Are you aware of the psychology behind the adverts you watch? It’s fairly common to apply clever behavioural psychology concepts to advertising, to drive more sales. This is not a new thing – it’s a concept that’s been developed over hundreds of years. However, advertising always seems to be evolving and getting more advanced. Smart advertising managers will use all the tricks in the book to sell their products to audiences. Doing extensive research on your target audience, their needs and their desires, really does pay off.
There have been a few key players over the years, smart people who have shaped the direction of advertising using psychology. Harlow Gale was perhaps one of the first psychology professionals to make the crossover to advertising. John B Watson said in 1920 that successful advertising appeals to three key emotions: fear, rage and love. These experts formed the basis of the psychology behind adverts. Here are some ways in which advertising uses psychology to help drive sales.
Catch Your Attention
The first thing that an advert needs to do is catch your attention. If an advert doesn’t stand out then it won’t get noticed. The audience needs to be sucked in by something in the advert. Think about the adverts you have noticed recently – what did you first notice about them?
Appeal To An Emotion
As mentioned above, Watson said that advertising needs to appeal to three key emotions. Adverts can appeal to fear, rage and love but more recently it seems to be humorous adverts that have become popular. People really like to laugh and watch amusing adverts, then talk about them and share them with their friends. A great advert will always appeal to one of your emotions.
Leave You Wanting More
Another aim of adverts is to leave you wanting more. They should tell you enough about a particular product to make you want to discover more about it, or even better, buy it. The best adverts will get through to you and convince you that you need their product. Adverts that leave you thinking about them for moments after you have watched them are always going to be successful.
People get hundreds of advertising messages every day from lots of different platforms. TV, internet, mobile phones and outdoor advertising – with all these mediums it can be very tough to stand out. The key aim for most adverts is to make the consumer remember the message.
Things That Will Improve Your Life
Adverts need to make you believe that your life will be better if you have their products. They need to appeal to your desires and interests. For example, this advert by Quicksales appeals to people by suggesting that everybody can use the help from a bit of extra cash.
You probably don’t even notice, but most adverts will contain subtle commands. They will use persuasive language to encourage you to buy. This includes phrases like ‘your life will be easier with’, ‘you’ll love this product’, ‘get yours online today’, ‘sale ends tomorrow’. All these phrases are persuading you to buy something. Some advertisers will be more bold and pushy whereas others will use subtle persuasion techniques.
These are all common techniques that smart advertisers use to make their advertising more powerful. In order to successfully market a product to people you have to really get inside their minds and this is what the most memorable advertising campaigns have done. It certainly pays to do your research and find a way of capturing the emotions of your audience.
1890’s Coke Poster – Wikimedia Public Domain
Guest Author Bio
Rachel Nowak is a freelance writer specializing in marketing and travel.