Every day in today’s world, people encounter advertisements through various media forms such as television commercials, magazine ads and billboards. Through advertisements, advertisers can persuade their viewers to buy their products through persuasive tactics. In a September 21, 2015 Sports Illustrated issue, Gieco Insurance ran an ad which used subtle hidden messages, encouraging words, and appetizing images to create a desire for its product.
First, the Geico Insurance advertisement uses subtle hidden messages to create a desire for Geico’s insurance product. In an article by Jib Fowles “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals” Fowles explains, that people have fifteen emotional appeals that ads try to strike. Fowles also states that hidden messages are a way of getting a message across to the viewer without them even realizing it, and by trying to strike ones subconscious or emotional appeal. In the Geico advertisement the statement “Make the Smart Choice,” makes the viewer believe that if they choose the product, they will be smart like the rest of the Geico customers. This type of hidden message appeals to one of the fifteen basic emotional appeals that Fowles discusses in his article and that appeal is “2. Need for affiliation…. The need to associate with others…” (Fowles 5). The Geico ad fulfills this by making the viewer believe that if they choose Geico they will be affiliated with smart people who also use Geico insurance. Two interviewees, Jason Cressman and Robert Cressman, were asked if there were any hidden messages in the advertisement and both of their responses were “No.” As Fowles explained in his article these messages are undetectable by the viewer and go unnoticed...
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...ico’s main color in their advertisement is white. In an article by Gregory Ciotti called “The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding” he explains that the use of white in advertising creates a balance, neutral, and calm feeling. The white also acts as a neutralizer to the images of the cookies. Through all the different techniques Geico used in their advertisement successfully used appetizing images to help sell their product.
In conclusion, good advertising results in sales. To get consumer buy- in advertisers incorporate a variety of advertising tactics. If done effectively, ads like the one from Geico Insurance, in the 2015 Sports Illustrated issue will result in product sales. Geico’s effective use of hidden messages, encouraging words and appetizing images, shows just how powerful, persuasive propaganda techniques are in everyday advertising.
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