The psychology of advertising

On why understanding crowd psychology and the psychological processes of cognition is important to any successful advertising effort …

Advertising has been a way of glorifying or gaining publicity for goods and merchandise since ancient times. In fact, advertising has existed as an informal concept since the beginning of civilizations and the previous methods were oral advertising or claiming the benefits of products verbally when merchants sold products to people directly on the streets. However, with the advent of paper and writing, advertising took on a more formal form.

The Egyptians and ancient Greeks used papyrus for advertising and cave painting was also used. Advertising in English in magazines as we know it today dates back to the late 17th century, and newspaper advertising in the United States began during the early part of the 18th century with farm advertisements. With the growth of the mass media and the different forms and channels of communication such as radio, television, newspapers, magazines and, of course, the Internet in the 20th century, advertising began to become an important aspect for the Product commercialization. People began to understand the potential of advertisements and it became a business with the establishment of advertising agencies with the first advertising agency in the US opened in 1841.

With advertising becoming a business in its own right, the methods of using advertisements became even more formalized, controlled and systematic and product advertisements began to appear as advertisements in newspapers, billboards, posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, television and advertising. radio as commercials and more recently on the Internet. Web advertising is now a very powerful medium to get the message across to customers. However, to really attract customers, advertising will have to work according to the principles of psychology and sociology. Therefore, an advertiser or advertising professional will also have to be a sociologist and psychologist to have a real impact on the minds of consumers.

The principles of advertising draw heavily on cognitive psychology and the psychological processes of attention, perception, association and memory to highlight the full impact or uses of a product or ‘brand’. Any ad should focus first on the attention it can grab from consumers. Strong messages, intense visuals and dazzling colors are sometimes used on billboards and billboards. For commercials, attention-grabbing garments and attractive models are sometimes used.

Once attention is drawn with colors and sounds or words, the focus is on retaining consumer interests through the use of “association.” Topics or products that a particular customer segment could be associated with are therefore used for baby food, mothers and babies are featured so that the association has more to do with the relevance or context of the ad. Certain colors also have associative value and certain brands and companies use a specific color to promote their products. For example, easygroup uses orange and Vodafone uses red as the standard color for all advertising. The logo or symbol of the company is also part of the development of a brand and helps to give identity to a brand and has a strong associative value.

The association should be such that it not only serves the purpose of quick understanding and perception of consumers, but also remains in their memory for a long time. Therefore, memory or retention is an important aspect of advertising psychology, as only an advertisement that consumers can easily remember for a long time for its novelty or the use of words, colors and shapes will be the most effective. .

Developing a ‘brand’ is so effective because a brand helps to attract attention, to develop association (for example, we associate Coca-Cola or Pepsi with youth, celebration and a popular soft drink for all occasions) and in the memory or retention of any image associated with a service or product. Branding is therefore vital in advertisements, as brands help give a product a distinctive name and identity. Therefore, a Gucci bag or a Sony camera are better known for the brand than for the product.

A brand is recognized in terms of its name, its quality, and its reputation with advertisements these days that highlight the uniqueness of brands. For example, recent HSBC announcements at airports around the world focus on the different points of view and the different tastes and preferences of people of different cultures. So when you see these ads showing two different perspectives for the same thing, you know this is HSBC. Some brands develop slogans or slogans that distinguish the brand and give it a distinctive character.

You may have wondered why models look lifeless at fashion shows. Fashion shows are usually organized for designer brands that sell clothing and accessories and generally these fashion shows try to accentuate the clothes and that is why the models tend to be quite ‘expressionless’. Although these shows project clothing without emotion, in the case of commercials, expressions are widely used because through the visual medium, emotions have to be conveyed through the screen to consumers to create an effect. Conveying a message through a medium is challenging, and advertisers use emotions extensively to help people retain the message that describes the product.

Whatever it is, the mantra is to create an impact and have a lasting effect on the minds of consumers. The product message, the brand motto and the mind of the consumer, these are the three M’s that are important in advertising.

However, it is important to understand that advertising will have to be different for different media. Radio ads should focus on the strength of sounds and words; Internet ads will focus on images and colors; newspaper ads will focus on space and topic; and television commercials would focus more on emotions and the context used. The use of movement, capital letters, contrasting colors, etc. They are all important and to draw attention to the product, some form of product highlighting is also done.

How does all this affect the masses, the consumers who will actually buy the product? Aside from the process of attracting attention, retention that produces sounds and words that aid memory and the associative value of products and advertisements, there is another factor that is the need of the consumer. Advertising is not enough, as a customer is driven to buy a product by considering the need, quality, features, and price of the product in large measure.

If a company focuses solely on the physical aspects of any product, such as an Apple iPhone looking good on the table, it is probably not the best method to impact the market. Features are just as important as price. Then of course the ‘hype’ that triggers a certain mass psychology in a certain way, whereby people sometimes queue up for the newly launched products. But trying to take advantage of mass psychology or a kind of hype or hysteria about a product is only a short-term advertising strategy. Long-term establishment of a product is done through real quality, ease of use, and price, and all companies should emphasize these ultimately.

Competition can have a lot to do with the type of advertising companies use, so weaknesses in similar products from other companies are subtly highlighted, although this may not always have a positive impact on the customer’s mind. In general, most products that are advertised as unique and not even remotely similar to other products can have a positive effect and can generate publicity and consumer curiosity. Focusing on the unique and highlighting the dissimilarity and novelty of a product in a way that attracts curiosity is a certain method to improve the popularity of a product, so this gives consumers the reason to know more and they will enter the stores to inquire about the product. . Although celebrities are heavily used in advertisements to endorse products or promote a brand, celebrity culture only strongly affects young people, so the total value of celebrity advertising may be a bit overrated. This will require a separate discussion on celebrity culture.

The ultimate goal of all advertisers and promoters is to make sure products and services sell and increase sales and potential consumer interest. Creating curiosity is a short-term first step when bringing a new product to market. Retaining customer interest is a different ball game and requires brand reputation, product quality, correct pricing, and continuous high-quality advertising to ultimately ensure product success.

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