Different Types of Advertising Appeals

Advertising appeals aim to influence the way consumers view themselves and how buying certain products can prove to be beneficial for them. The message conveyed through advertising appeals influences the purchasing decisions of consumers. Keep on reading to know the various different types of advertising appeals that can be seen in the media today.
| Friday, January 9, 2009

The most basic of human needs is the need for food, clothing and shelter. Special need for these necessities cannot be created with advertising. However there are certain other products that provide comfort in life and advertising aims to generate demand for these products. Advertising uses appeals as a way of persuading people to buy certain products. Advertising appeals are designed in a way so as to create a positive image of the individuals who use certain products. Advertising agencies and companies use different types of advertising appeals to influence the purchasing decisions of people.

The most important types of advertising appeals include emotional and rational appeals. Emotional appeals are often effective for the youth while rational appeals work well for products directed towards the older generation. Here are just some of the various different kinds of advertising appeals seen in the media today:

Emotional Appeal

An emotional appeal is related to an individual’s psychological and social needs for purchasing certain products and services. Many consumers are emotionally motivated or driven to make certain purchases. Advertisers aim to cash in on the emotional appeal and this works particularly well where there is not much difference between multiple product brands and its offerings. Emotional appeal includes personal and social aspects.

  1. Personal Appeal
    Some personal emotions that can drive individuals to purchase products include safety, fear, love, humor, joy, happiness, sentiment, stimulation, pride, self esteem, pleasure, comfort, ambition, nostalgia etc.
  2. Social Appeal
    Social factors cause people to make purchases and include such aspects as recognition, respect, involvement, affiliation, rejection, acceptance, status and approval.
  3. Fear Appeal
    Fear is also an important factor that can have incredible influence on individuals. Fear is often used to good effect in advertising and marketing campaigns of beauty and health products including insurance. Advertising experts indicate that using moderate levels of fear in advertising can prove to be effective.
  4. Humor Appeal
    Humor is an element that is used in around 30% of the advertisements. Humor can be an excellent tool to catch the viewer’s attention and help in achieving instant recall which can work well for the sale of the product. Humor can be used effectively when it is related to some benefit that the customer can derive without which the joke might overpower the message.

Sex Appeal

Sex and nudity have always sold well. Sexuality, sexual suggestiveness, over sexuality or sensuality raises curiosity of the audience and can result in strong feelings about the advertisement. It can also result in the product appearing interesting. However use of sex in types of advertising appeals can have a boomerang effect if it is not used carefully. It can interfere with the actual message of the advertisement and purpose of the product and can also cause low brand recall. If this is used then it should be an integral part of the product and should not seem vulgar. The shift should be towards sensuality.

Music Appeal

Music can be used as types of advertising appeals as it has a certain intrinsic value and can help in increasing the persuasiveness of the advertisement. It can also help capture attention and increase customer recall.

Scarcity Appeal

Scarcity appeals are based on limited supplies or limited time period for purchase of products and are often used while employing promotional tools including sweepstakes, contests etc.

Rational Appeal

Rational appeals as the name suggests aims to focus on the individual’s functional, utilitarian or practical needs for particular products and services. Such appeals emphasize the characteristics and features of the product and the service and how it would be beneficial to own or use the particular brand. Print media is particularly well suited for rational appeals and is often used with good success. It is also suited for business to business advertisers and for products that are complex and that need high degree of attention and involvement.

Masculine Feminine Appeal

Used in cosmetic or beauty products and also clothing. This type of appeal aims at creating the impression of the perfect person. The message is that the product will infuse the perfection or the stated qualities in you.

Brand Appeal

This appeal is directed towards people who are brand conscious and wish to choose particular products to make a brand statement.

Snob Appeal

This appeal is directed towards creating feeling of desire or envy for products that are termed top of the line or that have considerable qualities of luxury, elegance associated with them.

Adventure Appeal

This appeal is directed towards giving the impression that purchasing a product will change the individual’s life radically and fill it with fun, adventure and action.

Less than Perfect Appeal

Advertisements often try to influence people to make certain purchases by pointing out their inadequacies or making them feel less perfect and more dissatisfied with their present condition. These types of advertising appeals are used in cosmetic and health industries.

Romance Appeal

These advertisements display the attraction between the sexes. The appeal is used to signify that buying certain products will have  a positive impact on the opposite sex and improve your romantic or love life. Frangrances, automobiles and other products use these types of advertising appeals.

Emotional Words/Sensitivity Appeal

These advertisements are used to drive at and influence the sensitivities of consumers.

Youth Appeal

Advertisements that reflect youth giving aspects or ingredients of products use these types of appeals. Cosmetic products in particular make use of these appeals.


Celebrities and well known personalities often endorse certain products and their pitching can help drive the sales.

Play on Words

Advertisements also make effective use of catch phrases to convey the message. Such appeals help in brand recognition and recall and can be quite popular with the youth in particular.


Advertisements also use statistics and figures to display aspects of the product and its popularity in particular.

Plain Appeal

These advertisements use every day aspects of life and appeal to ordinary people regarding the use of a product or service.

Bandwagon Appeal

This type of advertising appeal is meant to signify that since everybody is doing something you should be a part of the crowd as well. It appeals towards the popularity aspect or coolness aspect of a person using a particular product or service.


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Reader's Comments

Share your thoughts on the article, post your comments!

Tim on Thursday, November 29, 2012
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So wat are the advertising theories from which these appeals come from? please help..exam question
» Jibrail replies to Tim on Monday, October 7, 2013
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Well. i don't think so. for exposing message with help of appeal need any theories. it's depend upon demographic and psychographic.
Me on Thursday, March 29, 2012
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Is youth appeal for young or old?
Jayesh Desai on Saturday, October 1, 2011
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Thanks for sharing knowledge,but there is one suggestion, i feel some example should be added to each appeal.
» Bertha replies to Jayesh desai on Thursday, April 12, 2012
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I think their should be an example to each appeals.thanks for ur knowledge.
T Dub Jackson on Saturday, August 6, 2011
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Thank you for sharing superb information. your web site is so cool. i am impressed by the info that you have on this web site. it reveals how nicely you understand this subject. bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles.
Arti on Monday, July 18, 2011
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A good article but with examples and pictures could bave been more satisfactory. fear appeal is generally used in insurance products and health products whereas less than perfect appeals are used in the case of beauty products such fairness creams
Passer-by on Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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What is the difference between fear appeal and less than perfect appeal? i mean the key difference?
Joe on Tuesday, April 26, 2011
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Some of these are not real appeals used in advertising
» Khalil Abbas replies to Joe on Wednesday, June 15, 2011
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I suggest that you should add one example for each appeal
Aziza Amir on Friday, April 22, 2011
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I feel some example should be added to each appeal.
» Engr. Smart Wole replies to Aziza amir on Sunday, May 27, 2012
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Examples are been written der. for scientific appeal, drinks are bn used to buttress the point.
Mesiw ^^ on Friday, January 14, 2011
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What is the meaning of scientific evidence appeal?? can you please answer?
» Sovik replies to Mesiw ^^ on Thursday, April 7, 2011
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Scientific evidence appeal is the method of appealing to the customer base by using experts and scientific models to show the advantage of sing a particular product.like health drinks.
Cassandra on Thursday, January 28, 2010
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Cool website, but you could do with a bit more appeals like: reward appeal, scientific evidence appeal, progress appeal, testimonial appeal, glittering generality appeal, and false image appeal. other than that your site rocks dude!
» Mike Jones replies to Cassandra on Sunday, December 12, 2010
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He didn't do those because they're not emotional appeals, and this articles is about emotional appeals.