements, drinks, and articles claim to have benefits like being happier, more positive, and calmer. The speaker says that those claims are most often exaggerated and not supported by solid scientific data.

Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons from an Ad Man

The speaker showed that advertising can change our perceptions about a product, therefore making it seem more valuable to us, even if it isn't. He showed that our perceived value of something can sometimes skew our understanding of its true value in the long run.