The history of advertisement and how it impacts the human brain is not a linear story. There are many theories, contradictory beliefs and even verified sciences that have helped in tracing the early beginnings of advertisement. But whatever be the source, one thing is clear- advertising works and it always has. But why? Let’s look at how and why advertisement works.

1. The science behind the appeal of ads: An advertisement is meant to capture attention, persuade potential customers to become actual customers and activate sales. An ad does that through a number of things- by standing out from their competitors, focusing on customer benefit, propose something that is aspirational in the cultural context and so on. But an ad doesn’t only work on the conscious level. It has been proven that those advertisements work best which influence at the sub-conscious level- when the message is lodged so deep down that the association to the brand is made unconsciously. These are the best kinds of ads. They don’t only have recall value but eventually, also form a part of mass consciousness and thereby, popular culture.

2. One-time or long-term advertising: In a world where we are bombarded with stimuli every second, it is important for businesses to stay in their customer’s memory. It is highly probable that if they see your brand multiple times, it will stick in their memory. However, it is crucial that brands give their customers something new to watch every time instead of showing the same ads which may be turned down for being annoying or boring, and create a negative brand image.

3. Unique brand asset: It is imperative for brands to create unique brand assets like images, jingles, messages so that it can create an associative memory in the consumer’s mind. These assets also help in creating a distinct identity than the competitors.

4. The entertainment aspect of an ad: An advertisement is often targeted at increasing sale and generating leads. But what propels it is its entertainment value. When a customer watches your ad, they should feel happy instead of sad, engaged instead of bored, and entertained rather than annoyed. Depending on your customer preferences and profile, you may dress the ad in a way that appeals to their sense of color, design and taste.

5. Ads don’t always mean TVC: When TV and radio were the only mass media, only bigger brands got ads made. For smaller businesses, it was often too much investment or not worth it at all. But with Internet, it is easier to target customers, personalize the message and get measurable results. Plus, a digital ad is less expensive than getting a TVC made. With social media, OTT platforms, video streaming platforms, all kinds and sizes of businesses can reach out to their customers through video ads.

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