Advertising Techniques Study Guide


1) Avante Garde: The suggestion that using this product puts the user ahead of the times. EX. A toy manufacturer encourages kids to be the first on their block to have a new toy.

2) Facts and Figures: Statistics and objective factual information is used to prove the superiority of the product. EX. A car manufacturer quotes the amount of time it takes their car to get from 0 to 100 k.p.h.

3) Weasel Words: "Weasel Words" are used to suggest a positive meaning without actually really making any guarantee. EX. A scientist says that a diet product might help you to lose weight the way it helped him to lose weight.

4) Magic Ingredients: The suggestion that some almost miraculous discovery makes the product exceptionally effective. EX. A pharmaceutical manufacturer describes a special coating that makes their pain reliever less irritating to the stomach than a competitor's.

5) Patriotism: The suggestion that purchasing this product shows your love of your country. EX. A company brags about its product being made in America and employing American workers

6) Diversion: Diversion seems to tackle a problem or issue, but then throws in an emotional non-sequitor or distraction. EX. A tobacco company talks about health and smoking, but then shows a cowboy smoking a rugged cigarette after a long day of hard work.

7) Transfer: Words or ideas with positive connotations are used to suggest that the positive qualities should be associated with the product and the user. EX A textile manufacturer wanting people to wear their product to stay cool during the summer shows people wearing fashions made from their cloth at a sunny seaside setting where there is a cool breeze.

8) Plain Folks: The suggestion that the product is a practical product of good value for ordinary people. EX. A cereal manufacturer shows an ordinary family sitting down to breakfast and enjoying their product.

9) Snob Appeal: The suggestion that the use of the product makes the customer part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous life style. EX. A coffee manufacturer shows people dressed in formal gowns and tuxedos drinking their brand at an art gallery.

10) Bribery: Bribery seems to give a desirable extra something. We humans tend to be greedy. EX. Buy a burger; get free fries.

11) Testimonial: A famous personality is uded to endorse the product. EX. A famous basketball player (Michael Jordan) recommends a particular brand of skates.

12) Wit and Humor: Customers are attracted to products that divert the audience by giving viewers a reason to laugh or to be entertained by clever use of visuals or language.

13) Simple Solutions: Avoid complexities, and attack many problems to one solution. EX. Buy this makeup and you will be attractive, popular, and happy.

14) Card Stacking: Card stacking means stacking the cards in favor of the product (half-truth); advertisers stress the positive qualities and ignore the negative. EX. If a brand of snack food is loaded with sugar and calories, the commercial my boast that the product is low in fat, which implies that it is also low in calories.

15) Glittering Generalities: This technique uses appealing words and images to see the product. The message this commercial gives, though indirectly, is that if you buy the item, you will be using a wonderful product, and it will change your life. EX. This cosmetic will make you look younger, this car will give you status, this magazine will make you a leader.

16) Bandwagon: Bandwagon is a form of propaganda that exploits the desire of most people to join the crowd or be on the winning side, and avoid winding up the losing side. EX. Fee of us would want to wear nerdy clothes, smell differently from everyone else, or be unpopular.