Olivia Chak – Persuasive Techniques

Persuasive Techniques

· Most ad agencies employ a wide variety of persuasive techniques in the ad campaigns they create for their clients.

· Persuasion – getting consumers to buy one company’s products and services not another’s – lies at the core of the advertising industry.

· Persuasive techniques take numerous forms, ranging from conventional strategies

– Such as having a famous person endorse a product

· To not-so-conventional strategies

– For instance, showing video game characters using a product

Using Conventional Persuasive Strategies

1. Famous-person testimonial: A product is endorsed by a well-known person

For example, Serena Williams has become a leading sports spokesperson, having appeared in ads for such companies such as Nike, Kraft Foods, and Procter & Gamble.

2. Plain-folks pitch: A product is associated with simplicity.

For instance, General Electric (“Imagination at work” and Microsoft (“Your potential. Our passion”) have used straightforward slogans stressing out how new technologies fit into the lives of ordinary people.

3. Snob appeal: An ad attempts to persuade consumers that using a product will maintain or elevate their social status. Advertisers selling jewelry, perfume, clothing, and luxury automobiles often use snob appeal.

4. Bandwagon effect: the ad claims that “everyone” is using a particular product. Brands that refer to themselves as “America’s favorite” or “the best-selling” imply that consumers will be “left behind” if they ignore these products.

5. Hidden-fear appeal: A campaign plays on consumers’ sense of insecurity.

Deodorant, mouthwash, and shampoo ads often tap into people’s fears of having embarrassing personal hygiene problems if they don’t use the suggested product.

6. Irritation advertising: an ad creates product-name recognition by being annoying or obnoxious. (You may have seen one of these on TV, in the form of a local car salesman loudly touting the “UNBELIEVABLE BARGAINS!” available at his dealership.)

Question of the day: Which persuasive techniques do you think works the best and explain why?


4 thoughts on “Olivia Chak – Persuasive Techniques

  1. I strongly believe that in this day and age people listen to the celebrity testimonies, Who wouldn’t want to wear or own or try the hottest thing from a celebrity? It’s pretty refreshing and it adds an element of yes I “fit in” to the social norm. Or becase this is our favorite celebrity then they can do no wrong. We allow our shallow self to be sucked into the lines that are being fed to the celebrity and regergitated back out to us in order for us to buy their products. Its a very affective use of advertising. I purchased a pair of Dre Beats that I never wear and gave away because Lebron James, my favorite basketball player was on the cover. 200 bucks down the drain! And I HATED the headphones. the power of advertisment.


  2. Number 5 (hidden fear appeal) reminded me of advertising in the old days. A brand of mouth wash (Listerine) had advertised that a women was never a bride, but always a bridesmaid (because of bad breath). It was a genius way to get consumers to think “If I don’t have bad breath anymore, I can get married and stop being a bridesmaid”. I can see how it would work- as marriage in the past was a big and if you didn’t get married, you were “isolated” from those who did.

    I think the hidden fear appeal is the most effective, because of the fact it plays on our insecurities. Our society already tells us what is deemed “beautiful” and what is “average”. And if this certain product can help us be more “beautiful”, we will certainly consume it for the sake of the benefit of said product.


  3. Famous person/ Doctor…. I will buy a product because a famous person likes it or a doctor says it’s good. I think we tend to think that celebrities have better judgement than us because they have the money and the staff to hear them in the correct direction. As for Doctors I am more trusting because I think doctors take an oath to care for people even though it’s not always the case. When I watch tv advertisement and a person in a lab coat call himself Dr. X I would buy the product and more willing to believe the product will work.


  4. All of those techniques work, advertisers use them all the time, but it’s a matter of who (race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic background, country, language) that will play a large factor in what technique will hopefully more beneficially than the others to send the message meant to be sent. Having a celebrity endorse a product and hidden-fear appeal seems like the most effective pertaining to what can be universally sold and can transcend barriers. Celebrities have that universal appeal to the average person because they represent a lifestyle and beauty that is unattainable to many. We find that exciting and enticing as consumers, that we can buy a product with a favorite celebrity of ours, with the subliminal hope of somehow being closer with this individual. The hidden-fear appeal taps into our personal fears. Were self-centered and anything that tells us that were ugly without it, fat without it, dumb without etc., is a product many will be drawn to.
    Advertising companies make their profit off the insecurities of the public while creating new ones to sell more products. Clever when you think about it, and also disheartening for those who get wrapped up in ideas about who/what they should be and look like, wasting that time when figuring out they are is all need. It breeds insecurities, which can lead to many mental disorders such as body dis-morphoia, anorexia etc.


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