If you were to venture a guess, how many ads do you think you come across every day?

The average American is exposed to an estimate of 5,000 ads per day! How insane is that? Ads are everywhere, and they demand that you take notice of them. Even if you think you don’t, your sub-conscience is absorbing all kinds of information at all times.

That’s how marketers leverage the psychology of advertising. So if you want to use the power of persuasion to fuel your own strategies, here’s what you’ve got to know!

The Power of Color

Colors are perhaps, the most effective way to communicate a statement, an emotion, or an idea quickly. Be careful with what you convey. Think of the kind of thoughts you want to invoke in your viewers, and then study what colors would best convey that message.

Red normally signifies the bold, the dangerous, or the royal. It’s a strong color, with a strong message. In contrast, blue is more passive. It’s positive, happy, and more “feel good.”

Placement Matters

You already understand the power of good visuals, but what makes them work? Remember that brains have a left and right hemisphere, each with their own specific strengths. The right is more responsive to visuals, and the left is more responsive to logic and reasoning.

So a simple rule of thumb is placing graphics and visuals on the left and textual content on the right.


Because of our neuroanatomical structure, the right hemisphere is better suited to process content on the left, and vice-versa.

Appeal to an Emotion

Have you noticed how emotional ads have been getting? We’ve moved passed traditional, in-your-face advertisements and now we tell a (usually) sad story instead. You especially see this in programmatic tv advertising.

But at the end of the day – it works! The idea behind it is to use the power of storytelling to convey an emotion to an audience with minimal brand promotion. In fact, brand promotion is incredibly subtle, and usually at the very end of the ad.

People fall in love with the story; they appreciate the humor, empathy, and all those good feelings. And when you like a story, you want to know who wrote it.

Then you find out – it was coca-cola all along.

The Psychology of Advertising = The Psychology of Your Audience

If you really want to take your advertisements to the next level, you’ve got to understand your audience first. Leveraging the psychology of advertising is no new concept. One of the world’s biggest marketers and probably one of the first – Edward Bernays was a distant relative of Sigmund Freud.

He delved deep into the psyches of his audience and knew exactly how to appeal to their senses. He regularly questioned Freud about the human psyche, read a ton of psychology books, and all of that information to make some of the most effective (and morally questionable) ad campaigns of his time.

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