Module 6 Module 6 Module 6 Module 6
Module 6 Presentation Readings Assignments

Go back to Module 6, Part 1 - Advertising Literacy
Go on to Module 6, Part 3 - Advertising Techniques, Facts

Advertising Techniques for Motivation

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There are three critical steps in motivating someone to buy a product, vote for a candidate, or believe in an idea:

1) Grab Their Attention

You can't persuade someone who isn't paying attention.

2) Promise them a benefit

This is the payoff. If you've created a worry, promise them a solution. If you've suggested an action, show them the result.

3) Find or create a problem

Inertia is a great enemy to motivation. If you are asking people to change (products, ideas), they need a reason. If you are asking them to take an action (whether make a purchase or embrace a belief), they need a reason. Focusing on a problem gives them the motivation to act.

1) Grab Their Attention

This is true of all forms of communication, not just advertising. If they don't watch or look, there is no communication. Plus, the more engaged the reader or viewer is, the less "critical" they will be of the message.
For print ads, the photo or the headline must grab the reader's attention. The photo in the ad to the right serves the same purpose as the picture of the girl on the vegetable crate we saw in the Module 5 discussion of "motivation."

For the entire newspaper, you must place your strongest headline "above the fold". The headline in the top half of the paper, as it sits in the rack, must be compelling enough to motivate a purchase. For magazines, the photo on the cover is the primary inducement to purchase.

For radio or television advertising, the first five seconds is critical. If you're not engaged from the very start, the ad will have no impact.

As we've already seen, however, just getting attention isn't enough. The on-line company below spent millions of dollars on ads designed to get your attention. The attention getting commercial below was judged too offensive to run by many media outlets.

Some critics defended the ads as necessary to break through the "clutter" and "position" the URL in people's minds.
But, the company's revenues were below expectation. The President was fired. And the ad campaign dropped.

This new campaign changed the focus from getting attention to problem solving. The ad strategy changed from positioning to a USP.

2) Promise a Benefit

"Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement." - Samuel Johnson (1759)

As true today as in 1759, advertisements promise you "things."

Whether directly, as with problem oriented ads, or indirectly, as with positioning ads, the products shown in the ads must promise you a benefit.

Otherwise, why bother to buy?

The Alka-Seltzer ad below makes this concept clear. They brag about inventing a disease just so you'll buy the product!

Advertising Techniques for Motivation

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©2011, Terry Dugas

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