Primary Advertising Strategies

Advertisements come in many different shapes and sizes including, classified ads, business-to-business ads, and conspicuous ads which point to specific “advertisements that shape product images and brand-name identities” (Campbell, Maritn, & Fabos, 2017: 353).  Vaughn (1979: 27) described advertising as an impersonal, one-way exchange experience.  To make up for this, advertisements make greater use of rational and emotional devices in order to have an effect on the audience.  Every person has a different way of interpreting and processing information.  In addition to diversely comprehending most information, all people feel, think, behave, and react differently than one another.  Analyzing effectiveness of advertisements is strategically important because usually ads have a large amount of information about a product or a service packed into a thirty second video or a poster of some kind.  These strategies are valuable when persuading costumers because they pull on emotional ties and beliefs to get more people to buy their product or service.

There are nine main advertising strategies; Logos, Slogans, Product Placement, Famous Person Testimonial, Plain Folks Pitch, Shop Appeal Approach, Bandwagon Effect, Hidden Fear Appeal, and Irritation Ads.  Using these techniques, ad agencies can create an atmosphere around their product to develop a relationship with the audience.  Most ads give little information about how products are made or the amount in which it costs.  Advertisements rather devote their time in order to “create a mood or tell stories about products without revealing much else” (Campbell, Maritn, & Fabos, 2017: 366).

Logos and Slogans are innately related because they both capture the essence of a company or product with little information.  As the industrial revolution and the process of reproducing media began to pick up speed, logos and slogans began to come into play with advertising.  Logos in particular are “graphic symbol[s] that allow the consumer[s] to locate a product, service, place, or company” (Chung & Kirby, 2009: 35).  Comparably, a slogan is a phrase that attempts to sell a product by capturing its essence into words (Campbell, Maritn, & Fabos, 2017: 367).

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This is an example of Product Placement.  The company Coca Cola paid American Idol so that their product would be shown on millions of televisions twice a week all across the country.

Product placement is a different technique used to capture a consumer’s attention to focus on a particular product in any given television show, movie, or music video.  Any ad agency can purchase spaces so that their goods can appear in these platforms (Campbell, Maritn, & Fabos, 2017: 367).  (Figure 1 here) Figure 1 is an example of product placement because the Coke cups are directly facing the camera in order to get the audience’s attention and make them want to buy their product.

Some advertisements have well-known people, most likely celebrities, endorse the product that they are selling in order to influence customers to buy their product.  This is called famous person testimonial.  People who see ads with celebrities in them usually want the product, to be able to relate to the person with the fame (Campbell, Maritn, & Fabos, 2017: 366).

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This ad uses plain folks pitch by keeping the design simple and it includes people of all sexes and ages.  Using the words “everybody’s drink” stresses the idea that everyone will love the product.

The strategy known as plain-folks pitch associates products and/or services with simplicity.  For example, this technique is best used when talking about how certain products can fit into the lives of ordinary people (Campbell, Maritn, & Fabos, 2017: 367). (Figure 2 here)

Another persuasive technique that is used frequently in advertisements is the shop appeal approach.  This method gives the consumer a feeling that using a certain product will maintain or even elevate their status (Campbell, Maritn, & Fabos, 2017: 367).

The next two are the bandwagon effect and the hidden fear appeal.  The hidden fear appeal plays on consumers’ insecurities by illustrating that the product being advertised will improve ones’ social acceptability.  The bandwagon effect works in similar ways in that this particular technique indicates that everyone is using a certain product or service.  It relates back to the hidden fear appeal because the term everyone develops feelings of not wanting to be left out (Campbell, Maritn, & Fabos, 2017: 367).  (Figure 3 here) The advertisement in Figure 3 is an example of the hidden fear appeal.

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This Advertisement in particular develops fear in the parents of children by saying “Why let your children suffer?” at the top of the picture.

The last of the primary advertising strategies is what is known as irritation ads.  This strategy uses annoying and/or obnoxious words and noises to cause the consumer to not only want the product or service, but to recognize it and its ads right away (Campbell, Maritn, & Fabos, 2017: 367).


Campbell, R., Maritn, C. R., & Fabos, B. (2017). Advertising and Commercial Culture. In Media and Culture: Mass Communication in a Digital Age (11th ed., pp. 351-380). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Chung, S., & Kirby, M. S. (2009). Media Literacy Art Education: Logos, culture jamming and Activism. Art Education, 34-39. Retrieved December 3, 2017, from        a640-a371e8ad991f%40sessionmgr120

Vaughn, R. (2000). How Advertising Works: A Planning Model… putting it all together. Advertising & Society Review, 1(1), 27-33. doi:10.1353/asr.2000.0015

Image Attribution: Image #1 ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0); Image #2 ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0); Image #3 this image is in the Public Domain

Written by Erika Reynolds, 2017