Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Persuasive Techniques in Advertising

Hello All, 

I'd like to share additional information based on the lesson slides from last week:

Persuasive Techniques in Advertising
The persuasive strategies used by advertisers who want you to buy their product

can be divided into three categories: pathos, logos, and ethos. 

Pathos: an appeal to emotion.
An advertisement using pathos will attempt to evoke an emotional response in the consumer. Sometimes, it is a positive emotion such as happiness: an image of people enjoying themselves while drinking Pepsi. Other times, advertisers will use negative emotions such as pain: a person having back problems after buying the “wrong” mattress. Pathos can also include emotions such as fear and guilt: images of a starving child persuade you to send money. 

Logos: an appeal to logic or reason.
An advertisement using logos will give you the evidence and statistics you need to fully understand what the product does. The logos of an advertisement will be the "straight facts" about the product: One glass of Florida orange juice contains 75% of your daily Vitamin C needs.

Ethos: an appeal to credibility or character.
An advertisement using ethos will try to convince you that the company is more reliable, honest, and credible; therefore, you should buy its product. Ethos often involves statistics from reliable experts, such as nine out of ten dentists agree that Crest is the better than any other brand or Americas dieters choose Lean Cuisine. Often, a celebrity endorses a product to lend it more credibility: Athletes makes us want to switch to a particular sports brand. 

The following are some more specific strategies that advertisers use. Often, they overlap with the rhetorical strategies above. 

Avante Garde: The suggestion that using this product puts the user ahead of the times. A toy manufacturer encourages kids to be the first on their block to have a new toy.

Weasel Words: Used to suggest a positive meaning without actually really making any guarantee. A scientist says that a diet product might help you to lose weight the way it helped him to lose weight. A dish soap leaves dishes virtually spotless.

Magic Ingredients: The suggestion that some almost miraculous discovery makes the product exceptionally effective. A pharmaceutical manufacturer describes a special coating that makes their pain reliever less irritating to the stomach than a competitor’s.

Patriotism: The suggestion that purchasing this product shows your love of your country. A company brags about its product being made in America.
Transfer: Positive words, images, and ideas are used to suggest that the product being sold is also positive. A textile manufacturer wanting people to wear their product to stay cool during the summer shows people wearing fashions made from their cloth at a sunny seaside setting where there is a cool breeze. 

Plain Folks: The suggestion that the product is a practical product of good value for ordinary people. A cereal manufacturer shows an ordinary family sitting down to breakfast and enjoying their product. 

Snob Appeal: The suggestion that the use of the product makes the customer part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous lifestyle. A coffee manufacturer shows people dressed in formal gowns and tuxedos drinking their brand at an art gallery.

Bribery: Bribery offers you something “extra.” Buy a burger; get free fries.

Bandwagon: The suggestion that you should join the crowd or be on the winning side by using a product—you don’t want to be the only person without it! 

Another website worth reading about advertising here.

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