Advertising has one objective: to sell. Anyone who writes advertising copy, does so with the aim of convincing people to buy their products or services; it is as simple as that. It may seem like an easy task, yet in reality it is anything but, because most of the advertising that is created, passes completely unobserved before the tired eyes of the public.
This happens because most people who work in the advertising sector ignore the thought process that motivates people to buy. All too often these ad men are so busy thinking about how to boost their own ego that they end up creating campaigns that don’t work and do not fulfil the main objective, which is to make a profit.
Many adverts – far too many – talk about how lovely the product is, how professional the company is and how modern a structure they have, but they forget one small detail: people are only interested in themselves! They want to know what those products and services can do for them, how they are going to make their lives easier, more fun or more satisfying. If we take a good look at most of the adverts we see today, we will realise that they are not centred on the consumer and their needs, and that they completely ignore the concept of basic desires.
Human beings are biologically programmed with these eight core desires, or “Life Force 8”. These are very basic needs that have to do with our needs for survival, to enjoy food and drink, and to be free from fear, pain and danger. They have to do with our natural desire for sex, to live in comfortable conditions, to feel superior to others, to take care of our loved ones and to protect them and be approved by others.
These are simple needs that we all have, and no advert should ever ignore them. In order for it to be effective, an advert must play on one of these core desires. The copy must be able to create an image of the product in the customer’s mind, and this image should then create the need to satisfy the desire that the product promises to fulfil.
Once a potential client wishes to satisfy a particular need, we need to convince them that our product is just what they are looking for, and provide proof of our credibility, in order to obtain their trust. Once we have that trust, we need to use our advert to push the client to make the purchase, and that is the only objective of advertising.
To reach this final objective – of our client purchasing our product – understanding the psychology of the consumer is not only important, it is essential.