Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Psychology of Advertising

I never really thought about how many components that were taken into consideration when creating or designing an advertisement. I always figured a catchy-tune and some pretty faces thrown in with flashy colors was what the majority of advertising companies thought about. (Watching a little bit of Mad Men when at home ~I don't get HBO while at school~ gave me a little look into how wrong I was, but it wasn't enough to really stick). I sort of countered myself when I would realize I would always remember the catchy-tune or the image itself but not the item that it was advertising (I suppose that would make the ad a failure for me).

Take for example, in this article, it explains why "super" models (silly little stick figures with poofy lips, remember?) look expressionless and mannequin like when walking the runway but commercials for the same clothing will be full of vibrancy and emotion. The demographic between the two audience is completely different. Those watching the TV are more the "common person", and the advertisement is trying to portray how they will feel in this garment (happy/comfortable/ready to take on the world), while the run way models are bid to show off the clothing itself and how it looks.

"Radio ads should focus on the strength of sounds and words; internet ads will focus on visuals and colors; newspaper ads will focus on space and the theme; and TV ads would focus more on the emotions and the context used. Using motion, capitalized letters, contrasting colors etc are all important and in order to draw attention to the product, some form of highlighting of the product is also done." ~from the article

I never noticed the emphasis on different things within the different mediums of advertisement (except perhaps the usage of strong sound within radio ads that I always change the channel away from). After reading the article and surfing the web while watching TV, I did actually notice the difference; funny how you notice them when they are pointed out to you.

This is what I realized, at least for me; if a person is impassive and annoyed by all advertisements, nothing will really catch your interest, even if you are interested in the item/service being advertised. So do advertisements have to work subliminally as well to make sure it does make an impact even if the person doesn't / isn't pay/paying attention?

Ever ignored the TV during the commercial breaks then a little later remember an ad that was on ~whether because you see the item advertised / have someone mention it~?

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