Reason-Why vs. Appealing to Feelings
Claude Hopkins coined the “reason-why” advertising philosophy. Give the buyer a reason to choose your product over the competition. Reasons varied from product to product, seller to seller, day to day.
The First National Bank mass-mailed these color line block postcards monthly to potential customers. The cards gave different reasons for opening a savings account. This one uses the strategy of selling the middle-class dream. An excerpt from the front message:
Thrift & Economy will enable you to take the vacation you have been promising your family and yourself for so long past. Perhaps you missed it entirely this year. If so commence at once to save for a good happy time away from all business cares next year. . . . But there are other things besides vacations! Are you providing for the proper education of your children so that they can earn more & enjoy more of life than you have?
These Alton Evening Telegraph advertisements each give a separate reason to buy Noll Bakery’s Butter-Krust Bread. In the first ad, the bakery differentiates itself from the competition with their newly perfected mixing process. In the second ad, the bakery reminds the buyer that homemade bread sometimes doesn’t turn out great. Why risk failure when you can buy fresh bread at Noll’s?
An alternative advertising philosophy concentrated on creating a receptive mood in the buyer. Strategies included using humor, tapping into nostalgia, or fostering relatability through personification of the brand.
In an advertising psychology that skillfully blends “reason-why” and appealing to feelings, some sellers made up a pretend problem, convinced consumers to worry about it, and then sold the solution.
So here is the problem: your neck is getting old. Never mind that everyone’s neck gets old, you don’t want that happening to you. Just wear this contraption fifteen minutes a day for “gratifying results.”