We’re headed back to the basics this week.  There are several ways to deliver your message through advertising, all of which use a different strategy.  Different appeals are better-suited toward certain ads depending on the message and who its intended audience is.  Let’s look at the various approaches advertisers have been taking since the very beginning:

  • Fear.  The use of fear can be an effective way to motivate consumers to take action, whether it be purchasing a product, signing up for a service, or donating to a charity.  These advertisements depict risk, the effects of that risk, and then a solution or prevention.  As humans, we are naturally wired to eliminate potential and existing harm in our lives, and we’re inclined to spend money if we know there’s a way to do it.  Anti-smoking and insurance companies are known for utilizing fear appeal in advertising.
  • Humor.  It’s a common belief that ads are supposed to be funny to be effective.  This isn’t always true, but using humor can be a good way to get a message or brand to resonate with viewers.  It’s important to be careful and extremely thoughtful when using comedy in advertising, because ads that are intended to be funny can easily come off as trying too hard, dull, or worse, just plain annoying.  
  • Sex Appeal.  Let’s face it, sexuality is something that will always peak interest among the general population.  Companies have been using sexual suggestiveness for decades to spike curiosity and desire for products and services.  Obviously, this approach is not appropriate for all products.  Advertisements that use sex appeal must uphold a certain level of taste and not cross the line into vulgar territory.
  • Informative/Rationality.  Some ads are created simply to convey information.  This is especially common in print work, which often times merely highlights the features and benefits of a product.  This may sound like a boring, mundane approach, but informative advertisements can be very effective if accompanied by compelling design work and the right media placement.
  • Bandwagon.  The bandwagon approach is designed to lure consumers to a product because it’s “cool” or because everyone else is using it.  This strategy is typically used for companies that target youth, as younger people are generally more concerned with image or a sense of belonging.  Technology, food/drink, and apparel companies are known to use this approach in their marketing strategies.

It’s important to realize that most approaches to advertising are rooted from a broader category of emotional appeal.  In the end, the goal is to make the consumer feel something in order to take action.  The Transformation team includes writers, content creators, and strategists who all work together to decide on marketing direction and produce engaging, effective advertising.

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