you have to win your potential targets' attention amid a barrage of
thousands of personal and commercial messages daily. Then you have to quickly convince the audiences you're
worth their time and brain focus.
Here are some basic ideas on
how to do that, followed with a video clip demonstrating the concepts at
Motivational researchers tell us there are 12 basic human desires that
are essential to all attentions, whether you're communicating face-to-face or
through intermediary media. The most
effective communications may appeal to one or more of these desires.
The more appeals you can work into an ad
without over-reaching and overwhelming and overselling and alienating,
the more attractive it might be.
Security. We all have a need to
feel secure. We buy a home for security. We put money into a savings
account, contribute to pension funds and buy insurance for security.
Possessions. We like to buy and own things. Some people might
consider possessions as a measure of personal worth.
Imitate others. We buy many things just because we see others
buying them. We don’t like to be different – it’s one of the
Good health. We spend a lot of money on products and services
to satisfy a desire for good health.
Sexual and romantic drives. Many personal grooming products,
how-to books and services are sold with these appeals in mind.
Curiosity. We’re attracted to new products and unusual
imagery. “New!” is a frequent appeal in advertisements. We are
naturally interested in things outside the ordinary. This motivator
may not necessarily sell something, but it does get attention.
Love of beauty. Tastes in
“beauty” may vary between cultures and generations, but a desire
for beauty – in music, art, literature, personal appearance, etc.
– burns deep in us all.
Play and relaxation. We take trips, buy toys, join clubs and
much more in order to satisfy this desire. The economy of some states
and countries depends on tourism and our desire for play and
Feel important. People will often buy all sorts of products and
services because ownership makes them feel important.
Physical pleasure and comfort. We like comfortable beds, warm
homes, bubble bath, lounge chairs, personal products and such that
give us pleasure and make us comfortable.
Love of others. We buy many products for the people and pets we
Avoid discomforts. Often we spend a lot of money to avoid both
real and imagined discomforts and inconveniences: e.g., insect
repellants, service agreements, household products.
Once you've won a target's attention,
then comes the challenge of completing an informed exchange. Communications
may match and mix six basic tactics to connect your message for a
The Straight Sell. A clear,
simple presentation of product or service benefits. “Do you need
this? We have it.” Billboards do this well, cause they need to sell
The Educational. For examples: explaining how a car’s braking
system works; or offering detailed schematics of a product.
The Testimonial. A credible
endorser such as a celebrity or “hidden camera” interview, or
notice or an award.
The Humorous. Attracts, entertains,
holds, and sells the audience. If you can make them laugh, they’re
going to like you, at least better than if you poke them.
The Dramatization. A demonstration of the product or service or
message in action.
The Artistic. Use of creative
imagery or music to attract the audience, while subtly promoting the
The clip below demonstrates how these
appeals and tactics might be applied to your communications campaign.
Marketing Appeals & Tactics
taught MBA and undergraduate marketing
communications courses for colleges and universities in the
United States and abroad for more than a decade. firstname.lastname@example.org http://howtomarketing.us