What is Persuasive Advertising?

Whenever a company launches a new product, its primary goal is to always attract customers towards trying their product out. Different firms employ different types of advertising techniques for that. Persuasive advertising, as the name suggests, is a technique of product promotion which tries to persuade customers to buy a given product. This advertising technique is especially useful in situations where there are a lot of competing products in the market. Persuasive advertising encourages potential customers to try a given product initially. It can also be used to convince or coax consumers to start using the product or the brand regularly and make it a part of their lifestyle. So persuasive advertising can also be used to enhance customer loyalty.

Marketers use this form of advertising to generate demand for a new product or service or increase the demand for a product or service that already exists in the market. One of the popular methods of persuasive advertising is the comparative approach. As per this approach, a brand uses persuasive advertising to showcase its superiority over other, competitive brands. A lot of times, testimonials by celebrities and experts are used to persuade customers towards appreciating the qualities of a given product.

If you are a football fan or a fan of interesting ads in general, Super Bowl ads are something that must interest you. Every year, during ‘America’s Game’, brands let their creative juices run wild and come up with some really wonderful ads. Super Bowl 53, where the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams for their sixth Super Bowl title, featured some wonderful ads. While all ads were great, the truly memorable ad from the lot was definitely the “More Than OK” ad from Pepsi. That ad was a great example of persuasive advertising. The persuasive ad poked fun at Pepsi’s status when compared to Coca Cola, most notably at restaurants and fast food chains. The ad had a star studded cast with Cardi-B, Lil Jon and Steve Carell appearing on screen. The ad was widely acclaimed for the way it boldly called out people for undermining Pepsi’s quality. It made people laugh and persuaded people to think about their perception of Pepsi. It definitely wasn’t controversial like the Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner.



What are some persuasive advertising techniques?

All marketers know that evoking an emotional response from an audience is the first step in persuading them. Evoking emotional responses from people isn’t easy, however, the persuasive advertising techniques that we are going to discuss in this post, will definitely help you with doing that.

Persuasive Advertising Technique #1: The Carrot and The Stick

Humans are hardwired to move towards pleasure, like a horse towards a carrot, and away from pain, like a donkey runs away to avoid a stick. When your target audience views your advertisement, a promise of gain or ‘”carrot” can instil a feeling of hope in them. This usually compels people to go behind that potential feeling of pleasure. “Stick”, or a possibility of loss, evoke fear in your prospects, which will compel them to flee from that potential feeling of pain.

Both tactics can pull your prospects into a narrative and evoke emotions that inspire your desired action. Carrots encourage people to take the action that the ad intends them to take. Sticks, on the other hand, like anti-smoking campaigns, evoke fear in people to stop doing a certain action and start doing the alternative. The following insurance advertisements illustrates the difference between the carrot and stick approach very well:

Carrot: “15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance.” — Geico

Stick: “Get All-State. You can save money and be better protected from Mayhem like me. ” — All-State

In the ads, Geico talks about using a small time investment to produce major future gains. This will encourage people to buy the insurance in order to obtain some future gains. Conversely, the All-State insurance ad uses ‘Mayhem’ to instil fear into its target audience and persuade them to drop their pre-existing insurance policy and pick one from All-State’s stable.

Persuasive Advertising Technique #2: The Scarcity Principle

People value objects and experiences that are rare — having something that most people want, but can’t have, boosts our sense of self-worth and power. If you use words and phrases that imply scarcity and evoke a sense of urgency, like “Exclusive offer” or “Limited availability”, you can skyrocket your product’s perceived scarcity and consumer demand.

Persuasive Advertising Technique #3: One Message Per Advertisement

If you want people to get hooked on to your ad immediately and get persuaded to watch/read the rest of your advertisement, stick to one message in the advertisement. When you convey a single message to your audience vis. buy this product and your life will be enhanced, the chances of conversion are higher. So try and spotlight your product’s main feature so that it’s easier for people to understand the value of your product.

Persuasive Advertising Technique #4: Write in the Second Person

Since your prospects primarily care about how you can help them, and pronouns like “you” and “your” can engage them on a personal level. This also helps the potential customers insert themselves within the narrative that you’ve created. When you write advertisements in the second person, you can instantly grab their attention and help them imagine a future with your product or service bettering their lives.

Persuasive Advertising Technique #5: Give Your Audience a Sense of Control

According to a research study conducted by three psychology professors at Rutgers University, the need for control is a biological and psychological necessity. People have to feel like they have control over their lives.

If you want to give your audience a sense of control, you need to give them the ability to choose. After reading/watching your advertisement, the target audience must feel like they can choose from your option or something else entirely. This provides them with a sense of control. Remember to not be too aggressive with your advertisement’s pitch. If they feel like you’re trying to force them to buy your product, they’ll get annoyed and disengage from your message.

To give your audience the ability to choose, and in turn, a sense of control, use phrases like “Feel free” or “No pressure” in your advertisements,

Persuasive Advertising Technique #6: Use a Call-to-Value Instead of a Call-to-Action

Call-to-actions are crucial for getting prospects to take the next step, but a “Download Now” or “Call Now” CTA isn’t always going to convince the more skeptical prospects to take your desired action. You need to make sure your ad’s last line of copy or quip is the best of them all.

So instead of writing an uninspiring, final line of copy like “Download Now”, write one that clearly communicates your offer’s value and gives a glimpse into your prospects’ potential life if they take your desired action. So instead of writing just “Download Now”, write something like “Click now and become a blogger tomorrow”.