What it says on the tin
In what was supposed to be one post, but turns out will be quite a few, I will discuss various forms of advertising messages; when I believe they should be used and why.
According to Freud, the human psyche is divided into three, often conflicting, components: id, ego and super-ego. In short, the id is the subconscious childlike portion of our psyche, driven by basic impulses and drives; the super-ego is the moral and idealistic component, driven by accumulated beliefs and attitudes, and aiming for perfection, while the ego is the conscious and rational self which negotiates between the two, and the component which is usually most directly reflected in a person’s actions. In short, then, it makes sense to divide our psyche into reason, emotions and values.
This corresponds with the ongoing debate about which type of advertising message is the most effective; rational or emotional. I will discuss these types of messages and also add one to the mix which is mostly overlooked: value-based messages. I will try to understand how the three relate to each other and under what circumstances each are best employed.
I will argue that rational and emotional messages need not be in direct conflict, but that it’s rather a case of finding the right balance between them. I will also argue that value-based messages are often the superior form when it comes to engaging and connecting with people, and, when done right, includes the two former types, and in a way which more successfully infiltrates our minds and affects attitude and behaviour; even to a degree which renders the rational-emotional debate futile.
When should we employ what type of messaging? I think this depends on the decision-making processes employed by the target customer for the category in question. Corresponding to above trinity, our purchase decisions are either rational, emotional or value-based, or, rather, a combination of the three.
But first up, I will explore these three forms in more depth. So stay tuned…