Through technological advances, psychological analysis and various campaign initiatives, the advertisement industry has grown into a 1.2 trillion dollar business according to PQ Media. Companies do not only utilize the art of advertising as a means of monetary gain but also to assist in their efforts of building a reputable and respected brand. Consumers at times, however, hold skeptical when engaging with various ads.
“Play on fear of illness was of course normal, as it had been throughout quack advertising, and there were simple promises of attractiveness and reputation if particular products were used” – Raymond Williams pg330
Playing on fear is an advertising technique that is still in use today. Allstate and Farmers are prime examples of insurance companies that aim to create advertisements that address the skeptical thoughts of the consumers in a humorous manner while subliminally instilling fear. Specifically referring to the insurance business, consumers are skeptical as to if they will ever need insurance. So rather than to create boring advertisements about insurance and what they can provide, these companies decided to go on the offensive. Watch the commercials below to see the humorous and clever spin that acknowledges the skeptics.
As you can see, the use of sensationalism in these ads responds to critics and lets them know that there is plenty of things that can happen in this world that could cause damage. Not only are these ads ridiculous and funny, but they also aim to instill a fear in the viewer that the unexpected and unthinkable could happen. I believe this to be an effective campaign and a creative initiative to address any doubts of their product by their consumer. Also, not for nothing, the first commercial also justifies why I am a dog person 🙂
Raymond Williams “Advertising-The Magic System”
Pie Chart provided by Lindsay Richards, Elon University in “Examining advertising and its impact on consumer skepticism”