Getting Us Hooked- Common TV Advertisement Techniques

Getting Us Hooked- Common TV Advertisement Techniques

More than ever before, advertisement is crucial to the success of any business. It is especially the case with ever-increasing avenues to promote your goods and services- from Google to Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and more.. However, in order for this lever to serve its intended purpose and yield actual results, it is vital that the advert satisfies a multiplicity of conditions. Getting Us Hooked- Common TV Advertisement Techniques.

From time immemorial, an advert served not only as a way of informing potential shoppers about the existence of a given product. TV adverts were also designed to attract the largest possible audience of potential customers, and thus generate more and more profits. There is a lot of competition on the market and it is more and more difficult to get your message across to the masses. Manufacturers and sellers alike have also learned to harness the power of ad campaigns, raising the bar of competition internationally. A successful ad campaign captures the senses, sustains the attraction, and converts the interaction into, ultimately, a purchase.

There are common techniques used by in TV advert that can effectively increase the likelihood of attracting people’s attention. And these are just some of the examples.

Physical Attractiveness

Sex sells. It’s true. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. We are, after all, primitive beings, and that makes us an easy prey to ad campaigns targeting precisely that. What was the last perfume ad you watched? It most likely involved a model flaunting irresistible beauty, magnetic sexuality, and limitless seduction. Or maybe a handsome man dressed in fine silk, walking in nature, taming the wild lion, and looking at you with nothing but sharp eyes and a bold jawline. No words involved, just the silent charm. This is hot stuff.

TV ads also exploit our obsession with celebrity culture in the US. I’m buying anything Rihanna or Beyoncé wears. Same with lipstick, mascara, and the rest.. We buy with our eyes, can’t be further from the truth. On the sidelines, you’ll find some social scientists talking about clear statistical evidence attributing various mental health and social issues to the rise of unhealthy body standards and unrealistic expectations of how a person should look and dress up.

Price Manipulation

Another common techniques utilized in TV adverts is price manipulation – mainly it is about the so-called psychological price. For instance, a product often costs $9.99 instead of straight up $10. The buyer will effectively spend $10 anyway. It gets even more tricky when when an ad announces a reduction in prices of certain goods. Same applies to percentage cuts. It commonly happens that after a discount, the product costs more than previously. Manufacturers, instead of indicating clearly that your washing detergent is down by $6, they find it smarter to communicate that it is down 50%, So simple, yet equally mpressive stuff, right?

When it comes to expensive goods, the same tactics don’t work in the same manner. They thus give the price outright instead of the percentages. A 10%, reduction would probably not achieve the intended psychology shock. Let’s say we go on a shopping spree. As shoppers we always should pay attention to the contrast effect, whereby just next to an expensive product (e.g. a PS4 pro console), you can find another, much lower-priced item (e.g. headphones). It’d be a pity not to take advantage of the “opportunity” to either buy an unnecessary item or overpay for something that was not cheap at all.

Advertising that Lies- or Misleads at Best

Another trick that advertisers frequently apply is that related to refunds. The text reads, ”We will refund your money if …” Unfortunately, it is another cheap advertising gimmick, because the conditions set are designed to make it virtually impossible to get a refund. Producers protect themselves with many regulations too. So when the client wants to assert his arguments, it turns out that he has none, and no chance to get money back.

We often hear advertisements promising that a product strengthens immunity or protects the body against colds and viruses. Has it been scientifically substantiated? Of course not, with huge unregulations allowing you to stay stuff without much facts to back your claims. Such information misleads us. Remember that you shouldn’t take ads very seriously. Chances are, someone’s gonna make money out of you, do not be fooled.

Authority in Advertising

Another technique applied in TV advertisements is to involve someone who assumes the role of an authority in the field. You guessed right, we’re talking cold or headache remedies, in which there is almost always a person wearing a doctor’s sanitary apron or white gown. It gives the impression that the advertisement is backed by doctors primarily, playing on our wired tendencies to trust doctors and science. “Listen to what the doctor said”, mama told me growing up.

Limited Amount of goods and services

A further trick used by advertisers in TV commercials is to inform customers about a limited amount of a given product. How many times have you been been tempted by the slogans “only now” or “only as long as stocks last” ? Such a trick refers to the element of finite goods and resources, the idea that if you do not buy the candy now, there’ll be none left- and you’ll be stuck eating broccoli and peas for the rest of your life. In the process, we’re constantly chasing that potentially last chance to have chocolate, for ever. That mindset encourages all sorts of addictions, sugar addiction in this case. And this rule applies to all types of goods and services; for both luxury cars and everyday products..


Most ads use a small amount of information, with limited time to get a message across. For this reason, a significant subset of advertisements creates a kind of storytelling that bases the promotion of a good or service on a story, of course with a happy ending. Emotions, and some history- a yearning for the past- sell well.

By way of example, I will use an advertisement for a product relieving people from headache. Most often it depicts a busy person who works long hours, until suddenly he has a severe headache, and as a result he is unable to continue his duties. Fortunately, there is a cure for this ailment that works quickly and effectively. The protagonist of our advert can, therefore, return to his or her duties. As you can see, this story ends with a happy ending, the and the world is safe thanks to the advertised remedy.

Such commercials attract our greatest attention. The main reason is that, rather than scientific facts that are usually incomprehensible to us, these types of advertising are based on emotions that affect us all.


Everyday we receive various types of advertising slogans, e.g. “Success Guaranteed or Your Money Back”. There are ads that have taken over our minds over generations. Producers will do everything to occupy a part of your attention and sell you a product. Unconsciously, most of us get stretched with a lot of unnecessary articles. There are many common techniques that are applied in TV adverts and their job is to influence our attitudes, emotions and behavior.

People buy with their eyes, so when they see something nice in an advertising section at a “bargain” price, they feel the urge to buy it right away. Regardless of whether this product is useful at all. Therefore, let’s choose wisely and make informed consumer decisions. Not to mention the importance of making environment-conscious decisions. With our wallets, we are voting for businesses that care for environment sustainability, social responsibility and giving back to society. Check our article about learning new things here.