How To Stop Lying & Make Money
Puffery. That’s the name of the game when you want to make a splash. Online ads are rife with companies peacocking for a potential sale. Products are touted about as the best thing since sliced bread. They swear by tactics that “force” a purchase from ad victims. Pushy ads make potential customers skeptical about the legitimacy of a business, but why are they popular? What are we constantly bombarded with them?
The popularity of “buy or die” ads don’t necessarily mean that it gets better results than something that genuinely highlights the best of a product. Ads that prey try to create a deep level of urgency to scare the audience into buying. These ads only work on the vulnerable who are usually exploited by tapping into their fears. By creating a problem, these ads convince the potential customers that there is a problem which hampers them.
It usually feeds into the fear that only a miracle product can solve. It’s common among get rich quick schemes, MLMs, self-help tools and cure-all products. This may work to grab the attention of the vulnerable and the initial launch of the ad campaign may see some traction with fresh eyes taking the bait. But the average consumer os much more aware and has access to information. These campaigns don’t have long-term success.
Another way to create urgency is to introduce scarcity. There’s nothing wrong with creating a limited edition of having a special promotion, but this needs to be done without pushing your target customers into a “fight or flight” response where they feel the need to purchase or else. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful one if handled delicately. It doesn’t need to inspire anxiety or any other negative emotion. These emotional triggers will be that your target customers associate with your brand.
Ad campaigns would be better off focusing on the positive aspects of products and specifically the results that come from a purchase. This is why luxury and lifestyle brands work well in ads. With a clear call-to-action (CTA) and concrete results, customers feel more comfortable making a purchase. Exaggerating results beyond the capabilities of a product could potentially create legal problems for businesses. Therefore, ad copy needs to be clear and unambiguous about what it wants to achieve.
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