Advertising is, at its core, the art of using persuasive words to sell products and services. Over the decades, various advertising strategies became trendy and then fell into obsolescence, but the basic principle stayed the same: create powerful emotions and customers will come running.
But how do we create emotions? That’s right, with words. Crafty, emotional, urgent, persuasive, smooth and dominant words make people lust after a product and decide that they must have it. They feel the need to improve their lives, to try new things or to trust the proven value and benefits of best-selling products.
You may not have noticed it (or did, so kudos to you), but the paragraph above contains at least four of the most powerful words in advertising, which we will present below with a few words of explanation about why they hold such a power.
This simple pronoun is one you should not forget when addressing your potential customers. “You” is perceived as addressing every reader individually. People feel that the ad is made just for them, the offer was prepared especially for them, and the benefits of the product are specifically designed to solve their problems and satisfy their needs.
We are all trying to save time and money. This is what motivates us to buy various products and services: we want to spend less time on chores, thus save it; or we want to find ways to spend less money for satisfying our basic or more specific needs. One of the key benefits your ad should include is the fact that people who use the product/service will save either time or money (or both).
Since the industrial revolution and up to the present day, people have tried and experienced disappointment with a multitude of “innovative” products – thus, the value given by the fact that a product has been proven to work is high. When it comes to products with a special use, such as cosmetics, baby care and pet care products, people want to be convinced that they made the right choice, that their choice is already validated by other people before them who tried and were satisfied with the product.
No matter how careful and cautious we are in selecting products and services for our personal use, the human nature is by definition curious and excited about exploring new possibilities. Even if the discovery is only a new scent of their favourite shower gel brand, it is still an exciting experience. And people should be encouraged to put their curious side to work and discover something new.
One of the key features of home appliances, electronics, cars, gadgets, etc. must be their safety – a prominent feature included in the ad. Accidents, malfunctions and badly designed products have made people extra cautious when purchasing any such item. They need to be convinced that the product they choose will be 100% safe for them, their family and their home.
Whenever they part with their money, customers need the assurance that they will get true value in a product – or, if they do not get that value, they can get their money back. The word “guarantee” has a reassuring effect, like the signature on a contract. Customers have the peace of mind that, even if they are not happy with a product or service, they will not suffer a financial loss.
Appealing to the strongest human emotion should be done carefully, avoiding overuse, until the word becomes meaningless. But do not be afraid to tell your customers that they will love your product, or the experiences you offer them through your services.
The word “new” is closely related with the word “discovery” – it appeals to the exploratory nature in every one of us and it makes people feel important as early adopters of a brand new product. The concept of “new” or “novelty” should be used carefully, and only for products which represent a true innovation compared to other products in its class.
A very delicate topic in any kind of niche, health is the number 1 concern for everyone on this planet. People want to be as healthy as they can and are willing to spend money on products which promise to keep them young, healthy, active and fully capable of enjoying life. Since it is a sensitive topic, the use of any references to health in advertising is regulated all over the world, so be careful about what you can and cannot promise in your ads.
This word is related to quantifiable evidence and proof, and should be used when you can actually demonstrate – with testimonials or statistical data – the effectiveness of your products or services.