Guide to Advertising Appeals – 7 Ad Appeals Explained

Effective advertising is about creating ads that appeal to people’s emotions. This can be broadly classified as fear, humor and sex. These appeals are universally felt, regardless how intelligent, wealthy, or race a person is. Chances are, it would fit in one of the seven magic appeals. Or perhaps a combination of both. The most memorable advertisement is the one that you remember and the one that you remember in a positive way. Marketing professionals are skilled at creating advertisements that consumers can recall with ease. We all know that positive attitudes result in positive behaviors such as buying your product. Below are some guidelines for using advertising appeals. They highlight both positive and negative outcomes.

Fear AppealFear is the first and most successful advertising appeal. Fear is an emotion that has been with us for as long as humankind has known. Fear advertising is a focus on the emotional responses of customers to perceived dangers, often severity and vulnerability. A fear appeal could be an advertisement for web hosting that emphasizes the severe downtime on the site as well as the possibility of customers losing their business due to it. The Good – Fear appeals are persuasive and can be very effective at grabbing people’s attention. For example, an advertisement featuring a drunken car accident victim. It is difficult to determine how much fear you should use. Too much fear can make people run away from your ads, while too little fear will make them forget about your ad.

Sex Appeal– Sex is another universal aspect of human nature. Marketers have used it for years to attract the attention of both sexes. Subliminal, sexually suggestive or nudity, sex can also be used to attract attention. Have you noticed how many people who appear in ads tend be attractive? The America’s Next Top Model TV show uses sexual advertising to attract male viewers. It has ads featuring girls wearing sexually suggestive clothing. The Good – Sex has been proven to cut through clutter. If your advertisement is placed in a busy time slot using sex appeals, this will help increase brand recognition. The Bad – Sex appeals may be provocative and can cause negative reactions with other cultures. Nowadays, sex appeals don’t have the WOW-factor.

Humor AppealPeople love to laugh, and many people have negative attitudes toward advertising. However, people who see humorous ads will tell others the joke, and this can greatly help marketers. Many TV commercials that promote humor are memorable. The John West Salmon ad in which a man battles a bear to get salmon is an example. The Bad: It is important that the joke doesn’t overpower the brand and its associated motto. People will forget the joke, but not the brand. Advertisers should also be culturally sensitive as humor may not be appropriate in every culture.

Music appeals Music is something everyone loves. It is personal and can help people recall the good and the bad moments in their lives. Music is a way to grab attention and appeal to consumers’ emotions. 7UP soft drink, which uses the song “sunshine”, by the Partridge family to reach their target market, is an example of music appeal. The Good – Using a well-known song may bring back good memories for consumers, resulting in positive attitudes towards your brand. Music’s intrusive nature also means that people might still be attracted by the ad. The Bad: Certain music can trigger negative feelings in consumers if they are influenced by bad past memories.

Rationality Appeal– The rationality appeal relies heavily on consumers actively processing information in an ad. This appeal is often used in print media as consumers are more likely to have the time to read it in print media. Typically, rational appeals concentrate on the practical and functional needs of consumers. Rational appeals can be used in advertising drugs and healthy lifestyle products such as Vitamins. Recently, Swisse’s ads featured Ricky Ponting (Australian Cricket captain) who promoted individual vitamins to help educated consumers. The Good – rationality can be great for products with high involvement and B2B advertising. The Bad – rational appeals must be credible because false claims could lead to negative brand attitudes.

Scarcity Appeal– Scarcity can be defined as the inability to buy or obtain sufficient quantities. To empower customers, scarcity can be used in conjunction with fear appeals. This is to avoid missing out on an immediate negative event. Australian advertisers use scarcity appeal in their cricket memorabilia advertisements by offering The Good – scarcity is great to encourage users to take action and often used with other promotions such as coupons, sweepstakes, contests, and contests The BAD – scarcity appeals need be authentic or customers will have negative attitudes about your brand.

Emotional appealAppealing to consumers’ emotions is a powerful technique to capture attention and foster attachments for your brand. However, it is more effective to focus on positive emotions such as joy, trust, and love. Insurance agencies and banks are examples of industries that include emotions in their marketing copy. They often emphasize positive emotions such as happiness and joy to help overcome stereotypes of these industries. The Good – emotions can work with almost every appeal and can help build brand loyalty. The Bad – emotional appeals must be appropriate for the target market as well as the company’s PR history. Consumers are becoming more aware of advertising messages.

These seven appeals are helpful to understand when you’re creating your first advertisement, online or off. You can build your advertisement around any combination of these appeals as a starting point. There are some tried-and-true combinations of appeals for advertising. These include fear and rationality, which is commonly used in antismoking advertising. Music and emotion can also be a great base for advertisements. Appealing should not be the only factor. Other factors include your brand strategy, target markets, organizational marketing objectives and media strategy. For example, if your newspaper caters to 40-plus readers and you want to increase brand loyalty by showing concern and care for the community, an emotional or rational appeal is best to help you achieve your brand loyalty marketing goal.

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