How Does Advertising Influence People?

Advertising influences people by appealing to their emotions. There are several techniques advertisers use to influence the buying decisions of buyers and encourage an emotional relationship between the buyer and the product.

One way in which advertisers influence people is through a procedure known as affective conditioning. Affective conditioning occurs when a buyer makes a purchase decision solely based on the positive feelings gained from choosing a product. A paper in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research by Melanie Dempsey and Andrew Mitchell suggests that people who undergo affective conditioning are 70-80 percent more likely to pick a product paired with positive items regardless of whether or not that product is better than a competing product.

According to the Houston Chronicle, there are two forms of advertising: informational advertising and transformational advertising. Informational advertising focuses on the features and benefits of the product while providing comparisons with competing products. Transformational advertising, or experimental advertising, focuses on the experiences derived from using a particular product over a competing product. In this form of advertising, companies use advertising to explain how the product will improve one’s quality of life and make them a better person than they were prior to using the product.