Types of Motivation in Advertising

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In the world we live in, advertising is everything. From the local business offering a trade in deal on a billboard, or a new mother posting a picture of her baby on Facebook, all forms of advertising surround our world. When we see an advertisement, why do we act the way we do towards them? It all comes down to the motivation behind the advertisement, and the way it is supposed to make one feel. There are many types of motivation for advertisements out there, and here are a few. To start off, there is the “Incentive” approach. What incentive advertising does, is it lures its target audience into being a part of something, or purchasing an item by the use of reward. Humans naturally are a selfish race. In saying that, humans are always looking for what they can get out of something even if it requires them also doing something in return; as long as there is some form of take-away. This style of motivation, among a few others, is one of the most effective forms of motivating an audience through advertisements. On the flip side of the incentive approach, is the fear form of motivation. Fear is in every human. Every single human that has and will walk this planet is afraid of something.

The fear form of advertising appeals to those worries and frights that the audience carries. The tactic is used to scare individuals in to doing something purely because they are trying to prohibit an outcome of what might happen. In business, there is an analogy that is often reflecting of the traits of the incentive and fear approaches, it is called the “Carrot and Stick”. The use of the carrot is the promised reward in a circumstance whereas the stick is used to instill fear in the subject for not cooperating properly. Both of these types of motivation are very useful, and definitely get any message across. Next there is the achievement type motivation. This specific approach makes consumers strive for or achieve success and accomplishment. As imperfect human beings, we desire to improve who we are, and prove ourselves worthy to those around us. Therefore, the achievement motivation applies to human desire to be better.

Advertisements like those of Nike, Gatorade, and even Mary Kay drive humans to be better than they are. A similar type motivational approach is growth. Growth screams positivity, and in saying that, we as humans love anything positive. The growth approach is centered on the fact that humans desire a change that can affect them positively in an emotional and physical manner. The desire for self-improvement lies deep within the human soul. Marketers love taking advantage of the achievement and growth approaches. People want to see that its possible to be better, and advertisements can do that for them. The second to last approach is the power motivation. The idea behind the power approach is that it allows humans to believe that they are in control, and that they have the power of a situation. We enjoy being in control of our day-to-day lives, as well as being able to make every single decision, in what we think, is our best interest. Slogans like Dodge’s “Grab Life By The Horns” give the target audience the idea that they can indeed control life, and better yet, from the drivers seat of a new pick-up truck.

The last type is social. Social motivation can root back to childhood insecurities of wanting to be picked by a team at recess. The idea behind this specific approach is its way of showing to the world that you can be a part of something, and more importantly, fit in. Whether its joining a movement or signing up for a cause, humans need the relational aspect of life to be a part of the community around us. Also, social motivation can take the angle that motivates people to contribute and invest in the lives of others and to make a difference. Overall, these two types of motivation are surely good enough to motivate one to either “Grab Life By The Horns” or even recycle. Motivation in advertising is everywhere. It’s what drives the consumer to commit to a certain object, and is what makes the consumer feel good about making that decision. Without these types of motivation in advertising, the world would be a boring place to be a consumer.

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