I received my degree in marketing and minor in psychology, so I'm probably one of the few people out there who enjoy analyzing advertisements carefully for content, message, and other variables.
It's become apparent that ads for a wide array of marketers ranging from Progressive and State Farm to Geico and Aflak are making their ads decidedly obnoxious these days.
Take Progressive, for example. Never has Flo -- the character portrayed by actor and comedian Stephanie Courtney, who's appeared in more than 100 commercials for the company since 2008 -- made me crack even the slightest smile. The Aflak duck was amusing in the 90s, but not anymore -- now you almost feel like throwing a rock at your television set whenever it pops up.
Companies are incorporating more animals, loud noises, and silly antics to grab the consumer's attention. What many of these marketers fail to realize is that the most successful ads in recent years -- those of Budweiser and car companies like Hyundai among them -- have stuck to basics and refrained from numbing the consumer with sensory overload.
As surprising as it might sound, people do care about the message being conveyed. That's why advertisements that use animals to drive home a fuzzy, feel-good message tend to be more effective than those that employ them for comedic effect. Now, if used properly, humor can certainly influence a consumer to take action. The issue is that far too many companies overdo it, resulting in an appeal that is unfunny if not downright distasteful.
Advertisers spend boatloads of money in order to incentivize us to shell out ours. While some of us are more impervious to advertising than others, there's no question that an effective ad can influence our purchase decisions.
Their main objective is to appeal to our emotions. We're much more likely to act if an ad makes us smile, laugh, or cry. Some companies, though, continue to churn out content that fails to do that. I remain flabbergasted as to how many of these advertisements ever saw the light of day.
Which ads do you like? Which do you find annoying? Which marketers do you feel are doing it right?
For more interesting posts, please click here: How to Understand People