What is the Psychology behind Advertising?

What is the Psychology behind Advertising?

What comes to your mind when you hear Psychology? It is a very popular opinion that Psychology can be associated with only two things, one is two couches in a room with a ticking clock and second is a man bound to a bed being given electric shocks. But fortunately Psychology is much more than these two things. Psychology affects most of the aspects of your everyday life. Starting from the toothbrush we use till what type of diet we follow has psychology behind it. Advertising is one of the factors which affect major aspects of your lives. Do you ever think why did you end up buying a product? Why did you feel that you wanted it when it was not necessary to buy? It is simply because of the way it was advertised. You tend to like things which are appealing when you see an advertisement. The psychology behind such a creation is to use different ways to reach out to attract you. You often tend to get attracted to the way a product is advertised and that is where your psychology plays a role in telling you to judge the product as good or bad. One of the important aspect which works on the psyche of a consumer is Influential advertising. Demonstration effects are effects on the behaviour of individuals caused by observation of the actions of others. Talking about demonstration effect, when an influential/famous personality endorses a particular product it affects the consumer’s perspective in one of these two ways:

  1. You try to imitate a famous personality because you idealize their way of living or
  2. It gives you the sense of reliability of the product

For eg. Advertisement of Kalyan Jewellers which was endorsed by Amitabh Bachhan.

Moving on to understanding other aspects of how psychology plays a role in advertising. There are specific colours which are used in Ads depending upon what product is being promoted. For instance, organic products are promoted with environmental colours like blue or green, bright yellow colour is used for lot of food products. This is a part of food psychology and environmental psychology where there is direct association between both the factors being addressed. “Oh! But only the colour scheme will help me to buy something?” will be your next thought. See how the mind works? Not just the colour scheme but designing and product arrangement are two key elements which influences your thought process on the purchase. Now imagine you just entered a shopping centre. There are always the newly arrived and trendy products kept just as you enter the store. Does that ring a bell, WHY? Before you even go ahead to buy things on your shopping list, you turn towards the strategically arranged trendy products. Just to make it more interesting for you, there are various offers that are flashing all over the store which are articulated to increase the sales by grabbing your attention, may it be giving you discounts, coupons or gift cards, for eg. Big bazar Big Bachat Sale. You being a customer will think of savings, go for products having discounts, with you ending up buying products which were not initially part of your shopping list. One gets attracted to the products due to the various strategies used by the sellers to make one buy those things. This happens because people focus more on the way a particular product is presented while selling

The things you observe in your surrounding has a direct impact on your senses. Feeling approach uses emotion to capture consumer behaviour. Advertisements in genres like fun, love, empathy or fear are better associated with the emotions of the buyer. Giving an instance for the same where you tend to buy Cadbury celebration to gift on an auspicious event. This happens because you associate Cadbury which has pioneered in the expression of “Kuch meetha ho jaye” when starting afresh. Everyone in the society wants to own the best products for a better standard of living which makes the consumers more prone to trying out new things and make a judgement about the same. If they like the product then they recommend it further to their friends and family which in turn increases the demand rate of that particular product like a chain reaction which gets passed on from small group of people to large population. To conclude this, the influence of advertising in everyday life is the power to alter how consumers think and feel. Advertisers have discovered that they can leverage psychology to find what attracts attention, leaves an impression, persuades, and leads to the act of purchase. Psychology can be used to make sure that the advertisement is working by the response you get. A successful ad cultivates desire within the consumer and makes them want to buy a product while minimizing any doubts of the consumer.

About the Author

Sharmishtha Chakraborty
Counselling Psychologist.

I, Sharmishtha Chakraborty am a Counselling Psychologist by profession. I have completed my Master's in Counselling

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