NB: Psychology is the study of normal human behaviour – abnormal behaviour lies within the speciality of Psychiatry, which is why psychiatrists get so many patients from ad agencies…
An aertising campaign succeeds or fails in conveying the message via audio andor visual stimuli. (There are other senses too, but there’s only limited space here). If we fail to communicate the idea, feeling or image we consider necessary to achieve our sales objective, we are clearly wasting our money.
We may fail to communicate simply because we use a language our audience cannot understand (you can see this every day when, for example, cellphone companies aertise their various “packages” – I’d be surprised if more than 5% of readers actually understand them). Or it may be because we are not expressing our messages or images in terms of the recipient’s needs, wants and backgrounds.
An obvious error would be to expect a teetotal copywriter to produce an aertisement for a Scotch whisky or a vegetarian writer to make an exciting ad for pork.
Basic fundamentals of psychology are applied in the creation of aertising, but how does this aertising psychology work?
The captains of the aertising industry theorised from as long ago as the 17th century about what makes a good, effective aertisement – but this was largely ‘armchair philosophy’ (guesswork) with no research or objective study to support it.
Today, the aertising man has an instinctive working knowledge of psychology – but that doesn’t imply that a psychologist would make a great ad man, or vice versa.
This innate talent really does exist – and it’s easier to explain by looking at other endeavours, such as music.
When the melodies created by The Beatles were analysed by ‘serious’ musicians, they were found to be ‘brilliantly constructed’. As Prof Wilfrid Mellers said of one of their songs (‘She’s Leaving Home’) “…It’s instinct the Beatles didn’t say, I’m sure, ‘let’s have a dominant modulation followed by a cadence when we get to the second verse’ – but that’s genius you see.”
Similarly, the professional aertising person will apply sound instinct to whatever material is produced.
In the second half of the last century, many single-minded postulations were made which embraced some form of answer or another to the question of how, exactly, the aertising process works and, consequently, how it could be improved – long or short copy, humour or sincerity, etc.
They all had one thing in common, which was that none of them could be proven.
David Ogilvy pronounced that “long copy sells product” and he wrote the most famous line in aertising history ‘At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock’.
Ogilvy, a complete stranger to humility, said “factual aertising like this outsells flatulent puffery. The more you tell, the more you sell. Notice the very long headline – and 719 words of copy, all facts.” (A senior executive at Rolls-Royce apparently said “we really must do something to improve our clock”).
Although admen all over the world had that ad pinned up on their walls as a shining example of superior aertising and it won many awards, it didn’t sell any cars and Rolls-Royce had to be sold before it declared bankruptcy.
There is no record of whether David Ogilvy changed his mind about long copy after that.
The simple point is that you have to know what your customers want and how they think. I know that sounds too simple – but it’s true. The Ad Industry Philosophers can produce all kinds of surveys and postulate as much as they want, but it still comes down to that.
Know your customer. And by that I don’t mean looking at a computer printout of numbers. You’re not selling to numbers, you’re selling to people. So meet them, talk to them, understand them.
The psychology of aertising is knowing which button to press to get your target market consumer to act – to buy your product.
Source : Biz-Community