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Psychology of the Ad

Source: www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1904/01/the-psychology-of-advertising/303465/

 

Advertising came with the advent of trade/commerce. So long as a person could speak or utter words, people, and advertising have had synergy. However, advertising wasn’t always as pervasive as it is now. “The gain in the quantity of advertising can be seen by observing the increase in the number of pages devoted to advertisements in any of our publications. The month of October is regarded as the typical month, therefore we present the number of pages devoted to advertisements for the month of October in Harper’s Magazine for each year from the first appearance of advertisements in that magazine to the present time,—1864, 3 ¼; ’65. 2; ’66, 3 ; ’67, 6; ’68, 7 1/3; ’69, 5 1/3; ’70, 4 ½; ’71, 3 ½; ’72, 2; ’73, 1; ’74. 0; ’75, 0; ’76, 0; ’77, 0; ’78, 0; ’79, 0; ’80, 0; ’81, 0; ’82, 1 ¼; ’83, 8 ½; ’84, 8; ’85, 11 ½; ’86, 20; ’87, 37; ’88, 54; ’89, 48: ’90, 73; ’91 80 ½; ’92, 87; ’93, 77 ½; ’94, 75 ¾; ’95, 78 ¼; ’96, 73; ’97, 80 ¾; ’98, 81 ¾; ’99, 106 ¾; 1900, 97 ½; ’01, 93 ½; ’02, 128; ’03, 141.”

 

However, all that glitters is not gold. Advertising, especially in the right locations, can get costly. The expense connected with these various of printed advertising can go upwards into the millions. The advertising rate has been advanced repeatedly in many magazines during the last few years. Firms which formerly paid but one hundred dollars, now pay 250 dollars for the same amount of space.  In many cases, advertisements are not profitable. However, the payoff for a profitable advertisement can far outweigh the expenses for a wasted one.
This article goes in-depth about the cognitive processes that we undergo that make the advertisements so effective. Various advertisements harp on key-words, phrases, and relative concepts to make the mind commit the advertisement to memory, even if the person does not click or act on the ad they see immediately. This improves efficacy of retention and makes the ad worthwhile.

 

I brought up this topic because in class we’ve been talking about Ads and their place in web searching and I thought this was relevant because effective ads and effective web searches go hand in hand.

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