Sunday, May 15, 2011

Advertising Techniques

Advertising has changed a lot along the time, take a look at it:

But the techniques are essentially the same.

Advertising techniques are tools used to attract attention, spark interest, to explain ideas, trigger emotion, create desire, initiate action and influence what people think, feel or remember. Here follow some techniques:

1. Celebrity Testimonial: Commonly called "testimonials," or "celebrity endorsements," this technique of persuasion says that consumers relate to the person(s) appearing in the ad: if the celebrity/athlete/star uses the product, then it must be good, so I will purchase/use it too.

Be careful testimonial is different from testimony. Take a quick look at both definitions.
Testimonial: Using a well-known person to *endorse a product.
 *to endorse: to express support for someone or something, especially in       public.                                                 

Testimony: a formal statement about something that you saw, know, or experienced.

2. Emotional appeal:  type of advertising designed to stimulate one's psychological, social, or emotional needs, rather than one's sense of the practical or impractical. It can arouse fear, love, hate, greed, sexual desire, or humor, or otherwise create psychological tension that can best be resolved by purchase of the product or service. For example, a security alarm company might show a scenario where the home of a mother and her children is burglarized. Advertisers also appeal to sentiment, often through images like babies, cute animals, and touching parent-child interactions


   3.Bandwagon appeal is an advertising technique that aims to persuade people to do a certain thing because the masses are doing it. A bandwagon commercial can actually convince a consumer to do or buy something they don't actually need, just to do or have what others have. It encourages the consumer to “jump on the bandwagon."

  4. Snob appeal is an exact reverse of the bandwagon technique. In this advertising appeal, people are induced to buy a certain product so that they can stand out of the crowd. It is often indicated that buying the product will make them look different from the rest. It is often indicated that the product is not affordable for the common masses by attaching a 'sense of exclusivity' to such products.

5.  Scientific Evidence: This technique attempts to appeal the masses to use the advertised product, by providing the audiences with survey results. The advertisers often use statistical evidences and market surveys to publicize their product. Take a look at this well done advertising: 

This commercial might contain more statistics than several reports or articles.

  6. Feel-good Factor: A majority of viewers opt for purchasing the product, not because they need it, but simply because the advertisement makes them feel good and think differently. This is one of the most common advertising techniques used in marketing.

    7. The Association Principle: Association is an advertising technique that involves drawing a mental link between a product and desirable qualities of various kinds that may include attractiveness, wealth, success, family, patriotism, security, happiness, youthfulness, health, adventure, independence, love, romance, sex, etc. If the ad contains:
ü  a visual of a handsome man offering the ring to a beautiful woman
ü  a luxuriously furnished apartment
ü  a table set with wine and candles; and
ü  a text which reads "Love has no price"

      Then the ad would be associating the purchase of the diamond ring to wealth.   Depending on the positioning of the male & female, for example, a close embrace, the association may extend to love and romance.


   8. Repetition: T vhis advertising appeal uses the technique of repeating the product name several times during an advertisement. Jingles are often used in this advertising technique to linger the product name in the minds of the masses. Advertisers also create repetition by running an ad frequently. When it comes time to make a purchase, and the name of one of the products on the shelf has been repeated to the consumer many times, that product might just stand out enough for the consumer to choose it.

     9. Humor Appeal: Of course, one of the most effective ways to get the audience's attention is to be funny. Humor is one of the best ways to break through the "noise" of all the competition advertising messages out there and get people to pay attention to the sales pitch.

   10. Shockvertising: This advertising appeal makes use of shocking images or scenes to impact the message. The name is derived as a combination of the two words, ‘shocking’ and ‘advertising’.
   11. Slogans are memorable, striking phrases used to convey important information of the product to be advertised in an interesting manner. The video below is a speech made up just of 3. I’m sure you know some of them. Take a look at it.

    12.  Music Effects: Music is also one of the most common advertising techniques used in commercials for latest gadgets. Good music in the TV commercial in fact serves as an indirect advertiser for the product.

    13. Eye Candy: This advertising technique creates a visual image so striking, so original, and so appealing that it simply leaps off the page or out of the screen. It makes the viewer think I've never seen such a thing before. This advertising technique will usually make strong use of vibrant color or contrast brilliant colors to set the image.

    From the commercials below which one have you liked the most? Post a comment voting in it and saying what kind of advertising technique you thought effective on the commercial. You’re free to say what you want or even to post other commercials. We’re eager to hear from you.

by Vivian Barone


  1. I've really liked this post. The commercial I liked most is Pepsi Max's Football advert. Although it is based on the celebrity testimonial technique I think the commercial is effective because the very well developed humor appeal.

  2. I've really liked it either! My favorite commercial was Eat Real, Eat Local. I love ads with scientific background, especially when it's a important subject such as food supply.
    I probably enjoyed this video, because ads here in Brazil are stupid, amateur and sometimes sexists! (beer commercials especially) compared to these ones presented! Nice work Vivian! =D

  3. Thanks Arnon! I share your opinion! It’s difficult to see a good commercial. This post gave me a lot of work, but it was worth, especially when I see that people appreciate it. My objective was to provide some fun and instruction at the same time and of course an opportunity to practice English authentically.
    Thanks for your contribution.

  4. Congratulations Vivian, discuss about Advertising is really important because it influence our lives all the time.

    Advertising: manipulation machine

    Advertisement is a technique used by society for a long time and represents the propagation, the spread or transmission of any subject for a specific purpose. This technique can be used to attempt to influence the buying behavior of society, to spread a political ideology, to guide the population on matters of public health, to generate awareness for important causes, among other uses. Thus, we conclude that advertising may have positive or negative connotations according to their use.

    Registers of advertisements were already observed in ancient societies, such as the Egyptian society that using papyrus to make sales massages and wall posters and in ancient civilizations such as Roman, in which the Roman Catholic Church used ads to convey their ideology and to achieve the faithful.

    The advertisements were also used in World War I, in the form of posters as a means to justify the participation of the population and secure the resources to sustain the military campaign, in World War II the use of advertising was even more important and cruel, and reached the level highest in the history of dissemination of an ideology until then. During this period the ads were not used only by the Germany but for all countries involved in war such as the United States, the British Empire, Italy, Japan, among others, that used the advertisements as a way of motivating people and convince them that war was inevitable and necessary.

    To achieve their objectives, the advertisements were created with the same techniques currently used by vehicles of mass communication, but the ''purposes'' are others. On the topic 2 related to ''Emotional appeal'' for example, we observe the use of a stimulus psychological, social or emotional to create a psychological tension that tries to persuade its audience to accomplish some action. In this topic, the Kellogg's commercial is a good example, he begins saying several features that are important for growing children: ‘’…we need families, friends, heroes, we need inspiration, freedom, disappoint, we need to make a mistake ….. We need NOURISHMENT!!!''. In the end, the ad compares these characteristics with the importance of Kellogg for children: ''Kellogg is the impart of children breakfast, that’s something we believe they need everyday …’’.
    In this same way, the United States used this same technique of advertisement to achieve their interests in World War II. In an attempt to reach the imagination of the population, the U.S. government used posters with kids (Patriots) under Nazi symbols, which generated a strong motivation in the population to help the government ''to save the children and the freedom of America'' from imminent totalitarianism.

    During that same period, the German government were also used the ads for convince the German people about the necessity of war. In Germany it was common use of pamphlets, books, posters, magazines, banners, speeches and especially the radio to broadcast the base of his ideals ("One people, one Reich, one leader"). This shows to us that German ads were extremely important in the course of World War II and through it, was possible to influence the behavior of large numbers of people. Thus, we conclude that the use of different vehicles of mass communication and different advertising techniques such as: 2 - Emotional appeal, 3 - Bandwagon appeal, 7 - The Association Principle, 8 - Repetition, 10 - Shockvertising, 11 – Slogans, among others, were determining to the course of human history.

    Although the ads may have positive and negative connotations, today is almost impossible to separate the negative factors related to advertising. Thus, it is necessary that we understand the implications that advertisements have on our lives lest we not become a mere object of manipulation.

  5. Thanks Marcel. Your comment is so good that I want to make a post of it with you as the author, it will have the post and at the end the words "by Marcel Pratavieira". What do you think? Let´s make it?

  6. Hi Vivian, thanks. This is a good idea so we can add information and expand the analysis about ''Advertisement'', which is a theme that have a lot of influence on our lives.
    Let's try to do it. =)

  7. This post will help my today's presentation!

  8. And certainly helped,Rafael. Your presentation was great!! I've specially liked that you contrasted an effective ad with an ineffective one! Congratulations!

  9. Graças a a Sky nunca mais vai ver a cor do meu dinheiro