Psychology Of Advertising

the psychology of advertising

“Advertisements are sometimes spoken of as the nervous system of the business world … As our nervous system is constructed to give us all the possible sensations from objects, so the advertisement must awaken in the reader as many different kinds of images as the object itself can excite”. This is the psychology of advertising according to Walter D Scott.

His theory is not that different from the digital world of advertising. Our initial aim is to create a reaction among our consumers that will either get them to affiliate with our brands or be persuaded to purchase our products. Four tactics need to be applied:

Tactic One: Emotions

Emotions are the direct effect of psychological arousal, and the greatest arousal is that of fear. Our sympathetic nervous system assists in our flight or fight mode. When we are afraid we will either respond in a manner that motivates us to react or become despondent. Advertisers use fear to get the audience to feel a particular way. The audience is convinced into purchasing a product or service because there is a deadline or because our product or service is the solution to that which is feared.

There is also the use of positive emotions. Brands such as Coca-Cola use the caption of happiness in their slogan to generate excitement within the consumer. Great advertising, creating the impression that drinking a Coke will bring about joy, fun and happiness.

Tactic Two: Persuasion and Authority

If done correctly, persuasion through the use of authority is a useful tactic in advertising. When a consumer sees an influencer that they follow endorsing a brand, they are more inclined to support the brand, buy its products/services or recommend the brand to their friends.

Influencer marketing has become the key to effective advertising. Many consumers have an affinity towards influencers as they possess a level of trust with the consumer. The audience continues to believe they know the influencer well and so they trust in that which they endorse. It also applies to when a brand is recommended by a professional such as doctors and specialists within a field.

Tactic Three: Memories

It has been the assumption that an online ad that has received numerous clicks has done very well. It is no longer the status quo. A study conducted at the University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism and Telecommunications established that when viewers see online advertisements, they store the information in 2 different types of memory. Explicit memory and implicit memory. The difference here is that explicit memories are learned through conscious interactions while implicit memories involve unconscious retention.

For an advertiser, it would be best to look at having consistent advertising, even if the consumer does not get all the facts of the ad which is when your explicit memory kicks in they engaged with the brand based off the unconscious affinity developed while engaging with the advertisement on a recurrence.

Tactic Four: Colour

Visuals can affect the way in which an audience responds to an advertisement. Every colour has a different purpose within an ad to control the emotion and perception. Understanding what different emotions colours can assist with creating ads that will inspire the affiliation to the brand and its products.

For example, colours like red represent emotions of passion and energy whereas black represents power and mystery. It is not to say that all brands need to start rebranding their colours to red and black, but it does mean that when we look at how we create our ads be they online or on a billboard. People will respond to them in a manner that bests associates with their emotions, and this all starts within the psyche.

Understand these four tactics and how they work, and you have a better chance of captivating your audience and getting them to affiliate with your brand on a deeper level.