Advertising Appeals: Types & Examples

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  • 0:00 Appeals in Advertising
  • 0:52 The Seven Appeals
  • 6:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Anne Marie Orr

Anne Marie is an experienced educator of 15+ years, has a Master's Degree in Education and was designated a Master Teacher for State of Ohio.

In this lesson, we'll explore advertising appeals that are used to structure advertising. We'll look at how advertisements work and examine and analyze the advertising elements that attract our attention.

Appeals in Advertising

Think of advertisements that stick in your head. What makes them so memorable? Is it the product itself, or is it the techniques used to produce the ad? Advertising appeals are the persuasive pressures that stimulate a person to buy a product or service by speaking to an individual's needs, interests, or wants. The goal of an ad is to persuade customers, and advertising appeals provide just the right hook to allow persuasion to occur. Advertising appeals are designed to create a positive image and mindset about those who use the product or service, and are a major factor of consideration for advertisers. Companies put a lot of effort into their creative advertising strategies and use various types of appeals to influence purchasing decisions.

The Seven Appeals

In this lesson, we will look at seven major types of advertising appeals that are used to influence the purchasing decisions of consumers. Let's take a closer look at each type of appeal.

Musical Appeals

Music can help to capture the attention of a listener because music is often linked to emotions, experiences, and memories, grabbing the attention of those not previously engaged. The use of musical appeals allows for a connection between the product or service and a catchy jingle or piece of music. As an example, Nationwide Insurance uses the well-known 'Nationwide is on your side' jingle as an appeal. And since these musical memories are often stored in the long-term recall areas of the brain, many consumers remember the jingles for extended periods of time. The selection of music can involve an already familiar tune or can involve the creation of an original composition specifically for the ad.

Sexual Appeals

Sexual appeals provide another method for breaking through ad clutter. Nudity and other sexual approaches are common and are often employed using various methods. By using subliminal techniques, the advertisement attempts to affect a viewer subconsciously. For example, an advertisement may use sexual cues or icons in order to affect the viewer's subconscious, which is seen in ads where men purchase beer in order to gain the attention of an attractive female.

Likewise, nudity or partial nudity are often used to promote the sale of items such as perfume, cologne, or even clothing. Other techniques include overt sexuality, which is often used in ads for products that are sexually-oriented by nature, sexual suggestiveness, and sensuality. It should be noted that while sexually-oriented ads do attract attention, there tends to be a lower level of brand recall than with other appeals.

Humor Appeals

Humor is a proven appeal type for grabbing attention and keeping it. When consumers find something humorous, it has value because is causes them to watch, laugh and, most importantly, remember. By capturing the viewer's attention, humor appeals cut through advertising clutter and allow for enhanced recall and improved moods; consumers who are happy associate the good mood with the product and service. E-Trade's talking baby ad campaign provides an example of this appeal, with a goal of attracting viewer attention through humor. However, humorous ads can be tricky to design because those that aren't received well result in only the ad being remembered, rather than the product or brand.

Fear Appeals

Fear appeals are widely used because they simply work. Fear can increase a viewer's interest in an advertisement and can heighten persuasiveness, causing consumers to remember these ads more so than upbeat, warm ads. Fear appeals fit particularly well with certain types of goods and services, particularly those products that can eliminate threats or provide a sense of personal security. For example, fear is often used in insurance company ads, focusing on the consequences of an untimely death. Or, a mouthwash ad can invoke a fear of bad breath.

Rational Appeals

Rational appeals place emphasis on facts, details, and product benefits. The goal is moving from product awareness and knowledge to liking, product preference, conviction for the product and, finally, purchase. By transmitting basic product information, a rational appeal provides product knowledge. In order to promote liking and preference, a rational appeal provides logical reasons as to why a particular brand or service is superior to another.

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