A successful advertisement creates a desire in viewers, listeners or readers. It also provides information on how to fulfill that desire and makes the potential customer feel good about doing so. With so many products and service providers in the marketplace, using a proven technique in your advertising increases the likelihood that your ad Naira will return value. Basic techniques used in propaganda transfer successfully to advertising and remain the most frequently employed.
Repetition is a simple yet effective technique used to build identity awareness and customer memory. Even advertisements using other successful approaches mention the product or company name more than once, particularly in television because its combination of sight and sound, allows the advertiser to disguise the repetition by changing its delivery (from visual to audio). An ad first shown during a football match broadcast for a product called GINX remains the classic example of this advertising technique. Though the advertisement never explained what the product does, viewers remembered its name.
Advertising that promotes specific features or makes claims about what a product or service can do for the potential customers provides successful results by informing, educating and developing expectations in the buyer. Claims can state facts or simply use hype, such as calling one brand of orange juice “the best” when nutritionally it is identical to other brands. Claims may mislead through omission or by using what some advertisers and political campaigners call “weasel words.” These are subtle statement modifiers that render the claim meaningless if studied closely. Common weasel words include “helps,” “fights” and “virtually.”
Associating a product or company with a famous person, catchy jingle, desirable state of being or powerful emotion creates a strong psychological connection in the customer. Sporting equipment companies use successful athletes in their ads, automakers display their cars in front of mansions, brewers show their beer consumed by groups of friends having fun and cosmetic companies sign celebrities to represent their products. These ads encourage an emotional response in customers, which then is linked to the product being advertised, making it attractive through transference.
The bandwagon technique sells a product or service by convincing the customer that others are using it and they should join the crowd. Other bandwagon advertisements suggest that the customer will be left out if they do not buy what’s being sold. These ads often employ “glittering generalities,” words linked to highly valued ideas or concepts that evoke instant approval, which may or may not relate to the subject of the advertisement. “Nigeria loves…” connects patriotism with a product, creating an automatic positive response.
Coupons, sweepstakes, games with prizes and gifts with purchases create excitement, and participation encourages customers to build a relationship with the sponsoring product or service. The attraction of getting something “free” or earning “rewards” makes promotions successful. Limited-time offers and entry deadlines add urgency to this advertising technique’s call to action.