Advertising is an age-old pursuit built on a few fundamental principles. The imaginative pursuit of convincing buyers to buy a product or service has attracted some of the world’s best and brightest minds. Take Edward Bernays, for example, the precocious nephew of Sigmund Freud who applied some key psychoanalytic principles to the field of public relations – a field that he created. Bernays PR and marketing portfolio includes some of the biggest brands around today. Perhaps his most famous client was the American Tobacco Company, which, under the creative guidance of Bernays, saw their product become a definitive staple of American consumer habits.
Generating interest in the minds of consumers is fascinating because it combines so many different factors: aesthetics, numbers, imagination, precision, directness, and consistency. It’s all about catching people at the right time, in the right kind of way, and steering their thought patterns back to the product being advertised. For the uninitiated, here are 5 of the most common advertising techniques that never get old.
All About the Content: Honing in on a niche service is the most important first step for any advertising campaign. It is great if a number of services are offered (take a law firm for example), but that does not mean that the ad campaigns should be general. Ads for a law firm should focus specifically on what kind of law they offer: is it immigration support? Divorce law? A great advertiser will develop a niche service and make it the staple of an ad campaign.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: The ads must reach as many eyeballs as it possibly can. It is standard to run magazine or newspaper ads for longer than just a month so that readers of the publication become familiar with it. Other than subliminal messaging, repetition will contribute to word-of-mouth advertisement. A person who sees an ad for a law firm specialize in divorce settlements will probably recommend it to a friend if it comes up in conversation.
Associate with the Best: Endorsements will have a huge impact on consumer behavior. People have idols who they like to emulate, and advertisers know how to make the most of this instinct.
The Herd or Bandwagon Theory: One of Bernays favorite tactics was to show how popular an item already was, and how cool or effective it seemed to be. People love to feel included in a movement or connected to some larger social network of activity, and advertisers also know how to use language to touch on this instinct.
Give Some Incentive: This is usually done in the form of promotional campaigns of some kind. It can vary from raffles, competitions, rewards, or any kind of action-oriented message that makes people care just a little bit more.