Advertising Appeals refers to the approach used to attract the attention of customers and/or to influence their feelings towards a product or service.
An appeal is the central idea of an advertisement. It can be a plea, request or anything arising human interest. Advertising appeals can be categorized into Informational or Rational Appeals and Emotional Appeals.
Informational or Rational Advertising Appeals
Informational/Rational Appeals focus on the consumers practical, functional need and utility for the product or service. It emphasizes on :
(a) Features of a product or service and/or
(b) The benefits of owning or using a particular brand
(c) Problem removal or problem avoidance attribute of a product.
Rational advertising appeals tend to be informative and advertisers using them generally attempt to convince customers that their product or service has a particular attribute(s) or provides a specific benefit that satisfies their needs. Their objective is to persuade the target audience to buy the brand because it is the best available or does a better job at meeting consumer needs.
Some of the rational motives used as the basis for advertising appeals include comfort, convenience, economy, health, sensory benefits such as touch, taste, smell. Other rational motives used include quality, dependability, durability, efficiency and performance.
The particular attributes of a product that are important to consumers and can serve as the basis of informational or rational appeals vary from one product category to another as well as among various market segments.
Some of the advertising appeals that fall under the category of rational appeals :
• Feature Appeal – Ads that use a feature appeal focus on the dominant traits of the product or service. These ads tend to be highly informative and present the customer with a number of important product attributes or features that will lead to favourable attitudes and can be used as the basis for a rational purchase decision. Technical & high-involvement products such as automobiles often use this type of ad appeal.
• Competitive Advantage Appeal – Advertiser makes either a direct or an indirect comparison to another brand (or brands) and usually claims superiority on one or more attributes. (comparative advertising)
• Favorable Price Appeal – It makes the price offer the dominant point of the message. It is also used by retailers to announce sales, special offers, or low everyday prices. In India, “I am loving it” campaign by McDonalds has made price an important part of their marketing strategy.
• News Appeals – These are those in which some type of news or announcement about the product, service or company dominates the ad. This type of appeal can be used for a new product or service or to inform consumers of significant modifications or improvements.
• Product/service popularity Appeals – The popularity of the product serve as the basis of the appeal. Advertisers stress the popularity of a product or service by pointing out the number of consumers who use the brand, the number who have switched to it, the number of experts who recommend it, or its leadership position in the market. The implied meaning of this appeal is that the wise use of brand proves its superior quality and worldwide satisfaction therefore other customers should consider using it.
Emotional Advertising Appeal
Emotional appeals relate to the consumers social and/or psychological needs for purchasing a product or service. Many consumers motive for their purchase decisions are emotional and their feelings about a brand can be more important than knowledge of its features or attributes. Advertisers for many products and services view rational/information based appeals as dull. Many advertisers believe that appeals to consumers emotions, work better at selling brands than rational appeals.
Such an appeal promises a bonus which may be emotional satisfaction or social approval. It may also serve as a status symbol for the consumer.
Emotional appeals focuses on the experience of using a brand. The customer must depict the ad as experiencing some emotional or transformational benefit from using the product such that they cannot recall the brand without the experience generated.
Basis for emotional appeals – It focuses on :
(i) Personal state or feeling –
(ii) Social-based feelings –
• Fear Appeals – Fear is an emotional response to a threat that expresses or implies, some sort of danger. Ads sometimes use fear appeals to evoke this emotional response and arouse individuals to take steps to remove the threat. e.g. Anti-smoking campaign, some deodorants, mouthwash, anti-dandruff shampoos, threaten disapproval or social rejection.
• Humor Appeals – Advertisers use humor for many reasons. Humorous messages attract and hold consumers attention. They enhance effectiveness by putting consumers in a positive mood, increasing their liking of the ad itself and their feeling towards the product or service.
Teaser Advertising is used for introducing new products. Such ads aim at building audience curiosity, excitement or interest by giving only few details about a product, with more to be provided later. It may be done by leaving a blank space or showing “to be continued”.