Advertising has become a major entity in today’s consumer market. Much of our product awareness is attributed to advertising. Recently I was given the assignment of analyzing an advertisement. Coupled with two other classmates, we determined the primary and secondary appeal said ad makes to the consumer. We went even further to determine how the expressions, clothing, postures of the models, and physical objects in the illustration help communicate the ad’s message. In the process of our analysis we began to gain insight on a multitude of different tools and strategies advertisers use to gain our attention. While executing our assignment, I learned that advertisers have gained valuable insight into the human psyche. In most cases, advertisers are able to sell their goods and services by making numerous appeals to our deepest and oldest, needs and desires.
In his essay published 1982 “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals,” Jib Fowles, Ph.D., Professor of Communication at the University of Houston Clear Lake, looks at how advertisements work by examining the emotional, sub rational appeals that they employ. Fowles's analysis of advertising is the assumption that advertisers try to evade the logical, cautious, skepticism we have developed as consumers, to reach, instead, the "unfulfilled urges and motives swirling in the bottom half of our minds" (364). A major source Fowles uses is psychologist Henry A. Murray, who along with his colleagues at the Harvard psychological clinic, constructed a taxonomy of needs. Forty-four variables of the human personality were found, of which 20 were motives. Murray’s list served as the ground work of subsequent projects such as David C. McClelland’s “The Achieving Society.” This proved to be pertinent because following McClelland, Fowles was inspired to gather the motivational appeal from a culture’s imaginative product, i.e. advertising. Drawing on research done by Murray, Fowles describes... [continues]
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