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Popular Advertising Techniques

Learn how to use these 23 advertising techniques within your next ad.

With the competition to grab your audience’s attention growing all the time, it’s essential to find the perfect advertising techniques that really stand out and resonate with your audience. This is how you can entice them to take action more easily.

Are you ready to start creating powerful and persuasive ads that get your audience ready to buy? These popular advertising techniques can help you to create visuals that resonate with your audience. Check them out in the video below.

17:48 Intermediate
Video Transcript

Implementing a visual marketing strategy will seem like a daunting task. That is, until you finish watching this video. 

Hello world! Mike Ploger back with Visme – the online platform that stays ahead of visual design trends and allows you to create your own content with ease. 

Digital marketing experts have found that the average human sees 5,000 ads per day. Some of us will actually see even double that. Now with the competition to grab our attention growing by the day, it’s imperative that advertisers absolutely nail their content and influence their viewers. 

There are 23 proven methods that I’ll touch on in this video. Now, some relate to the elements within the ad, while others touch on different appeals to connect with a viewer. 

As is the case, you’ll be able to use more than one of these techniques in each of your advertisements. It’s up to you to decide which is best for your product. Shall we?

1. Color Psychology

In every piece of advertising that we see, there’s some sort of color scheme. Whether it’s a full palette or black and white, those colors have likely been chosen for a reason. 

Different colors can elicit different feelings in viewers. Red is the color of passion or power. Blue is calming and approachable. Both of these colors have become strong associations with brands. 

Think classic Coca-cola and that strong red or Tiffany blue as we see here, paired with a grayscale image. This ad also gives us a direct gaze into the product which is another technique that we will explore here very shortly. 

Nonetheless, the importance of strategically picking color can not be emphasized enough. 

If you are interested in diving deeper into color psychology, we have the video for you. Check it out in the link above. 

2. Composition

Okay. Before I dive into this technique, you might be asking yourself what exactly do I mean by composition. Simply put, it’s just the organization of elements within your ad space. 

A well thought out ad will pull a viewer’s eyes towards the most important aspects of a design. It could be an emotional trigger, the brand’s logo or a call-to-action button. 

Achieving balance is key when it comes to your composition. This ad behind me uses composition techniques like the rule of thirds, focal point and a visual path. 

The woman sits in the left third while the light shining gives importance to both her and the centered text. I recommend checking out the Gestalt principles to explore the basic rules for a great composition.

3. Rule of Thirds and the Golden Mean

You just heard me mention it, now let’s explore it – the rule of thirds. This technique places a 3×3 invisible grid over an image. By doing so, you’ll get four intersecting points and these points are crucial. 

Place your most important visual elements at these points, just as Corona did with their iconic Corona bottle. 

Now the golden mean is quite similar but follows the Fibonacci sequence. What the heck is that, you might be asking? 

Well, it’s this more free flowing grid that directs the placement of elements in a more harmonious way. Rectangles are broken down into more rectangles achieving visual balance. 

4. Focal Point

The focal point of an ad is as important as any of our techniques that we’re covering in this video. We just covered two grid techniques which can draw attention to a focal point, but there are a few other techniques as well. 

Selected focus as one that will blur out the unimportant aspects of an image, adjusting exposure can manipulate what area should pop while also hiding some other areas in the shadows or you can even provide a light source to bring importance to a single element. 

In these ads, we have not one but two focal points. The plain text and the rubbed out text which sends a powerful message. 

5. Visual Path

Any image, ad, book cover, web page, any visual that we look at, we go on a visual path – a journey through the design. Now, there’s two visual paths that are the most effective when planning your design. The Z path and the F path. 

With the Z shape, our eyes begin at the top left of the image before moving right then back diagonal left and then across two the right again. So, here we see the first block of text then move over to the picture of the man, back left to the call-to-action before finding the mobile phone. 

Now, with the F shape, our eyes move like they would when reading a book. You start top left, move right before moving back left, down, right again and continuing down the image. 

6. Typographic Composition 

Typography AKA fonts. The style and amount of text within an ad is crucial to its success. 

Just take into consideration the fact that Facebook has an algorithm that accepts or denies ads based on how much text is within that ad. Crazy, right? 

You want to be mindful of how much text you’re placing in a design. An ad filled with lines of text can often be overwhelming. So, you want to use visuals to balance out your ad. 

This ad, well, probably wouldn’t be accepted by Facebook but it is great for traditional advertising. Britain’s Biggest Egg is that tiny little egg in the ads’ boundary. 

Make sure you do your research when you’re choosing your fonts and don’t look far. We’ve covered this in another video of ours on our YouTube channel. 

7. Repetition

If you really want to nail your product or idea into somebody’s head, use repetition. Whether it’s the same ad in a number of platforms, the same commercial on different channels or pushing your brand logo anywhere and everywhere – that’s repetition for you. 

Now, the thing is, repetition is best only when debuting a new product or message. It’ll raise brand awareness but soon after you will need a new strategy to keep viewers entertained. 

Renault repeated the same concept but in different shapes to take advantage of this technique. Viewers will immediately recognize the brand even if it’s their first time seeing a new ad. 

8. Body Language

If you’re creating an ad using real people or even figurines, you’ll want to consider their body language within the ad. Without speaking, body language can portray confidence, success, spontaneity, liveliness – you name it. 

Now, determining what message you want to send before building your ad is important. By doing so, you can search for just the right actor or build that perfect animated character. 

McDonald’s believe it or not actually wanted somebody to yawn in their ad. Why? Because they are pushing their new 24-hour service that even the most tired and hungry consumers could relate to. 

9. Direct Gaze

Have you ever made direct eye contact with a complete stranger and it made you feel some type of way? We see it in romance movies all the time and it is also a common strategy in advertising. 

Companies will use the most attractive actors and actresses that they could find and ask them to directly gaze into a camera. Now, in return, an emotion will be triggered in the viewer pushing them to buy that product. 

We often see this with luxury items or scents maybe, just like we do with this Gucci ad and this handsome fellow. 

10. Three-Quarter Gaze

Now, while the direct gaze may be a little intimidating, another solution would be the three-quarter gaze. Here, the subject is looking off camera in any direction. 

Our first example is from Dolce and Gabbana and the actress, this time Scarlett Johansson, is peering into a mirror. By looking into a situation, the ad gives us a sense of wonder. 

Then there’s Buzz Lightyear, who of course is looking into saving the world. In this ad for Toy Story, you can tell he is just itching to say, To Infinity and Beyond!

11. Point of View

The point of view technique is most commonly used in video advertising, but it can be extremely effective given the product. This technique takes a viewer into the point of view of another person. 

GoPro and Red Bull have mastered the technique given what they’re selling. GoPro sells the cameras, while Red Bull sells the drink that really has become more of a lifestyle. 

If you’re looking into using this technique, get yourself a GoPro and pair it with a steadicam or a head mount then simply hit record while completing the action that you’re selling.

12. Behind-the-Scenes

Behind-the-scenes videos or photos are a great technique to authenticate your brand. Sure, you may no longer be perfect in your advertisements but viewers will actually appreciate that. 

These ads can be images of your workspace or employees in the midst of a project. Or you can even film a video tour of what different employees are working on in any given moment. 

A quick way to do this is by having a single employee to a social media take over. Give them the power to go around the office and get genuine interactions with those in your company. 

Even McDonald’s admitted in an ad that yes their burgers on paper look a little bit different from those out the drive thru window. Nonetheless, personalized marketing like this can go a long way.

13. Association

Association marketing is one of the more challenging techniques, but with proper research, it can also be one of the most successful. Put simply, association marketing is when visuals in an image are associated with a certain feeling, idea, place or memory. 

Take Rolex watches and their association to power. Or Lamborghinis and their association with wealth. 

Associations can also be created. An ad for body wash will use scenes of men playing football, implying the body wash will restore their cleanliness. Or check out this ad. Associating Carnaval with drug and alcohol use by using pixels instead of actual vomit is easier to digest.

14. Symbolism

Symbolism is similar to association but calls on metaphors and similes to be effective. You’ll be making comparisons and illusions using your product, rather than recognizable icons. A high level of brand awareness can help but is only necessary if an idea is completely farfetched. 

This ad uses symbolism simply. The perfume bottle takes the place of a heart. We all recognize that it’s supposed to say I heart you. The perfume symbolizes love, making it the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

McDonald’s had a similar approach symbolizing WiFi with their french fries. It’s an instantly recognizable icon, so most, if not all viewers should understand its symbolism.

15. Anthropomorphism

As you try to pronounce or next technique, let me first help you understand just what it is. 

You know those two M&Ms that come to life on our televisions? Or the Planter’s peanut man? That’s this technique. It’s taking an object and bringing it to life. 

They can also work with animals like Tony the Tiger or the Geico gecko. A lot of times, these beings will become merchandise. 

The Moscow Zoo is another example when they edited their animals having a little bit of fun with a hibernating bear. And P.S., it’s pronounced anthropomorphism.

16. Emotional Appeal

If you really understand your target audience, using the emotional appeal should be at the top of your potential advertising techniques. You should understand the wants, hopes, fears and needs of your audience then use symbolism, association and storytelling to tuck at their heartstrings. 

You want your audience to relate to your commercial. Some of these ads can be a little longer like this Thai TV commercial, but if you watch it, you should get an understanding of the effect that these commercials have on viewers. 

There are actually a number of different emotional appeals that you can use and we covered all of them in one of our videos. I dove deeper into the emotional appeal and covered some rational appeals as well.

17. Bandwagon Pressuring

One of the more riskier techniques is bandwagon pressuring. However, anything with little bit of risk could really pay off. Bandwagon pressuring is when you convinced consumers that everyone is doing it. 

You convince them that they need that product because the masses are buying into it and they should not be left out. However, if you overdo this technique, it could really have a negative effect on a viewer. 

Express used the term “Don’t miss out!” which you’ll often see in this technique when advertising their 2014 rewards card.

18. Storytelling

I’ve mentioned storytelling in this video already, and with how powerful it can be, I want to focus solely on it for a quick second. 

First and foremost, storytelling relies on many of the techniques already covered in this video. It takes several techniques to become one influential message. 

The point of storytelling is producing a message that consumers can relate to. It can even be done without words, in fact some of the most powerful stories are told with music and images alone. 

That’s exactly what Lacoste did in one of their ads. No voices, no words, just strong imagery from beginning to end, telling the story of two strangers becoming oh so much more. 

19. Social Proof

Social media continues to grow as a platform for advertising. And as is the case, more and more advertising techniques continue to emerge. 

You’ll often see case studies where brands have individuals used their products and write a blog on their website about their experience. Testimonials also fall under this category and actually what you will see the most often when scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is social badges. 

Companies share their accomplishments and adds to show their expertise. Just like Nature Made did here after they produce the first every gummy vitamin USP Certified for purity and potency.

20. Fantasy

If your audience is similar to that of, let’s say Star Wars, the fantasy technique could be a viable option. By using associations, the fantasies technique takes something we have seen in television or maybe read about and it brings it to life in an ad. 

Think Sasquatch in the beef jerky commercials. For most of us, it’s a fantasy coming to life. For others, well, the search continues. Now, click the link above to see another more extensive example of Air New Zealand bringing all of our wildest fantasies into one safety video. 

21. Animation and Motion Graphics

For companies looking to explain the viewers more about who they are, an animated video could be a great tactic. Animation and motion graphics continue to grow in the advertising realm. 

They grab attention very quickly but can also be pretty short in length and as entertaining as you please. Oreo actually put together a number of animated commercials not long ago if you’re looking for any examples to check out yourself. 

And if you’re not sure where to begin when creating animations, Visme has a tool to make it easy for you in a slideshow that can be featured on your web page or your blog. 

22. Artificial Reality

Artificial reality has grown with technology in recent history and it’s made its way into advertising. You may also hear it called covert advertising, and that’s just because it is not necessarily selling a certain thing but rather providing brand awareness. 

IKEA allowed their customers to go into their app and place items from their store into a customer’s home. Of course, it was through the phone’s camera, an augmented reality but it did give viewers an idea of what a piece of furniture would look like into their own home. 

If you’re interested in checking it out, click the link above

23. Social Media Influencers

And lastly, as social media takes over the world, social media influencers have become very popular. These are individuals with massive followings who work with companies to promote their product. 

Oftentimes the company will send them their products in exchange of a post tagging that company. This makes their following at least see the product and likely interact with their brand. 

Influencers will either receive compensation or receive those products for free. And believe it or not, micro influencers exist as well. These are those with much smaller following but their engagement and success could be even greater. 

And that my friends, is a wrap. I’ve covered 23 techniques, now some of which you want to consider in each of your ads like color and composition or others may be directed towards just one specific ad. 

I have one final tip for you – remember to research and understand your audience. Know their wants and needs. Heck, know their wants and needs even better than they do. 

And when it comes to beginning your design, don’t forget Visme is a visual design tool for tasks just like this. You can create ads from pre designed templates with all the fonts, colors, icons and graphics you could ever ask for. 

That’s going to do it for me for now. I will be back soon with more videos made for helping you conquer what seems like the most challenging design tasks. 

Our channel already hosts a number of videos, so if this video helped you, make sure you subscribe to our channel to see just how else we can. For now, good luck with your ads and remember, I’m Mike Ploger with Visme helping you Make Information Beautiful.