Elements of an Advertisement
• A magazine advertisement is very much like a
• It begins with a thesis, something to be proved,
and then uses visual images, persuasive techniques
and persuasive words as supporting arguments.
• In ads, the "promise" serves as the thesis, while
the elements of the ad attempt to persuade
consumers to buy the product.
The promise of an advertisement is what is implied
or suggested that the product will do for the
For examplesuppose a toothpaste ad shows a
lovely woman with shiny straight teeth. Her
bathroom in the background is spotless and
beautiful. The slogan for the toothpaste is "Kream
toothpaste has made my life better." The ad
promises that your teeth will be clean, straight and
white, your bathroom will be immaculate and your
life will be easier if you buy and use Kream.
A technique is a method ads use to persuade
consumers to buy a product. Most techniques
appeal to our need for a sense of belonging
– trying to convince viewers that a product is
good because "everyone" is buying it;
encouraging people to "jump on the
– Presenting a desirable situation or lifestyle in
order to convince the viewers that if they use a
product, they, too can have this lifestyle;
– Usually use beautiful people
– This technique suggests that you can be like the
expensively dressed, perfectly shaped people
who use this product.
– I only accept only the best, and that's why I buy
– Positive words or phrases with a “feel-good”
quality leave a nice impression without making
– Vague, yet positive terminology: Soap that
makes you feel “morning refreshed.”
– Associating the power of a cultural symbol with
– An American flag used in the ad to associate a
product with patriotism
– Words or images arouse emotions to connect
the viewer’s emotion to the product being sold.
– The ad contains appealing images that are not
directly connected with a product?
– describing bad aspects of a competitor's product
so that the advertised product seems better
– using actors who represent "average" people to
suggest that, because people in advertisements
resemble friends and neighbors, the product
they are using must be good
– Words or images that appeal to the audience's
emotions are used. The appeal may be to
positive emotions, such as desire for success, or
to negative ones, such as fear.
What would you do if all your possessions were
lost in a fire? Get the Save-All fireproof safe
and protect your valuables.
– An ad in which a famous spokesperson
endorses a product or service.
– Sports figures promoting athletic gear, sports
drinks, or shoes.
– The suggestion that a miraculous discovery
makes a product effective.
– Often seen in ads for diet pills
– Ads using scientific sounding language to make
a product seem more effective.
– The ad contains scientific diagrams or statistics
– Ads giving only the positive side of a product
or service, ignoring negative aspects.
– Soda advertisements that neglect to mention the
large amount of empty calories contained in the
– amusing instances
– An attractive model may be used to gain your
– By using this product, other people will think
that you are more attractive or desirable
because you use that product.
Bait and Switch
• Advertising a specific product for a low
price, but when the buyer comes in to buy
it, it is sold out (the bait)
• The buyer is often pressured to buy a more
expensive model (the switch)
• THIS IS ILLEGAL UNDER FEDERAL
• Repeating the same advertisement over and
• Works by wearing resistance down
• Repetition in advertising exists in quantity
• Companies target specific groups in their
• Groups are defined by gender, ethnic group,
income, occupation, region of the country and so
• A technique that works for one group may not
appeal to another.
Questions about Advertisements
-What product or service is advertised?
-How would you describe the scene or environment presented in
-How might you describe the lifestyle or personalities of the
people associated with the product in the ad?
-What might the ad be conveying about the people who use this
product or service?
-How might the environment or lifestyle presented in the ad
influence a person to buy this product or service?
-Do you believe the target consumer for this product or service
is someone in your demographic group (age, sex, income level,
-Where might the ad or product placement appear in order to
reach the maximum number of target consumers?
-Is the advertising explicit or subtle?
Track your exposure to advertising between the
time you leave school and the time you go to bed
tonight. For each incidence, answer the following:
• 1. What was the advertising medium?
• 2. What is the product?
• 3. What is the promise?
• 4. What persuasive technique was used in the
• 5. Who might be the target audience?
•Newspaper ad •Magazine ad
•Television ad •Editorial product
•TV product placement review
•Movie advertising •Billboard
•Movie product •Internet pop-up ad
placement •Internet banner ad
•Radio ad •Web site ad space