Persuasive Techniques in Advertising
The persuasive strategies used by advertisers who want you to buy their product
can be divided into three categories: pathos, logos, and ethos.
Pathos: an appeal to emotion.
An advertisement using pathos will attempt to evoke an emotional response in
the consumer. Sometimes, it is a positive emotion such as happiness: an
image of people enjoying themselves while drinking Pepsi. Other times,
advertisers will use negative emotions such as pain: a person having back
problems after buying the “wrong” mattress. Pathos can also include emotions
such as fear and guilt: images of a starving child persuade you to send money.
Logos: an appeal to logic or reason.
An advertisement using logos will give you the evidence and statistics you
need to fully understand what the product does. The logos of an
advertisement will be the "straight facts" about the product: One glass of
Florida orange juice contains 75% of your daily Vitamin C needs.
Ethos: an appeal to credibility or character.
An advertisement using ethos will try to convince you that the company is
more reliable, honest, and credible; therefore, you should buy its product.
Ethos often involves statistics from reliable experts, such as nine out of ten
dentists agree that Crest is the better than any other brand or Americas
dieters choose Lean Cuisine. Often, a celebrity endorses a product to lend it
more credibility: Catherine Zeta-Jones makes us want to switch to T-Mobile.