TPR #6: Sell more by portraying women accurate in ads

The Persuasion Report


TPR #6: Sell more by portraying women accurate in ads
By Mark Tosczak • Issue #6 • View online
Welcome to issue No. 6 of The Persuasion Report. This week:
  1. Sell more stuff by portraying women accurate in ads
  2. Dark web patterns explained
  3. The critical ingredient for blockbusters
  4. There’s a new version of Influence coming
Stay tuned for some good stuff coming soon. And, as always, if you like what you’re reading, please share it with your friends and colleagues.

1. Sell more by portraying women accurate in ads
It really is that simple. A study from consultancy IRi found that ads that portrayed women and girls more accurately saw significant sales increases. The study used shopper, panel and store sales data, plus viewership information, to assess the impact of portraying women in ads accurately.
Women want to see themselves accurately portrayed in media, and they’re directing their spending accordingly. Campaigns that accurately portray women and girls can garner two to five times incremental sales lift.
The study at campaigns for Kellogg’s Special K, Bud Light, Clorox, 7 Up and L'Oréal Paris.
2. Dark web patterns explained
Dark patterns in web design are those that “trick” users into doing something they wouldn’t otherwise. And, as we noted a couple weeks ago, California lawmakers want to ban them.
Recode has put together a nice explanation of dark patterns, and some examples. Bottom line: You need to know what these are so you don’t use them (some of them are so common you may think they’re standards).
3. The critical ingredient for blockbusters
What distinguishes a blockbuster — book, movie or brand — from its less successful peers? Besides sales, researchers are finding that a critical component is emotionality.
Researchers analyzed consumer reviews and sales of 1.6 million books, 2,400 movies, and 1,000 restaurants, as well as two years of Super Bowl ads. They found that high-star ratings actually predict less market success. (Le sigh.) But the reviews infused with emotionality correlate with high sales.
That research parallels findings from another study last year that discovered that consumers are most loyal to brands that trigger strong feelings (even if it’s an urge to puke after a tough Peloton workout).
The lesson: If you want a blockbuster, you better trigger some emotions.
4. There's a new version of Influence coming
In less than a month, a new and expanded version of Robert Cialdini’s classic book on persuasion strategies, Influence, is coming. If you had to identify a single person as the father of modern persuasion research and theory, it would be Cialdini.
He’s a best-selling author, emeritus professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University, and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. I think his work is so important that I used his book as a textbook in my writing classes for communications majors.
Anyway, over on Twitter the Freakonomics folks have a fun thread soliciting questions people would like Cialdini to answer about persuasion. It’s worth a read.
The book "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion," by Robert Cialdini, is one of the most — well, influential, books of the modern era. A revised edition is about to be released. Whether you've read it or not, what's the one question you'd like to hear Cialdini answer?
Did you enjoy this issue?
Mark Tosczak

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