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Advertising Techniques

avant garde

The suggestion that using this product puts the user ahead of
the times e.g. a toy manufacturer encourages kids to be the first
on their block to have a new toy


The suggestion that everybody is using the product and that you
should too in order to be part of the group. Everyone who is
anyone is buying this product. Don't be left out. e.g. a credit card
company quotes the number of millions of people who use their


who could ever have imagined that food could be so much fun?
One bite of a snack food and you're surfing in California, or
soaring on your skateboard! are ads that draw you into a story
and make you feel good, like the McDonalds commercial where
the dad and his son are shoveling their driveway and the son
treats his poor old dad to lunch at McDonalds when they are

Statistics and objective factual information are used to prove the

facts and figures superiority of the product e.g. a car manufacturer quotes the
amount of time it takes their car to get from 0 to 100 k.p.h.

a product is shown as something that brings families together, or

helps them have fun together; all it takes is for mum or dad to
bring home the "right" food, and a ho-hum dinner turns into a
family party.

hidden fears

The suggestion that this product will protect the user from some
danger e.g. a laundry detergent manufacturer suggests that you
will be embarrassed when strangers see "ring around the collar"
of your shirts or blouses


People tend to remember an ad if it makes them laugh and may

purchase the product because of the positive association with it.

Ideal Kids (or


always seem perfect. The kids are really hip looking, with the
hottest fashions and haircuts, and toys. Ideal families are all
attractive and pleasant looking -- and everyone seems to get
along! Ideal kids and families represent the types of people that
kids watching the ad would like themselves or their families to


The suggestion that some almost miraculous discovery makes

the product exceptionally effective. e.g. a pharmaceutical
manufacturer describes a special coating that makes their pain
reliever less irritating to the stomach than a competitor's


is where advertisers don't give you the full story about their
product. For example, when a Pop Tart claims to be "part" of a
healthy breakfast, it doesn't mention that the breakfast might still
be healthy whether this product is there or not.


plain folks, back-to nature, just the way grandma used to make
it, back in the good old days


The suggestion that purchasing this product shows your love of

your country. e.g. a company brags about its product being
made in America and employing American workers

plain folks

The suggestion that the product is a practical product of good

value for ordinary people e.g. a cereal manufacturer shows an
ordinary family sitting down to breakfast and enjoying their

put downs

are when you put down your competition's product to make your
own product seem better.


advertisers hope that if you see a product, or hear it's name over
and over again, you will be more likely to buy it. Sometimes the
same commercial will be repeated over and over again.

sense appeal

sounds or pictures that appeal to the senses/emotions are


snob appeal

The suggestion that the use of the product makes the customer
part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous life style
e.g. a coffee manufacturer shows people dressed in formal
gowns and tuxedos drinking their brand at an art gallery This is
when advertisers try to convince you that if you don't use their
products, you are a nerd. Usually advertisers do this by showing
people that look un-cool trying a product and then suddenly
becoming hip looking and doing cool things.


music and other sound effects add to the excitement of

commercials, especially commercials aimed at kids. Those little
Jingles, that you just can't get out of your head, are another type
of music used to make you think of a product. Have you ever
notices that the volume of commercials is higher than the sound
for the program that follows?


People tend to be impressed with "facts" and statistics even if

they have little or no meaning

Words and ideas with positive connotations are used to suggest

that the positive qualities should be associated with the product
and the user e.g. a textile manufacturer wanting people to wear
their product to stay cool during the summer shows people
wearing fashions made from their cloth at a sunny seaside
setting where there is a cool breeze Superheroes, white knights,
green giants, super athletes, beautiful people, rich people are

A famous personality is used to endorse the product e.g. a

famous hockey player recommends a particular brand of skates
Your favorite sports star or celebrity is telling you that their

product is the best! Kids listen, not realizing that the star is being
paid to promote the product. Tony the Tiger sells cereal and the
Nestls Quick Bunny sells chocolate milk. Cartoon like these
make kids identify with products.

weasel words

By law, advertisers have to tell the truth, but sometimes, they

use words that can mislead viewers. Look for words in
commercials like: "Part of..." "The taste of real....." "Natural...."
"New, better tasting....." "Because we care..." There are
hundreds of these deceptive sayings -- how many more can you
think of?

wit and humor

Customers are attracted to products that divert the audience by

giving viewers a reason to laugh or to be entertained by clever
use of visuals or language