Ads are very important tools in the promotion of goods and services, which connect the product providers to their potential customers in the society. Advertisers use the commercials to promote their products through creating specific appeals on their potential customers. In the article Advertising’s fifteen basic appeals,” Jib Fowles looks at how commercials work through examining the emotional sub rational appeals that are employed in the commercials. Fowles indicates that we encounter very many ads in everyday life; however, we only pay attention to very few of these ads. The advertisers find emotional appeals that find their way into our minds, thereby persuading us to purchase their products. Fowles further classifies the emotional appeals into fifteen emotional categories that the commercials exploit.
The fifteen emotional appeals in Fowles article include the need for sex, which he indicates always feature whenever a topic is raised on advertisements. He concludes that as a rule, advertisers have found sex to be a tricky appeal, to be used sparingly. Less controversial and equally fetching are the appeals to our need for affectionate human contact (p. 5). Fowles also indicates the need for affiliation, which she indicates is the most prevalent appeal seeking to indicate that different sorts of goods are sold through linking them to our unfulfilled desires to associate or affiliate with good company. Other appeals, which are equally important with different magnitudes include the need to nurture, the need for guidance, the need to aggress, the need to achieve, the need to dominate, the need to dominate , and the need for prominence. She additionally indicates other appeals such as the need for attention, the need for autonomy, the need to escape, the need to feel safe, the need for aesthetic sensations, the need to satisfy curiosity, and physiological needs such as drink, food, and sleep among several others. However, in this paper, I will discuss the need for attention, the need to feel safe, and the physiological appeals that commercials evoke on the target audiences.
The Need for Attention
Fowles contrasts this need to the need for prominence, which involves being looked up to as opposed to the latter, which involves the need to be looked at. She considers the desire to display ourselves in a manner that attracts others to us as a primitive insuppressible instinct (p. 11). She considers the clothing and cosmetic industries as best serving this need. Even though a little percentage of these commercials is aimed at men, the higher percentage is aimed at the female consumers. Fawles uses several cloth commercials that use such appeals including the Calvin Klein jeans, and indicates that women intending to be the star and want eyes upon them to purchase such products. She further indicates that cosmetics and lotions have employed similar appeals alongside food commercials such as the California Avocados, which use the tag line "Would this body lie to you?" diverting the viewers’ attention to the girl in the ad instead of evoking questions such as the fact that could the guacamole alone make her grow this big.
The above commercial is one of the ads used to evoke attention. Even though few ads are aimed at men, this commercial appeals to the attention through ensuring that the viewers admire the physique of the man consuming the drink. He also has tattoos on his body and poses in a bare chest to show his muscles.
This commercial equally appeals to attention and is aimed at evoking attention to the women. The celebrity uses the Popchips, therefore, her fans would be fascinated with the fact that since they are looking up to Katy Perry, they should equally eat the popchips and have equal admiration as she does.
This Swiss skydive elevator displays an attractive background that diverts the attention of the viewer of the ad toward to beauty of the scene thereby creating the desire to have a ride in the elevator.
In this final category of the appeals, Fowles includes the appeals to eating, drinking, and sleeping. She indicates that the photographing of the foods and drinks themselves evoke feelings in the audience that might have several impacts such as salivating at the sight of the photos of the crab meat in the Red Lobster restaurant. The drinks in the glass themselves make the viewers thirsty. Commercials aimed at advertising sleeping materials such as nightdresses and bedding have appeals on both men and women. Such commercials have photograph images aimed at children, singles, and couples that have the fight sight implications of wanting to sleep in similar conditions.
The above ad depicts children sleeping side by side in beddings that every parent would want her children to sleep. The clothes themselves look appealing. In this commercial, the tag line, “Sleep like it used to be,” adds even more appeal to the target audiences’ physiological needs.
This commercial, however, substitutes the parents from with the knife next to the child and indicates in the tag line that, sleeping with the baby can be equally dangerous as sleeping next to the knife. This ad seeks to indicate to the parents that children need their space for sleep away from the parents, convincing the latter that they pose danger to their children by sleeping with them in the same bed.
This commercial, aimed at the family indicates to the parents that they should avoid snoring in their children and themselves through having such beddings. The appeal in viewing the photo of the couple in bed and the pillows just evoke the feeling of wanting to sleep like the people in the photo.
The need to feel safe
Fowles begins by indicating that everybody intends to be free from intimidation, battery, or being poisoned, which implies that everyone wants to feel safe in his or her environment. Therefore, commercials need to indicate durability in the products that they try to sell. She uses the examples of MONY insurance, which uses the black-and-white ads of widows and orphans, and the Volkswagen Rabbits ad that indicate that they cover extraordinary mileage. These commercials instill confidence and safety in the primitive minds of the target audience, which the aim of every ad is to convince the potential buyers and maintain the existing ones. Therefore, buyers are always looking for products, which the advertisers indicate that you will feel safe when you consume them than you were before.
This bus commercial indicates that using the Metro Transit offers comfort to the passengers. The man in the bus is comfortably reading a newspaper in the bus, and the tag line indicates that you can do more while you get around. Therefore, the viewers of this ad would want to explore the “more” and enjoy the supposed comfort that they lack in other bus and ferry services.
This World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) commercial seeks to inform the public that they need to stay safe in their environment. The commercial indicates that burning down vegetation is not safe for humans and animals. Therefore, people would be more willing to adhere to this ad in order to remain safe in the environment through conserving vegetation.
This commercial seeks at informing the train users to keep distance from the moving train so that they can avoid accidents and stay safe while in the train stations. As earlier mentioned, everyone wants to be free from injury.
Flowes, Jib. Advertising's Fifteen Basic Appeals