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Basic rules of the advertising communication

2009-03-06 | Articles

The advertising is the art of teaching the people to love things. Or even better, to need them. Within this context, the world of the persuasion comprises aspects from psychology, sociology or design, just to quote some.

Such a fusion of disciplines makes that, on occasions, the way in which we face our advertising communication is more confusing as it should be. This is why there are a lot of examples of advertising with merely informative messages or quite the contrary, so high-flown and abstract slogans that one does not know well what they exactly try to sell us.

The objective of this article is essentially educational. We will see that we do not need to reinvent the wheel in order to create an advertisement, it is only enough to take into account a few basics that we will apply later in an example.

Let’s start by the beginning: the strategy

There are those who first shoot and then aim. To aim is the strategy and to shoot is the tactic.

Two basic variables of the strategic equation are the competition and our target public.

About the first one, it has to be taken into account that our proposal is not isolated; nowadays it is a competitive proposal. So you should not say that you are the number one if this is not clear enough (you will lose credibility), and you should think in which place your offer will fit besides the one of the competition.

The target public refers to the target, not that we should define it or label it for its more objective characteristics (age, gender, purchasing level). A frequent mistake is to design a solution thought for an adult public and give to the message a tone in consonance when, in fact, said public feels as if it were ten years younger as it really is. As we see, the relation between product-market-promotion is not so obvious and has nuances that we have to consider previously.

Rational or emotional?

La Rochefoucald said (French moralist) : “Men never wish passionately what they only wish through the reason".

The advertising uses both rational and emotional stimulus, but what causes the action is not generally the reasoning, but symbols linked to the wish. It is estimated that an 80% of the decisions we take in our daily life are emotional ones, while only the remaining 20% corresponds to the rational origin ones.

Does this mean that we should forget the rational arguments in order to design our advertisements?. Not at all. The purchasing decisions are the result of the combination of both types of motivation.

We need to appeal to the emotion and reason then the choice of our product

The client will need a rational justification for his purchase, in order to feel himself comfortable with his decision and solve the dissonance (contradiction) that produces him to acquire a determined product knowing that there are other cheaper ones, for example. Thus, we need to appeal to the emotion and reason then the choice of our product for our clients to convince themselves easily.

We should not overlook the possibility of logical contra-argumentations. For example, it would be difficult to make and advertisement credible that stresses a product for its excellent quality and for its low price, but true that this might happen.

An easy example

The cosmetic products do not sell lanoline creams; they sell beauty, seduction and youth. The men do not buy cars; they buy status, prestige and speed. We are going to see an easy example of how we define our product to translate it later into an attractive offer.

We start with the characteristics that describe our product
(Objective qualities that describe our offer)
VitaC: concentration-based orange juice, 95% water with 300 mg of added vitamin C … etc.

Example of poor slogan: “VitaC, your orange juice every morning”

We keep on choosing the advantages that differentiate it from the rest
(Forms in which a characteristic can be well-spent in order to position it as regards the competition)
VitaC: With 300 mg of added vitamin C.

Example of a well-positioned slogan, but not convincing: “VitaC: orange juice rich in vitamin C”

We conclude showing the benefits of our product
(Forms in which a characteristic can be well-spent by our clients)
VitaC: Prevents the ageing (oxidation of the cells) due to its high content in vitamin C.

Example of advertising slogan: “Always young with VitaC”