Monday, July 18, 2011

Here is a good example of a persuasive ad from the ASPCA:

Notice how, before they go into any statistics, they first show you an image of a Dog that looks "hurt" or "sad". Of course I am not an animal psychologist, for all I know the dog could just be tired. But that is not the point - what is important is the emotion it triggers when we look at the dog - sadness. This is the start of the story.

Now the music - the "context" - slow, somber, sad, serious. Make's you understand very quickly how dire the situation is.

Next, the numbers - thousands harmed.

Now the moral of the story - the ASPCA is saving these animals

Now the pitch - help us save these animals. Cue more pictures of animals in distress, with almost human type emotions.

Powerful commercial

As powerful as it is, it only works for certain people. What we call the target market - in this case animal lovers and pet owners. This ad would probably not work as well for those who are more interested in issues of world hunger or world peace. Neither would it play as well for those who never owned a pet and don't really like dogs or cats.

The point here is that we need to MATCH the ad with the target market. This means we need to understand who the target market is, what appeals to them, where they are (what shows they watch, what they do online) and ensure that our message gets to them. If we don't properly match the ad with the market, we will lose out even if the ad is good.

This is where creating a profile can help you gain a better perspective on what appeals to your audience and what you have to do, and where you have to be, to communicate it effectively.


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