Written by: Joel Miller
Advertising has evolved tremendously in the past century. It has not only been furthered by advances in technology, but also in the way that advertisers communicate with consumers. Advertising copywriters know the power that language has over people and they use this to their advantage to convince and persuade. They use a number of techniques to help alter the way people perceive a product. More importantly, they make them want to buy it. Have a look at some of the main techniques used in advertising.
Stacking- Much like a stack of cards, stacking in advertising involves presenting a list of qualities or reasons that speak in favor of the product. For example, if a bag of chips is low in fat but high in sodium, the advertising will only stress the low-fat aspects, and may mention that the product is made with whole grains or that it is low in calories. This is also sometimes known as half-truths, or one-sidedness.
Repetition- Advertisers use repetition to make a product or brand better known to their customers. Instead of simply running an ad in the newspapers, they may also repeat the ad (or a very similar version) on television, on websites, in email newsletters, and on the radio. By bombarding people with the same message over and over again, they create brand or product recognition.
Emotional Appeal - In some cases, companies tap into their consumers' emotions to help sell a product. Think about ads that promote products for infants. They are filled with warm, loving images of mothers bonding with their babies. This type of imagery helps new mothers to identify with those emotions, and in turn identify with the product. It indicates to them that the company understands them and their needs.
Testimonial- Testimonials are used to show the customer that someone not associated with the company endorses the product. This might come in the form of famous celebrities, or even unknown average users. The idea behind this is to simulate word of mouth. People tend to believe claims when it comes from a third party.
Sex Appeal - Sex appeal in advertising works in two ways. In the first version, the advertiser may use sex as a motivator to attract consumers to view and consider purchasing the product. For example, hiring a sexy, scantily-clad woman to do product demonstrations of cars or video games appeals greatly to the predominantly male audience. In the second version, sex appeal indicates to people that using the product will help to make them sexier. Advertising for women's beauty and personal grooming products often rely on this technique.
Confusion - With confusion, the advertiser first attracts the customer's attention by presenting them with an array of confusing information. As the customer then tries to make sense of it, they are hooked into the rest of the message. Technology companies often do this by inundating consumers with a series of technical specifications and data.
Transfer - Some advertisements convince consumers of a product's qualities by comparing it to another item or idea. This other item may not always be directly related to the original product. In this way, the advertiser transfers qualities from one item to their own product.
Plain Folks - In the plain folks tactic, advertisers attempt to associate their product with average people. It is the direct opposite of snob appeal. Average middle class people are convinced that the product in question is something that is required in their lives. This might be done by showing a normal family or a familiar situation.