Use of Human Psychology in Marketing Communications


What psychological tricks do advertisers use?

Advertising is a form of marketing communication that intends to influence the behavior of consumers in terms of purchase intention.

It is not a surprise that advertisers have a deep understanding of human psychology which they use while creating advertisements. In a battle of creating, managing and modifying perceptions, addressing strong human emotions to influence the purchasing behavior is a common thing in any business.

Marketers basically address three strong emotional schemata (our collective preconceived ideas about something) in the advertisements which they create to accomplish the above-mentioned goal.

  1. Biologically preprogrammed and culture-independent schemata
  2. Culture-based schemata
  3. Target group specific schemata

Most of the advertisements target the first type of schemata. In this category, advertisers use innate trigger mechanism (ITM) such as:

Eroticism Schema: This is very much self-explanatory, you might have heard “Sex Sells.” The truth is it sex sells and it always will that is why you see this around you in different forms (Have you wondered why some of the Quora answers have provoking pictures showing big boobs or six packs?). Well, you know now, in case, you didn’t.

Baby Schema: You may be aware of the above but do you know why many ads have beautiful and cute kids in it? Have you seen a kid shaving, driving car, etc in any advertisement? The thing is we all love kids, we admire and adore them. Who doesn’t? And this is what marketers know.

Eye Schema: Another example of a biologically programmed schema

Secondly, a cultural based schema is used. Different archetypes (a typical example of person or thing) are used in this category such as of hero, mother, old wise man. For example, in different cultures old man is considered wise (Europe: Professor, Doctor, Grandfather; India: Guru, Indigenous: Medicine Man). In advertisements that is why for some reasons old man is represented.

Lastly, target group specific schema is used in the advertisements. If the goal is to attract sports lovers, a sportsman would be represented, in case of beauty lover target group actors would be represented in ads.

I hope now you know you know how advertisers play with your mind to influence your purchase intention. I believe it makes sense to this as far marketers are advertisements of the products that consumer WANTS not what they think consumer SHOULD buy.

Image Source: Google Images

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