What Are the Best Advertisements That Manipulate People’s Psychology Effectively?
Most sources tell advertisers that all they need is a catchy strapline and a call to action. However, as consumers become more jaded by constant advertising and more sophisticated in their tastes, these tried and trusted techniques are no longer enough. More recent studies show that the most successful advertising campaigns are those that engage our emotions by associating brands with our hopes, fears, loves, and aspirations.
The most obvious use of this is by associating the brand or product with pleasant images: sunsets, flowers, cute animals, and so on, as seen in many detergent commercials, and Google’s Android “Friends Furever” (2015). However, advertisers can make a greater impact by aligning the brand with the target market’s aspirations and social values, increasing the feeling that the brand is authentic and socially acceptable. Humans like to belong and to gain approval.
One of the first types of advertising to do this came from the tobacco industry. Advertisers targeted women, making cigarette smoking epitomize freedom and self-determination, as in Kim’s 1980s “Asi, como soy” (It’s so me) and Golden Tobacco Company’s 1990 “MS Special Filter” advertisements showing Indian women in Western dress and affluent surroundings, which were symbols of independence for Indian women (Amos & Haglund, 2009). Similarly, Procter & Gamble associate the Always brand with images of girls and young women breaking stereotypes with the “#LikeAGirl” (2014–2015) campaigns.
A 2010 study shows that we do not even need to pay attention to advertising for the brand message to influence purchasing decisions by playing on our emotions (Dempsey & Mitchell, 2010).
“They may forget what you said—but they will never forget how you made them feel” (Carl W. Buehner in Evans, 1970)…