Still reading? Because according to a recent article from The 60 Second Marketer, with just a few placed words, you are guaranteed to still be here.
I recently came across “The 14 Most Powerful and Effective Words in Marketing,” which argues that there are 14 distinct word choices that can improve the dynamism of your copy. According to author Jamie Turner, they have the ability to persuade and tap into pertinent consumer “impulse” emotions.
Some of these words include: new, proven and safety, and are suppose to appeal to 13 emotional triggers that reside in what Turner refers to as our “lizard brain.” These emotional triggers include: fear, sex and longevity.
After pondering the article’s conjecture, I decided to conduct my own investigation to test the validity of the necessity for these words, and their ability to target specific human emotions. Let’s look at these two spots.
My first experiment: Pantene’s “Swisssh” commercial. Only two of the 14 words were utilized. Word one was “new,” and its overall function: to establish the Aqua Light conditioner as a recent addition to the Pantene product line. It did not evoke any sense of urgency or suggest a status of exclusivity, though.
Word two: “healthy,” (the adjective form of health) was highlighted in “Hair so healthy, it shines!” Unlike “new,” “healthy” carried a little more weight in the way it was affirmed via the shine of the model’s hair.
Even though none of the remaining 12 words were used, allusions to “results,” “proven” and “health” were made.
The opening line, “There’s a science to the perfect swish,” immediately germinates the idea of “proven results,” and referring to the conditioner as a “formula,” alludes to mathematics, which circles back to “science” and its implications.
Sometimes when “science” is used in an ad, its purpose is to create a sense of mystification—a rhetorical technique that uses mystery to wow an audience by taking advantage of the viewer's credulity. Pantene plays the science card well by employing this technique.
According to Pantene, Aqua Light has “100% more nourishment.” This so-called statistic has a hyperbolic effect on the angle of "science.” I mean, Aqua Light has 100 percent more nourishment than what? Its predecessor? Nothing? It also implicitly hits on the word “health” again, while simultaneously appeals to two emotions: better health and self-improvement. Pantene doesn’t use any actual science, but they are hoping viewers will infer that some serious science went into creating this new product.
My second experimental commercial was ADT Home Security’s “It Didn’t Happen.”
This commercial employed an interesting method of using only one of the 14 words—now—which came at the end of the ad, but embodied great intensity. By depicting a fire that had the potential to “destroy a home”—but did not—and a break-in that had the potential to “devastate a family”—yet did not—the ad succeeds in cultivating two of the 13 impulse emotions—doubt and uncertainty.
These emotions take the form of two questions:
(1) Is my home protected?
(2) Does not having home security put my loved ones and belongings at risk?
Implicitly imbedding these questions of doubt and uncertainty into its audience, ADT and its use of the word “now” in the statement, “Now get ADT installed,” explodes with success by creating the need for urgency and indirectly playing off another of the 14 words—safety.
The fact that ADT was able to manifest doubt and uncertainty without employing any of Turner’s 14 words brings up the question, then what did?
“Family” and “home” are trigger words that play on the heart, because they have the connotation of being things that most people love and care about. “Destroy" and “devastate” create dissonance, and thus, drive an audience to purchase whatever the ad is promoting to ensure the avoidance of such dissonance.
The ad succeeds at alluding to two additional terms, "money" and "save," in the phrase, “for just 99 dollars.” The dollar amount is a direct parallel to money, while the use of “just” infers that the price is generous.
Turner’s recommendation will, in fact, be helpful in generating revenue, because his list of words do work to grab an audience’s attention. The key, though, is not to follow Turner’s advice to the tee.
Turner’s 14-item list is not all-inclusive. As illustrated, words like “family" and “devistate” can produce just as much emotion as “save” and “proven.”
Additionally, advertisers do not need to actually use the words "new" and "safety," but they do have to use words that act as substitutes. The key is to reproduce at least one of the 13 “impulse” emotions, and to do this, words like “innovative” or “protect” implicitly hint that the advertised product is new/exclusive, or safe and eliminates unnecessary fear.
Now, click to save on your next installment of free healthy air!
Teisha Collins--The Newly Proven Health & Safety Creative Department Intern
Last time on the intern sweatshop, "Facebook: Awesome or Annoying."