Statistics, celebrity endorsements, and product placements are all persuasive advertising techniques. The use of statistics — however vague — can convince ad viewers that one product is better than another. Celebrity endorsements or even endorsements by random paid actors can help generate interest in a product. Product placements are often subtly persuasive, but studies indicate that people can better remember and are more trusting of product placement ads than television commercials. In addition, before-and-after photos are also effective, though not always entirely truthful.
Some persuasive advertising techniques use statistics to attract consumers. Depending on local laws, statistics quoted in adverts may be required to be true, but being obligated to tell the truth sometimes does not stop companies from framing the statistic in an odd or misleading way. For example, a commercial might state, “This cleaner is 20% more effective than the leading brand.” This statement may be convincing because it sounds as if the product is the best of its kind. In reality, the leading brand is not necessarily the best product available, and the extra effectiveness might be insignificant overall.
The use of celebrities or paid actors who give testimonials about the product is also common. Sometimes the celebrities or actors state that the product changed their lives for the better. These persuasive advertising techniques help associate the product with someone famous and admired or at least a person the viewer can relate to. In some cases, the person giving the testimonial might only have used the product the day the advertisement was filmed or would not ordinarily use the product.
Product placement is another kind of marketing primarily used in television shows and movies. As far as persuasive advertising techniques go, this is usually one of the most subtle. Companies pay to have their products placed on a show, and they usually pay even more to have a main character interact with the product. Sometimes product placement is subtle, like seeing a brand of beverage in the background. Other times, product placement can be so obvious that viewers complain, which has happened to some big-budget movies in which main characters talk about the product directly.
Before-and-after photos are among the most popular persuasive advertising techniques used in weight loss ads, and they can be very effective. Studies have found that the reported achievements are typically not standard for everyone. In fact, many commercials include a disclaimer on the before-and-after photos stating that the results are not typical. The results shown in before-and-after photos were achieved by someone and can be achieved by a random consumer, but they are usually not realistic expectations.