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The Psychology of Persuasion and How it is Used by Advertising Agencies

An average person is exposed to advertising and marketing communication throughout the day. From binge-watching content, scrolling through social media to being bombarded with billboards on the road, none of us can escape the web of advertisements.

Most of the ads that we see today are brought to us by digital platforms. Such ads collect data from the viewer, which marketers use to review the customer profile. Though advertising trends continue to change, what remains constant is the use of age-old persuasion techniques. Top advertising agencies use these methods while building a campaign to improve conversion rates. Some of the most common persuasion styles are outlined by Dr Robert Cialdini in his book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’.

(Source: Highbrow)

The six principles of persuasion are:

  1. Reciprocity

  2. Consistency

  3. Social Proof

  4. Authority

  5. Liking

  6. Scarcity

  7. Unity

Reading between the lines will help you understand the underlying message in any advertisement. Let's dive deeper into the seven principles of persuasion!

I. Reciprocity

We very often see children learning new behaviours by imitating adult behaviour and replicating what gets rewarded. And so, 'Reciprocating the desired action leads to rewards’ is the basic idea behind this persuasion technique. Often you will find this used for different offers in the following way:


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