Persuasion is a process aimed at changing a person's (or a group's) attitude or behavior toward some event, idea, object, or other person(s), by using written or spoken words to convey information, feelings, or reasoning, or a combination thereof. People and companies have used persuasion to make all sorts of deals over time, it is the fundamental aspect of influencing consumers to comply to what the seller is telling them . Whether ethical or not, almost all advertisements use persuasion to manipulate our attitude and behavior. There are many ways to persuade people, Robert Cialdini is most famous for his book on the six principles of persuasion.
Persuasion strategies used by advertisers can be divided into three categories. The categories are: pathos, logos, and ethos.

Pathos: The attempt to provoke an emotional response from the consumer. These emotional responses could be anything (positive or negative) such as happiness, for example the Coca Cola commercials showing images of people enjoying Coca Cola with friends. Also they could go for the emotional response of sadness like the SPCA ads that show depressed animals and ask you to donate money to their foundation. A few other examples are pain, fear and guilt.

Image result for coca cola advertisement
Image result for coca cola advertisement

Logos: This is a more logical method that includes statistics and evidence that you need to fully understand how the product works, they usually refer to these statistics as "straight facts". Like this Colgate toothpaste advertisement.

Image result for advertisement using statistics
Image result for advertisement using statistics

Ethos: Advertisements using ethos try to convince you that the company is reliable, trustworthy and credible. It usually mentions something about reliable statistics and experts. They often use celebrities to lend the product more credibility.

The Six Principles:

1. Reciprocity: When we are indebted to someone, we feel uncomfortable, we feel the need to pay them back somehow. This makes us give in to other's requests if, in the past, they have done something for us. For example if someone gives you a sandwich and the next day asks for a yogurt you are more likely to say yes because they gave you a sandwich yesterday and you feel as though you owe them.

Image result for donate to poverty ad
Image result for donate to poverty ad

This advertisements goal is to make you feel guilty for being able to eat and make you feel as if you owe the people who cannot eat, making you want to donate.

2. Consistency: As human beings we feel the need to be consistent in our actions and choices. Once we have committed to doing something or have done something in the past we are likely not to back out and continue to repeat our actions. Once we have agreed to an action or belief we have difficulty changing our minds or opening our minds to new ideas.

There's an soup advertisement that uses consistency to make you believe that because you liked the soup in the past you will like the newer soups that they make.
3. Social proof: The expression “safety in numbers” is what this principle explains. If someone is caught in a situation where they are unsure of what to do they are prone to look around and observe what other people are doing and follow their lead. We are especially more susceptible to this principle when we are uncertain about what we are doing. We are also more likely to be influenced by this if we are seeing people similar to us doing it.
external image mcdonalds-social-proof.jpg
This McDonalds sign is convincing you to eat at their restaurant by saying that billions and billions of people have eaten here so it must be good, which makes it a good option for you to eat here.

4. Likability: The best kind of seller is someone the consumer can trust. We are more likely to purchase or follow the recommendations if it comes from a person who is similar to us and who we can relate to; someone we can trust or respect.
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This advertisement is effective because it shows a mom who supports the product. Whether this model is a mom or not, the audience that the ad is aimed at is moms and they can relate to this model’s role.

5. Authority: We trust the experts to tell us what is good and bad. This is why celebrities, doctors, big business bosses, etc. are the most trustworthy and capable to persuade others into actions they believe in because people believe that these authority figures’ choices have made them successful, which makes them a trustworthy source.

Image result for katy perry covergirl
Image result for katy perry covergirl

The Covergirl makeup brand uses Katy Perry as a model for their commercials. Katy Perry is very popular among many people because of her music, beauty and talent. Using her as a model for their company causes the brand to seem more trustworthy and reliable to consumers. It is not guaranteed that she even uses or likes the products this company produces; she is merely the model for the company because they pay her to be. A well-known celebrity or role model shown next to a product can cause the product to gain popularity. Consumers are more likely to buy the product because of the fact that she is a very popular celebrity (singer) which supports the quality of the product.

6. Scarcity: Scarcity is when there is a limited supply or time limit on a product of interest. When a product's availability is limited it convinces buyers that if they don't buy now, the object of choice will be gone. This kind of advertising creates an illusion that a product is more valuable and the time limit causes people to react and buy products quicker.

external image saks-sale-advert-499x360.jpg
This advertising poster is using scarcity as their persuasion by saying that there is only four days left of the sale. Thus causing a quicker reaction among buyers and the thought that they need to buy it before the offer ends or before the supply runs out.

Commonly Used Advertising Techniques
1. Negative option: When merchandise arrives automatically by a free trial. Shipping and billing continue after unless the consumer takes steps to stop shipment and billing.
2. Reciprocation: When the customer is given something free with a purchase so they feel obliged to purchase from the vender as if they owe them the business.
3. Social proof: When a person is unsure about an action they often look around to see what other people are doing. By saying that a lot of people use a certain service more people are likely to use that popular service as well.
4. Foot in the door: If someone is wanting to get a big purchase or favour out of someone they could persuade them by asking for a smaller thing and gradually working up to the big event.Works by getting a small yes first and turning it into an even bigger yes.
5. Door in the face: A customer is more likely to comply to smaller similar request if they have already rejected a larger request. For example if you would like them to donate $10 ask them for a $100 donation, they will most likely say no because this is a significant amount of money, then once they decline ask that they donate only $10. They will feel that this is a reasonable request compared to the $100 one and comply.
6. Contrast Principle: If a seller sells the most expensive item first and then sells the smaller items, they have a better chance of making the full sale because the cheaper items seem less expensive compared to the expensive item. This principle can also describe when a seller presents an undesirable/inferior option first to make the second option look far superior.
7. Low Balling Principle- Low balling is when a merchant gets the buyer to commit to a product at a certain price, once the buyer goes to buy the item the merchant will then make a reason to raise the price. The buyer will stick to their decision to purchase the item because of their need to stay consistent even though the price has been raised.

Unethical Techniques

1. Bait & Switch: When an advertisement entices consumers into the store with bargains that are too good to be true. Once the consumers are in the store, they are told the item is unavailable and are shown a similar more expensive, item. Often high-pressure sales tactics are used. (Illegal in Canada.)
2. Specials: When a store or company advertises a product that is not in stock or that is not readily available to consumers for the advertised price.
3. Out-of-context quotations: When a company or business takes comments by a noted person or passages from a story and uses them out of context to imply an endorsement of a product or service.

Affective Conditioning
Affective conditioning is the transfer of our feelings from one set of items to another. It supports the idea that if companies advertise their products with things the public generally like then their product will sell better. The visual and audio appeal will generate a positive message around the product; affective conditioning is most effective when the customer does not realize it is happening.
external image Snuggle-Bear.jpg
This advertisement is using the name snuggle, the soft teddy bear, and the pillowy blankets to make the public think that this laundry detergent will make your clothes feel like this, this is a popular product because the company is relating snuggly items with their product; this appeals to the public.

The Sleeper Effect
Carl Hovland was a psychologist working mainly at Yale University during World War 2; Hovland studied attitude change and persuasion. He first discover the Sleeper Effect when he was studying the effects of Frank Capra's propaganda film Why We Fight on soldiers in the Army. The Sleeper Effect is when a persuasive message has a bigger impact over time on a person. The more time that has passed since the viewer has been exposed to the message the more their attitude will conform to the message. The Sleeper Effect will only happen under two conditions; big initial impact and a discounting cue. The Sleeper Effect will only take place if the initial impact is big. The message has to get our mind's attention and be able to stay there until it has a more powerful impact. If the message has a unreliable source the persuasion will not work right away, but in time it will. This happens once the message is no longer associated with the unreliable source. The sleeper Effect kicks in because we tend to hold on to the message long term and we soon forget the source of the message. This is like when you remember a story but cannot remember where you heard it from.

Fear appraisal is used against consumers fears to motivate them to purchase a product or help out a cause. The consumer appraises the product in light of their fear of the consequences of not buying. Ex. an ad campaign may appeal to people's fear of bad body odor to convince them to buy deodorant. Consumers who are afraid of sweat stains or odor are more likely to respond and buy the deodorant.

Image result for canadian smoking warning labels
Image result for canadian smoking warning labels

Fear appeal is a convincing message that tries to prompt fear in order to divert behavior through the threat of possible danger or harm. It presents a risk, presents the vulnerability to the risk, and then describes a suggested form of protective action. An example of fear appeal is an advertisement for fire insurance that pictures a family devastated by the fire that has destroyed their home.