Avoiding Embarrassment Vs. Feeling Pride: Lawn Doctor

Avoiding Embarrassment Vs. Feeling Pride: Lawn Doctor

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These are two simple, inexpensive, and persuasive ads.

Both ads save money with one or two simple camera shots and no identifiable on-camera talent followed by a brand “billboard.”

Both ads focus on feeling. How would it feel to have others see your ratty-looking lawn? How would it feel to have others see your lush, green lawn? It’s not the actual condition of the lawn that is motivating. It’s the embarrassment or pride the viewer may feel.

Both ads demonstrate their regard for the audience by not laboriously explaining what conclusions viewers should draw. Ads should not say anything that the audience can and will provide on their own. Explaining the obvious is patronizing. And, when people tell themselves the message of an ad, the message is more powerful.

The first ad, the grilling chef hiding his face under a paper bag is the better of the two spots. People are more motivated to avoid a loss than to get a gain, in this case, more motivated to avoid embarrassment than to feel pride. That’s why ads for products that solve problems typically spend a lot of time on the problems and a little time on the solutions. And it’s why insurance companies get rich.

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