15 Basic Appeals

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Advertisements are part of our everyday lives. From the moment that we step into the world, we are bombarded with a society that has been shaped by advertising. In the article, “Advertising’s fifteen basic appeals”, (Prentice Hall, 1998), Fowles explains how advertisers try to influence consumers through various physiological and psychological levels.

According to Fowles, humans have a number of needs that appeal to their psyche. For example, the need for sex, affiliation, nurture, guidance, and physiological needs. He states that these basic needs, along with many others, are what influences society’s decision making. Fowles states, “ by giving form to people’s deep-lying desires and picturing states of being that individuals privately yearn for, advertisers have the best chance of arresting attention and affecting communication” (Fowles, 1998, p.1). Advertisers try implementing messages, both hidden and apparent, in these needs in hopes of trying to manipulate our decisions. For example, when Calvin Klein used Brooke Shields to model their clothing line, they were trying to target a young female audience. The advertisers were promoting the need for attention by using a sexual figure as a tool to target this particular audience.

According to Fowles, advertisers try to grasp hold of the, “unfulfilled urges and motives swirling in the bottom half of our minds” (Fowles, 1998, p.1). They do so through a number of methods. For example, through television, internet, sports, clothing and magazines just to name a few. He states that the number of advertisements that society is exposed to is so numerous that we have grown immune to these ads. It is because of this filter, which society has subconsciously created, that advertisers try so hard to bombard us with as many ads as they can. For example, when watching a soccer match every thing from the player’s uniforms to the soccer stadium is plastered with advertisements. Another good example is auto racing. Just like...
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