In Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, read Chapter 1 on Summary. Then, read the Fowles article. Using good essay form, write a summary of the Fowles article, “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals”, in WRAC pp. 363-380. The summary should be about 700-800 words
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Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals
Advertisements have become an integral part in our day to day lives. The society in which we are living has been shaped by the endless advertisements. This essay explains how Jib Fowles has analyzed the emotional appeals that advertisers use to shape the consumers physiological and psychological needs. The essay also attempts to provide a brief explanation about the fifteen basic emotional appeals of advertising.
Humans’ psyche is influenced by numerous needs (Fowles, 370). The need for sex, affiliation, nurture and guidance are some examples of the basic needs that Fowles has considered in his study. According to him society’s decision making is highly affected by the basic as well as other needs of individuals. Fowles states that, an advertiser attempts to win the attention of consumers by giving a shape to the people’s deep-lying desire in a manner which they personally wish for. Advertisers make efforts to enforce both implicit and explicit messages in hopes of trying to manipulate consumers’ decisions.
Emotional appeal can be further categorized in various different appeals, but following fifteen appeals are of maximum value:
- The need for sex: Whenever one starts the topic of advertising, ‘sex’ is the word which immediately comes to everyone’s mind. It is not necessary to show whole lot of sex in advertising, what is more important is how sensuously one portrays it in the advertisement. Too much of sexual content sometimes becomes blare and effaces the information about the product.
- The need for affiliation: Showing things larger than life and linking viewers with a product is another appeal used by advertisers. Predominantly these ads gratify the craving for associating with a product. The ads also use this in a negative way, by arousing the fear of rejection (Fowles, 370). For example, if we do not use Axe deodorant, we’ll have the odor because of sweat which will keep people away from us.
- The need to nurture: This appeal is commonly used towards females where small and innocent creatures like infants and pets are used to create an emotional appeal to the women to take care of them.
- The need for guidance: Generally a parent-like figure is chosen to speak about a product to win the trust of the prospect. For example, Florence Henderson has been portrayed as an expert mom who knows about the advantages of Wesson oil and is suggesting using the same. Advertisers generally commercialize the fact that the product is so good that it has been in existence for many years and thus people can trust it blindly.
- The need to aggress: Under this appeal, it is emphasized that a person has developed the feeling of retaliation because of the pressure of the real world. These flames come forward as bursts of furor and combustion. This is not a common method of advertising as it builds a declinatory public image of the product.
- The need to achieve: In this appeal advertisers tries to enthuse people and pushes them to cross all barriers and to achieve high standards.
- The need to dominate: Strong eagerness for a product or the desire to control one’s environment is targeted in this appeal.
- The need for prominence: This appeal targets the need to enjoy fame and glory.
- The need for attention: This appeal targets the need to get noticed. Advertisements of clothing and cosmetic industries are based on this appeal only.
- The need for autonomy: independence and integrity of an individual is the focus under this appeal.
- The need to escape: The need of break from social duties, liberty to relax and chill is the focus area under this appeal.
- The need to feel safe: A person tries his/ her best to keep the threats away from him/ her and their family. The need to feel safe and secure is focused in this appeal.
- The need for aesthetic sensations: visual appeal is an integral part of an advertisement. The need of artistic feeling is the key area in this appeal.
- The need to satisfy curiosity: A need to enhance knowledge and exploring interesting facts about the world around us is the primary target in this appeal.
- Physiological needs: The need of food and drink is targeted under this appeal.
Fowles states that there are several unmet urges and motives whirling in our minds and advertisers attack these urges and motives to influence consumers. Number of methods like television, internet, sports, clothing and magazines etc are used for this purpose. According to him the endless advertisements in the society have made us resistant to these ads. It is because of this filter, which society has subconsciously created, that advertisers try so hard to bombard us with as many ads as they can.
Fowles, Jib. “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals.”. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. Brief ed. 4th ed. E. Laurence Behrens & Leonard J. Rosen. New York: Longman, 2011. 363-380.
Jenny, S., (2012). Response to “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals”. Retrieved from http://blogs.bgsu.edu/scottjenny/2012/02/24/response-to-advertisings-fifteen-basic-appeals/
Biagi, S., (2009). Advertizing’s 15 Basic Appeals (by Jib Fowles). Retrieved from http://venturaenglish02fall09.wordpress.com/advertizings-15-basic-appeals-by-jib-fowles/
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