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Passion Communications

4 Marketing Tactics that Sell Better than Sex


Everyone wants to make a profit. But when it comes to selling products to consumers, it can be difficult to decide which marketing tactics work. For a while, companies have used sex in their campaigns to draw customers. But lately, that doesn’t seem to be working. So what to do when sex isn’t selling? Here are a few other marketing tactics you can try…

1.) Using Humor to Grow Your Brand

Consumers want to be entertained. In fact, the main job of an ad or marketing campaign is to entertain and engage the public, while informing them of a certain product. Humor is a great way to ensure that your ad is remembered. Most people are familiar with the McDonalds Fillet-o-Fish song, or the popular phrase “Where’s the Beef.” These timeless campaigns used humor to connect with audiences, to the point where we are still quoting them today. As Psychology for Marketers writes, “we buy from people we like, and humor is the easiest and fastest way to get there.” Keep in mind that there are different types of humor. Consumers are intelligent and know when ads are being dumbed down to a base level of humor. Comedy in an ad is effective, but make sure that it has more substance than a fart joke.

graphic about king of advertising

2.) People Buy with Emotions

Good old pathos. By now, Sarah McLachlan and her song “In the Arms of an Angel” have become synonymous with images of dejected, poorly treated animals in need of adopting. We remember these ASPCA commercials precisely because they make us feel. Whether or not we can’t bear to watch the ads, or can’t bear to turn away, they are remembered all the same. Many studies have shown that consumers use emotions, not logic, to make purchasing decisions. Unruly, a company which ranks the most viral ads of each year, found that in 2015, the most heavily shared ads featured heavy emotional content. Of course, this doesn’t mean that every emotional ad must feature a sad song and cute puppies, but ads which rely on feelings of happiness, friendship, warmth, and inspiration, tend to perform well in the long run.

advertisement with emotions

3.) Suspenseful Marketing Keeps Consumers Coming Back

…..Suspense is great! People liked to be thrilled and enticed. Anticipation is a great way to get consumers to tune into your message or brand. American Horror Story, a popular tv show on FX, took suspense to the extreme with their marketing campaign for the sixth season of the show. Instead of releasing the theme of the upcoming season, AHS decided to periodically release short teaser clips throughout the summer, indicating that only one of the more than two dozen clips related to that season’s theme. The engagement levels were incredible. Fans tuned in weekly to see if more clips had been released, countless articles were written guessing the theme of the show, and season 6 of AHS stayed on the public’s mind throughout the whole campaign. While suspense and anticipation do not work for every brand, it could be useful to slowly release details of a product, or publish a calendar in which you reveal special deals every Thursday. The unknown will keep consumers coming back for more.

Suspenseful Marketing in advertisements

4.) Shock Value, and How it can be Effective in Advertising

Now, this is a tricky one, as not all shock value works. Attention-grabbing ads are a great way to entice consumers and draw them into your brand or product. Take, for example, FDA ads aimed at educating teenagers about the risks of underage smoking. The marketing campaign, armed with the slogan “The Real Cost,” show teenagers “paying” for their cigarettes with teeth, pieces of skin, and other serious body parts. According to responses gathered by Fox13 News, teenagers said of the ads, “all of them stood out, it showed exactly what’s going to happen through time.” But be careful. All shock value ads are not created equal. In 2015, Nationwide released a super bowl ad featuring a young boy talking about all the things he’ll never do, because he was killed in a car accident. This ad, while shocking, angered viewers and turned them away. The company faced major backlash for the ad. So make sure you know your audience and your product before adding shock to your campaign.

Effective in Advertising

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