Ads techniques education

The Endorsement or Testimonial

This technique uses a celebrity or authority in an ad to lend his or her stellar qualities to the product. Sometimes the people actually claim to use the product, but sometimes they don’t. Some agencies survive by providing “names” for testimonials.



Model/Actress Cindy Crawford for Pepsi

Michael Jordan for Nike

Candice Bergen for Sprint


A variation on this technique is the “John or Jane Doe” testimonial, where an average person endorses a product. This approach can be used to convince potential customers that people “just like them” use the product.



The Scientific or Statistical Technique

This kind of ad refers to some sort of scientific proof or experiments, to very specific numbers, or to an impressive-sounding mystery ingredient.



“Bread helps build strong bodies 12 ways.”

Even the weasel helps did not prevent the Federal Trade Commission from demanding that this actual advertisement be withdrawn. But note that the use of the number 12 makes the claim far more believable than if it were replaced by—for example—”many ways.”

“Mrs. Molly’s Oven Cleaner has 33% more cleaning power than another popular brand.”

“Another popular brand” translates simply as some kind of oven cleaner sold somewhere. What the claim probably means is that Mrs. Molly’s Oven Cleaner comes in a can that’s larger than the can used by another brand.

“Special Morning—33% more nutrition.”

“Certs contains a sparkling drop of Retsyn.”

“Sinarest. Created by a research scientist who actually get sinus headaches.”



The “Compliment the Consumer” Technique

This type of ad flatters the consumer.



“You’ve come a long way, baby.”

For the real man.

For the special person you are.



The Rhetorical Question

This technique demands a response from the audience. A question is worded so that the viewer’s or listener’s answer affirms the product’s goodness.



“Plymouth—isn’t that the kind of car America wants?”

“Shouldn’t your family be drinking Hawaiian Punch?”

“What do you want most from coffee? That’s what you get most from Hills.”

“Touch of Sweden: Could your hands use a small miracle?”

“Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?”

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