ACT Writing: Advertisers Persuade Consumers

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Every year billions of dollars are spent on advertising. Many approaches are used to persuade consumers to buy a product. Some seem to work better than others.

One approach, for example, is to try to make the reader or viewer identify with the people shown using the product. These people seem to be glamorous, loved, successful, elite, clever, or sexy. Supposedly, anyone who uses the product can expect the same reward. Another approach is to let the product speak for itself; people are attracted to scrumptious food, beautiful clothing, and sleek new cars. Sometimes good prices and special deals are the focus. Ads for complicated products, such as computers, may provide a lot of information. Endorsements by celebrities are especially common.

In general, many of the ads succeed. People do tend to buy what they see advertised. However, some advertising can backfire. People may be offended, for example, by ads that are overly sexy or ones that viciously or sarcastically attack competitors ′ products.

Advertising can be a useful aid for the consumer. It helps a person learn what is new or in style or handy to have around, what things cost, and where to buy them. To use this information effectively, however, a person must learn to look past the emotional appeals and find the facts.