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Category — Psychology

Common Hooks In Advertising

We’ve covered this theme over and over on AdSavvy: the hooks that work in advertising will always tap into our basic human nature.

Some people call it low-brow. We call it good advertising. Here’s to the advertising hooks that we can count on.

The Art of Low-Brow Advertising
From: Top Marketing Schools

March 28, 2012   Comments Off

The Color of 2009: Whatever Pantone Says

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I have somewhat of an obsession with colors and their names or designations. Whenever I can get my hands on color guides or paint sample booklets, I snatch them up. For instance, I have boxes full of those Pantone Guide strips; and having worked in the automotive industry, I have literally piles of automotive production color books with samples of all the exterior colors from various cars. I have samples from nearly every year of nearly every major make and model of car. There is something about the classification of color; I’m fascinated with the taxonomic designations and, more importantly, the aesthetic of all the sample colors lined up in neat rectangles with numbers beneath them.

Anyway… Mimosa. Mimosa is the color of the year, according to the “global authority on color”, Pantone. Read on about 2009′s color:
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February 18, 2009   1 Comment

Consensus War: 300+ Top Economists Disagree With Obama’s “No Disagreement” Remark

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During a time of controversy, the best way to win over public opinion is to convince the public that there is no controversy. Sometimes, when an issue is too complicated for the general public to make an informed decision on their own, they rely on the opinions of experts, and politicians stop debating the points of the issue, and start debating the consensus. That’s a consensus war. It’s happening with the global warming issue, and it’s happening with the economy. A reasoned, logical debate of the finer points of the fiscal policy won’t convince the average American. The only way to win the hearts and minds of the American people is to tell them the experts opinion.

Recently, Obama attempted to shut down the controversy surrounding his so-called “stimulus” package by saying “there is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy.” Then later saying “economists from across the political spectrum agree” on the need for this massive government spending package. Of course, that is not the case. In actuality, many, if not most, economists disagree with the stimulus package. So in response, the Cato Institute took out a full page ad in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Times, and Roll Call disputing the president’s claim. Hundreds of top economists, including Nobel laureates and prominent scholars from major universities, signed the statement. There were more than 200 economists signatures on the original ad, and over 100 more have signed on since then. Read on to see the original ad:
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February 10, 2009   2 Comments

The Use of Colors in Advertising

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All good marketers know that there are subtle psychological cues that can help seal the deal. Aside from the testimony of trustworthy sources, visual cues tend to be the most persuasive tools available to the advertiser in selling his product. Attractive women. Beautiful scenery. Speed. Action. Mouthwatering images of food.

Credit card companies know this well. If there’s any industry that manages to motivate action through subtle psychological cues, it’s the credit card industry. Consider the fact that they attempt and succeed at exploiting the human instinct towards tribalism. “Become a member of an elite club and raise your social status in the process.”

One of the most common tactics used by credit card companies is the use of color branding. Take for example the new Visa Black card that we discussed earlier in the year. In this case, black creates mystique and allure: the Johnny Cash effect.

Then there is the Blue from American Express credit card. American Express has had gold cards, platinum cards, black (the centurion), the clear card, etc. Now they have blue. What cues does this send? It says things like “wide open” “freedom” “fresh air” “new beginnings” – not to mention the fact that most marketers agree that blue is the most universal calming and pleasant color. With this card, AMEX is trying to say “come on in, credit cards can be nice, pleasant things that are good for your health.”

The fact of the matter is that human beings are influenced by subtle, sub-conscious cues. The biggest industries in the world know this well. And they exploit it. Such simplistic concepts have such big effects. So the next time you develop your marketing campaign, pay attention to the colors.

February 10, 2009   1 Comment

Save Our Cats And Kittens From Fishermen: Or How To Make Lots Of Money Online

Apparently, all you have to do to make money online is invent a fake, but morally reprehensible, tragedy, put together a video about said tragedy, then sell t-shirts.
Oh, I almost forgot… then PROFIT.

The Save Our Cats and Kittens From Fishermen (SOCKFF) video has been making the rounds of the blogosphere for a while now, and still, not many people have called shenanigans on it. That amazes me. This video is obviously fake. It has zero evidence of it’s claim, it doesn’t show any cats being eaten by sharks, it doesn’t show any cats being pierced with hooks (although a gloved man pretends to), it doesn’t show anything really. It only shows black cats supposedly dangling from a hook, and a gloved man pretending to hook a kitten but blocking the camera’s view at the last second. Take a look at the cat dangling frame:
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January 23, 2009   55 Comments

How To Sell More: Encourage Your Customers To Touch Everything

or: How To Overcome Bias: Don’t Touch Anything For Sale Anywhere

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According to a new Ohio State University study, merely touching a product in a store can make you willing to pay more for it. It’s been known for a while that consumers tend to feel ownership of goods even before they buy them, but this study is the first to examine that phenomenon in any depth. Researchers have shown that it can take as little as 30 seconds after first touching an object for a consumer to grow attached to it, even something as insignificant as a coffee mug.

The researchers ran a study where participants were shown a coffee mug, and were allowed to hold it either for 10 seconds or 30 seconds. Then they were then allowed to bid on the mug in either a closed (where bids could not be seen) or open (where they could be seen) auction, and all participants were told the retail price of the mug. It turns out that people who held the coffee mug longer seemed not only more compelled to outbid others in an auction, but they were also more willing to bid more than the retail price for that item. Read on for a detailed description of the study, and some suggestions on what this phenomenon means in practical terms:
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January 22, 2009   1 Comment

The Star Wars Force Trainer May Be The Toy Of The Year

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I am so looking forward to the Star Wars Force Trainer.

The Force Trainer is basically a simplified type of EEG machine. It comes with a headset that measures a players brain waves and allows them to manipulate a ball inside a clear 10-inch-tall tube. It translates your brain waves into action, just like a biofeedback machine. This is the first time EEG technology is being used in toy, and the potential uses are endless.

Not only can it work as a fairly inexpensive (it’ll be $90-$100) biofeedback machine to help children learn how to achieve a relaxed state of mind quickly… but imagine what can be done with this thing by some enterprising “home engineers”. This machine translates brain waves into electrical signals, that means with minimal effort, a person could perhaps rig a light switch to the headset, or the power on your TV.
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January 14, 2009   Comments Off

Whopper Sacrifice: Prove Your Love For The Burger King

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Burger King is all about the viral kookiness these days, and their latest advertising enterprise is actually pure genius. They’ve created the “Whopper Sacrifice,” Facebook application, which will give you a coupon for a free Whopper if you delete 10 people from your Facebook friends list.

Burger King got me interested with their Whopper Virgins ads, and initially I loved this campaign because of how it seemingly makes fun of all the Facebook obsessed freaks out there. The website says: “Now is the time to put your fair-weather Web friendships to the test. Install Whopper Sacrifice on your Facebook profile, and we’ll reward you with a free flame-broiled Whopper when you sacrifice ten of your friends.” And the app actually makes each “sacrifice” show up in your activity feed for everyone to see. It says something like “Vito sacrificed Jimmy James for a free Whopper.”

But I thought about it, and wondered what BK could possibly gain from this. And then it came to me:
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January 8, 2009   1 Comment

Viva La Fantasía: Marketing Che, The Butcher of La Cabaña Brand

“I think Che had perseverance and morality. Being the underdog and fighting against injustice and standing up for the forgotten moved him so hard. Kind of like Jesus, in a way…”
“I think anyone who buys a T-shirt of Che has gotta be cool. If I see someone with a Che T-shirt, I think, ‘He’s got good taste.’”

-Benicio Del Toro

“To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail … This is a revolution. And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.”
“If the nuclear missiles had remained (in Cuba), we would have fired them against the heart of the US, including New York City. The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims.”

-Che “Kind of like Jesus…” Guevara

The irony is thick, as it always is. His face is on suburban t-shirts all around the country, and Hollywood is making a hero out of Che Guevara, aka the butcher of La Cabaña, the man who killed journalists, businessmen and merchants, presided over mass executions, prison labor camps, and caused economic ruin to millions.
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December 28, 2008   4 Comments

New CCTV Posters In UK Train Stations – Posters Better Than CCTV Itself?

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The new strangely creepy CCTV poster found in a Brighton, England train-station

The UK is the most watched country on Earth, and still the citizens seem to be increasingly preoccupied with crime. As of 2004, England had one surveillance camera for every fourteen citizens, and it’s gone up since then, all in the name of security.

But do CCTV cameras actually reduce crime? The statistics aren’t all that spectacular for the studies that show a positive result, and most studies suggest that camera density has no overall impact on the levels of crime at all, especially in residential areas. A better idea might be along the lines of the West Midlands Police’s ‘Operation Momentum’ – using posters and an understanding of psychology, instead of cameras, to try to limit crime. Read on:
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December 17, 2008   Comments Off