How advertising works
The relationship between advertising and business
Most people think that advertising is intended to sell goods. Good advertising, however, conceals this purpose and works rather to inspire a desire to buy. What advertising men call the "appeal of the ad" is designed to arouse one of the desires which prompt human conduct on commercial levels - the desire for comfort, wealth, social position, and health. Advertisements can be classified into types which use price, reason why, and suggestion.
Price, or bargain, appeal is used by many retail stores. Grocers know they need not persuade people to buy food. Instead, the retailers use advertising to draw customers to their particular stores by promising lower prices, better quality, or superior service. On favorite shopping days, merchants may offer special bargains at a loss (loss-leaders), hoping that the bargain hunters will also buy other articles.
Clothing is often advertised similarly; but quality and style are emphasized. Style is especially stressed in advertising women's clothing, since the desire to be in style is strong in women. "Exclusive" shops often urge that only a limited number of garments are available. This assures nuyers that the garments offered will not become common.
Reason-Why and Suggestion Advertising
To sell a new article that competes with similar things already in use, advertisers must present to buyers a definite reason for changing to the new brand. They must persuade shavers, for example, that the new razor will give a better shave or is easier to keep clean. A great part of all automobile advertising is one of the reason-why kind. Each manufacturer must explain to his old customers why his car is still "the best." He must give owners of other cars a strong argument for switching over. Scientific tests may be presented to support claims. Dramatic proofs are often used.
"Nonbreakable" fountain pens were first advertised by having men write with pens which have been dropped from airplanes and run over by heavy buses.
Suggestion advertising is widely used, particularly for luxury articles. The suggestion may come from a series of pictures showing the product used in smart homes, clubs, hotels, or restaurants. The public is expected to feel that the product must be exceptional if it enjoys favor in such places.
Another type of suggestion appeal offers a "new, easy way" to avoid embarassment, win popularity, or get ahead in life. Paten-medicine advertising often uses the fear motive by suggesting that the reader may have some disease which the medicine will relieve.
Testimonials are used freely with both reason-why and suggestion advertising. They may obviously have been bought. Advertisers believe, however, that the public either does not detect or does not resent the deception. Slogans, or catch phrases, are common. They help the reader remember the product.