The main aim of an advertisement is to generate awareness, i.e. A top of the mind presence of the product or service features and attributes, creating an emotive connect with the target audience with the subtle use of the visuals and copy.
The communication that engages the consumer’s cognitive thinking is further distinguished into one-sided vs. two sided argument and comparative vs. noncomparative ads (Iacobucci, 2015).
The one-sided argument is the most common cognitive approach used by Advertisers, as the name suggests, the ad features only the proposed benefits of the product or service.
The two-sided argument is a cognitive marketing message that showcases both the positive and negative features and attributes of the product or service.
In this age of globalization and technological advances, the consumers are more aware of the products and service features, in view of the competitive features. To be able to create an impact on the consumer’s decision making ability, depending on the products and service on offer, the cognitive approaches should be used.
The example of a one-sided argument ad as mentioned by Iacobucci (2015) is of Brookstone motorized grill with steam cleaning power and the copy stated the benefit as ‘The ultimate power tool for your grill’.
The illustration of a two-sided argument, is the communication of Heinz that ran the message ‘Heinz Ketchup is slow good’ indicating the slowness of the ketchup coming out of the bottle (Kotler et al, 2016).
The comparative message, as the name suggests, makes a direct comparison with the competition in terms of product features and services, the messages involves direct attack on the competition and the name is used clearly to showcase the company’s products and services, features in a better light, this strategy is used by many high end multinational brands in a competitive industry sector.
Two companies who have been using comparative ads, taking subtle and direct digs at each other are Pepsi and Coca-Cola, in view of the fact that, they have the same target audience, and the strategy is used repeatedly to make the product look better in the minds of the consumers (Iacobucci, 2015).
It needs to be taken into account by advertisers, that before deciding on comparative advertising strategy, it is imperative to know the positioning of the brand and the competition, or else, it can have a negative impact on the brand’s intended positioning in relation to the competition, the campaign done by Baby Orajel, is a very good example of comparative advertising done the right way, since it provided reasons, why the brand was better than the three named product in the copy (MacInnis et al, 2008).
The noncomparative advertisement communication showcases the features, positioning and attributes of the product and service, with no presence of the competition featured in the visuals or the copy.
The advertising of Suburu’s XV Crosstrek Hybrid, is an apt example of noncamparative advertising, as it is showing the products, features and positioning as crosstrek and hybrid, with the name of the brand headlining the visual and the product standing in the background of a forest, complimenting the positioning in an effective manner (Iacobucci, 2015).
Advertising communication is all about persuasion, and to be able to connect with the right target audience with the right message, therefore, the products or service, need to look at their positioning and industry needs, before deciding on the communication style.
Iacobucci, D. (2015). Marketing Management. Cengage Learning.
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Kotler et al (2016). Social Marketing: Changing Behaviors for Good. Sage Publications.
Retrieved from https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=gPFMBgAAQBAJ&pg=PT521&lpg=PT521&dq=heinz+ketchup+two+sided&source=bl&ots=20xKJpGQil&sig=JY2JCWJRwryoSZ0l0CDz0kZoJOM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjd3Ke20tvMAhXDsI8KHdEJBUAQ6AEIJDAD#v=onepage&q=heinz%20ketchup%20two%20sided&f=false
MacInnis et al (2008). Consumer Behavior. South-Western.