Advertising And You

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Review each of the advertising techniques described below. See if you can think of one or more product or service ads that you have seen recently that use the following techniques.

Repetition You have heard it said that "If you tell people the same thing often enough, they will come to believe it." Some advertisers will use this method, repeating their message over and over again in an ad or a series of ads over time. [Built Ford Tough!, “Eat Fresh,” “I’m Lovin It”]

Conformity This approach aims to have you “get on board,” “be in,” “get with it.” [Join “the Pepsi generation.”]

Imitation This is the effort by an advertiser to influence a consumer by having a celebrity associated with the good or service. The advertiser hopes that those who like and respect the celebrity will imitate the behaviour by using the product.[Michael Jordan running shoes. Ellen DeGeneres make-up.]

Emotional Appeal This is where the advertiser seeks to draw upon one or more of the consumer’s emotions to influence the decision. [“That Long Distance Feeling – kittens and bathroom tissue – beer and the “Canadian rant”]

Good Will Providing something for free – a free sample, a free issue, and so on. However, always remember that “there is no such thing as a free lunch” – someone always pays the cost. It’s a question of who pays and why. [“Four free CDs! Just sign up to buy one CD a month and you’ll get four free CDs!”]

Scare Techniques Well, maybe not exactly scare techniques, but who wants to face the consequences of going around with bad breath, blotchy skin, or underarm odor, especially when the ads portray such awful consequences. [“Nick and Lotta were about to kiss when, all of a sudden, Lotta noticed Nick’s teeth. If only Nick had used...”]

Snob Appeal These ads are designed to appeal to those who want to be seen as in the lead, on the move, those who have made it – and want others to know about it. These ads emphasize that if you have the product you are definitely “in” or among the “elite” or “successful.” [“If you need to know the price, you’re not interested.”]

Economic Appeal This type of ad presents the “great deal” – no money down, no interest payments, and so on. Be on your toes and watch for those that are genuine deals and those that have catches to them or key points in the fine print. There can be very legitimate offers to help you pay for a purchase over time – such as equal payments over 24 months with no interest. But, in the fine print, it can say that if the amount isn’t paid in full within 24 months, all interest charges become payable for the full two years. So check that out and, if that’s the case, make sure you complete the payments within the 24 months. [“No payments for three years! That’s right, it can be yours and you don’t pay a cent for three years!”]

Comfort And Enjoyment Some advertisers may attempt to present their product in relation to something that, although enjoyable, is largely unrelated to the product. For example, have you ever sat through a commercial wondering what on earth was being advertised – only to be surprised at the end? The purpose of the ad may simply have been to get your attention – not tell you anything about the product.

Humour One method to attempt to influence your purchase is to present the product or service in a humorous way and hope that your laughter will carry over all the way to your buying decisions.

Can you think of any other techniques that are used by advertisers to affect consumer decisions?