Techniques Used by Advertisers to Convey Messages to Consumers

Techniques Used by Advertisers to Convey Messages to Consumers
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Advertising is a key component of a company's promotional strategy. It consists of paid messages delivered through various media, including TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, digital and interactive, billboards, directories, transit and direct marketing. Techniques companies use in presenting advertising messages help get customer attention and influence buyer intent.

Emotional Pull

Marketing research conducted with focus groups or samples of a customer market can determine what type of brand messages, visuals and content carries the most weight. Using this research, advertisers design ads and commercials that pull at the heartstrings of their customers. Understanding what moves the needle in terms of customer needs, concerns, fears and anxieties is a huge factor in delivering ads that affect customer emotions. Showing customers what could happen without a particular type of insurance, for instance, uses an anxiety-inducing appeal.

Subliminal Messages

Subliminal messages are intentional or unintentional fleeting or hidden images or signals placed in ads to enhance appeal. Sexual implications commonly are identified in ads, including subtle images with sexual connotations or impressions. The intent is to connect with people's subconscious desires without them being aware that it is happening. The actual impact of subliminal messages is uncertain, and this technique is often controversial.

Call to Action

The majority of ad messages include a call to action, an implied or directly expressed statement directing the target audience to do something. Soft calls to action include less assertive messages: for example, "Consider XYZ brand for your special someone this Valentine's Day." More direct calls to action include statements such as "Be one of the first 500 callers" or "Take advantage of this limited-time offer." In more hard sell calls to action, the advertiser has a primary objective of motivating customers to buy quickly.

Branded Entertainment

In lieu of efforts by consumers to avoid traditional ad messages on TV, radio or the Internet, companies have infused advertisements within entertainment products. Television shows, movies, music videos, video games and theme parks are common entertainment formats in which ad messages exist. Product placement is the visual display or verbal mention of a specific brand or product within an entertainment vehicle. Companies also have created short films to show off their products and placed them on YouTube. This is called branded entertainment, where the product itself plays a starring role in the entertainment.