Advertising attempts to appeal to consumers at different levels. Sometimes the appeal is rational. An advertisement for a laptop might tell you the specifications – CPU speed, amount of memory, screen size. Laptop ads are usually rational because we need specific things in a laptop to do the things we want to do – homework, games, etc. The ads for other products can sometime be irrational. An advertisement for a car might focus more on how much fun you are going to have with it rather than how big the engine is or what kind of gas you need to use with it. As you may have already realized, rational ads focus on features, while irrational ads focus on benefits. Here is a list of rational and irrational appeals in advertisements.
- Rational – Focuses on Practical Use
o Form – Is it designed to meet my needs?
o Function – Does it do what I need it to do?
o Price – How much does it cost?
- Irrational – Based on Emotions
o Personal – How will this make me feel?
o Social – How will others see me if I buy this?
o Fear – What will I lose if I do not get this?
o Humor – Causes a laugh
o Sex – Will this help me find a partner?
o Music – Gets attention, creates connection.
o Scarcity – Act now, before it is gone!