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					Writing Persuasive Media Copy
      Developing and writing
    Commercials, Promotions, and
• Persuasion is a type of communication that
  interests many people
  – advertiser
  – political candidates and parties
  – public organizations such as public health
    organizations or MADD
  – religious organizations
                  Spot Lengths
• Generally 30 seconds or 60 seconds
• Estimating time by words
  –   “dime” spot -20 to 25 words “wall to wall”
  –   30 second spot -70 to 80 words “wall to wall”
  –   split 30 -two 15 second spots
  –   60 second -135-145 “wall to wall”
             Persuasive Spots
• Commercial Spots
• The Public Service
  Announcement -PSA
• Promo or promotional
• Station ID
  – You are listening to
  W-U-A-G, one-oh-three
    point one, Greensboro.
           Persuasive Strategies


Psychodynamic or                     Meaning
 “learn-feel-do”                    Construction
            Audience Analysis
• Demographics                 • Psychographics
  – age, gender, economic        – lifestyles, interests,
    level, political               attitudes, beliefs
    orientation, occupation,
    education, ethnicity,
    geographical location
             Audience Analysis
•   Affirmative audience
•   Dissident audience
•   Skeptical audience
•   Apathetic audience
     • Creative people will
       make unlikely
       combinations to make
       a point or draw
     • The same is true of
         Persuasive Creativity
                                •Writers for Trigon Blue
                                Cross designed this spot
                                for television, but the spot
                                found its way to the
                                internet, where it is passed
                                around because it is so
Windows Media   Mac QuickTime   cute. What a tribute to its
                                Notice how two unlikely
                                things are paired:
                                •A little boy talking about
                                a movie
                                •And health care
Rational and Emotional Appeals

    Understanding human motivation
 Logical and Emotional Appeals
• Logical Appeals
  – persuasion based on
    facts or product claims
  – product or service fills
    practical needs
  – economy
  – safety
  – performance
  – maintenance
Logical and Emotional Appeals

                 • Emotional Appeals
                   – appeals to
                     emotional needs
                     such as power or
                   – sex appeal
                   – patriotism
                   – family values
                   – peer acceptance
       Appeals and Needs

• Advertisers construct the persuasive
appeals of commercial messages based on
  their perceptions of audience needs.
Human Needs
      • Abraham Maslow
        established the theory
        of a hierarchy of
        human needs,
        believing that human
        beings are motivated
        to action by
        unsatisfied needs.
        Maslowe’s Hierarchy
• Certain lower needs
  must be realized
  before higher needs
  can be satisfied, just as
  a person must cross
  lower stairs in order to
  reach the top step.
Abraham Maslow
       • According to Maslow,
         there are general types
         of needs (physiological,
         safety, love, and
         esteem) that must be
         satisfied before a person
         can reach self-
         actualization (and act
             Satisfying Needs
• Satisfying needs is
  healthy, blocking
  gratification of needs can
  makes us sick or evil. We
  are all "needs junkies"
  with cravings that must
  be satisfied and should
  be satisfied. Else, we
  become sick and
    Physiological Needs
•   Most Basic
•   Air
•   Water
•   Food
•   Sleep
•   Clothing
•   Shelter
Safety Needs
       • Establishing stability
         and consistency in a
         chaotic world
       • Safety can be
       • Safety needs can
         motivate religious belief
         –religion can comfort
         with the promise of a
         secure place after we
         die and leave the
         insecurity of this world
                Love Needs
• Human beings have a
  desire to belong to
  groups, clubs, families,
• We need nonsexual love
  -- to be accepted and
  appreciated by others
• We need friends
              Esteem Needs
                       • Peer Esteem
• Self Esteem            – Attention and
  – Competence and         recognition from others
    mastery of tasks       for our competencies

                         – Can be related to desire
                           for power
• The desire to reach the
  fullest self potential
• Seek knowledge, inner
  peace, aesthetic
  experiences, oneness
  with God, etc.
 Audiences and Attitudes
• Need Driven
    1. Survivors
    rooted in poverty
    2. Sustainers
    fortunes drastically
    ebb and flow with the
    state of the economy
Outer-Directed Audiences
            Belongers –largest and least
               wealthy-- being accepted is
               extremely important to this group
               --tend to prefer heritage brands
            Emulators –want to be accepted,
               noticed and envied-will sacrifice
               economy and maintenance for
            Achievers –have acquired success
               and economic status but continue
               to push for more social prizes
       Inner-Directed Audiences

• I-Am-Me Audience –
  group in transition –
• Experientials –securely
  inner-directed, concerned
  with self expression and
  personal goals
• Socially conscious –
  personal needs defined by
  social responsibility
     Integrated Audience
• Making up no more than two percent of
  the population, this group is so self-
  assured they can combine both inner and
  outer directed values in their preferences
  without self- contradiction.
        Logical Appeals
• Advertising appeals to needs at the basic
  and middle rungs of the hierarchy of
  human needs.
• Appeals to physiological needs
• Safety needs
• Needs for community or belonging
• Tend to involve claims of fact
SIMPLE Logical Appeals
•   S afety
•   I ndulgence
•   M aintenance
•   P erformance
•   L ooks
•   E conomy
 • Listeners and viewers want to
   know if a product will make
   them sick, ruin their plumbing
   or injure the psyches of their
 • Consumer and industry action
   groups have caused the
   advertising of tobacco to be
   banned for safety reasons
 • Advertisers appealing to safety
   assure consumers that their
   product is safe to use
Traveling first class
may be an indulgence –
more expensive than
economy- but may also
make someone traveling
for business more
productive –arriving
rested and ready to
• Some things involve more
  upkeep from the consumer
  than others
• A product that is useful
  for a long time or a service
  with long term benefits
  may overcome a higher
  sticker price
• A product that must be
  replaced, fixed or repaired
  often may not command
  as high a value.
         • Will the product
           or service
           function in the
           way the
         • Does it meet a
• Often considered an
  emotional attraction –the
  least rational
• Evaluates on how
  appealing something is to
  the eye
• For example, it is
  rationally important that
  paint look good –its
  primary function is visual.
• Deals directly
  with costs
• If something is
  expensive, is it
  worth what you
  pay for?
• Is an activity
Rational Appeal: Supercuts
Rational Appeal: Supercuts
Rational Appeal: Supercuts
Rational Appeal: Supercuts
Rational Appeal: Supercuts
Rational Appeal: Supercuts
Rational Appeal: Supercuts
Rational Appeal: Supercuts
Rational Appeal: Supercuts
      Emotional Appeals

• Deal with needs on
  the middle to upper
  rungs of the
• Human desire for
  amusement and
            Emotional Appeals
•   P eople Interest
•   L aughter
•   E nlightenment
•   A llurement
•   S ensation
•   U niqueness
•   R ivalry
•   E steem
           Emotional Appeals
•   People Interest –nosiness, human curiosity about others
•   Laughter –human enjoyment of humor
•   Enlightenment –need for information
•   Allurement –sex appeal
•   Sensation –senses --sight, sound, taste, smell, touch
•   Uniqueness -novelty
•   Rivalry –the drama of conflict
•   Esteem –snob appeal
Emotional Appeal: Fruit of the Loom
Emotional Appeal: Fruit of the Loom
Emotional Appeal: Fruit of the Loom
Emotional Appeal: Fruit of the Loom
Emotional Appeal: Fruit of the Loom
Emotional Appeal: Fruit of the Loom
Commercial Noncopy Data
              • A standardized
                memorandum –keeps
                track of scripted
                messages and their
              • Dates
                 – Submitted for
                 – Revision submitted
                 – Revision approved
                 – production
              Noncopy data block
• Agency
• Client line –firm’s official corporate designation
• Product line- specific product/service being advertised
• Spot title
• Length –run time of the spot
• Specific script number –for specific ID and
  correspondence –can id the originating agency, client or
  company for which the spot is written, location in the total
  number of spots that agency produced for that client, year
  aired, medium, length
• Example BE-167-04R (B&E chemicals, 167 treatment for
  that client, aired in 2004, radio)
    Types of Radio Commercials
• Univoice (straight) commercial
• Multivoice commercial
   – Both voices speak directly to the listener-
     not each other
• Dialogue Commercial
   – little radio drama
• Musical Commercial
   –   Pseudo-sound effect
   –   Slogan/sales point enhancer
   –   Backdrop
   –   Lyric vehicle
               Ad-lib spot
• Use only with known talent, strong on-air
  personality or DJ with a wide listener
• Writer prepares not copy but a fact sheet
• Radio stations that have top D-Js ad-lib
  copy often charge a premium for that
The Music Spot as Pseudo-SFX

– ANNCR: In 1985, an old American soft drink
         changed its formula.


– ANNCR: You were not amused.
              Musical Spots
• Slogan or sales point enhancement
• Music “bed” or backdrop
• Lyric Spot
  – open donut --spot begins with lyric followed by
    announcer copy, lyric is not reintroduced
  – closed donut --spot begins with lyric, followed
    by announcer copy, lyric concludes the spot.
       Tenets of good radio copy
•   Stay conversational
•   Remain present and active
•   Keep humor in bounds
•   Stress sponsor identification
•   Conclude with energy
•   Call for action
              Things to Avoid
•   Question Lead-ins
•   Clichés
•   Superlatives
•   Talking down to audience
•   Confusing statements
•   Offensive
           Question lead-ins
• Avoid lead-in questions that invite a yes or
  no answer or invite audiences to mentally
  argue with you.
  – POOR: Are you looking for an inexpensive
    way to cool your home?
  – BETTER: Here’s an inexpensive way to cool
    your home.
 Avoid Clichés and Superlatives
• Clichés                     • Superlatives
  – Conveniently located...      –   fantastic
  – Stop in soon...              –   unbelievable savings
  – The next time you’re in      –   lowest possible prices
    the mood for…                –   outstanding
  – But wait! There’s            –   tremendous
                                 –   super
  – For all your ___needs.
            Political Persuasion
• Political advertising has
  become a critical part of
  any candidates campaign
• Here is Robert Goodman,
  who specializes in
  Republican candidates,
  discussing two of his
  successful spots
• A successful spot is one
  that gets your candidate
                              Windows Media   Mac QuickTime
  (client) elected.
            Political Persuasion
• Political advertising
  has become a critical
  part of any candidates
• A successful spot is
  one that gets your
  candidate (client)
                           Windows Media   Mac QuickTime
      Production in Advertising
• This spot has all the
  production values of a
  Hollywood film,
  though produced in
• What gives the spot its
                            Windows Media   Mac QuickTime
         Humor in Advertising
                                As you might tell from
                                the examples used in
                                this presentation,
                                humor can play a
                                powerful role in
                                advertising. But the
                                joke must never
Windows Media   Mac QuickTime   interfere with the
                                message. What is the
                                message of this spot?
• To induce someone to
  act by argument,
  entreaty, appeal.
• To develop or change
  an opinion

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