Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why People Like Advertising

People all over the world enjoy advertising. In the past year, people from 70 countries have been reading my comments on the psychology of advertising.

Several of my posts have focused on the concept “attitude toward the ad.” Under this theory, the likability of a commercial as an enjoyable experience in itself can produce a positive effect on attitudes toward the brand or sponsor.

But, there is a broader point about advertising’s personal connection with people. Audience members give their attention to advertising. Their continuing interest is encouraged, indeed rewarded, by advertising that delivers an enjoyable experience.

This is why so many people like advertising as an institution in and of itself, quite beyond the attitudinal benefits for individual advertisers.

A recent commercial from India demonstrates this effect of enjoyable advertising as a reward to the audience.

The commercial is a mini-movie, billed in a teaser print campaign as “India’s official entry to Cannes.” In less than a minute and a half, it tells the life story of a Gujarati girl whose life (and afterlife) is changed by the strength of the adhesive used to apply a fake moustache.

This commercial shows why people like advertising. It is an extraordinary production, telling a charming story while reminding viewers of the sponsor’s significance.

This work was done in Mumbai by Ogilvy & Mather, India. The client, Pidilite Industries, presented the commercial as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of their Fevicol brand of adhesives.

For more perspective on psychological theory and the development of persuasive advertising, please see Strategic Power of the Theory of Planned Behavior.

Copyright © 2010 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

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