Theaim of political advertising is to win people’s confidence andtheir attitudes on public issues that include the politicalcandidates and concepts. A political advertisement based on acampaign is intended to win votes in favor of a candidate. Theproduct of such advertising is either a person or philosophy (Allen,2012).
Afterviewing the political advert of Barack Obama during the previouselections, the overall tone depicted was that of a father, a hero, aman of the people, a savior, a friend and that of a strategist. Theadverts included one where he was giving a speech in the podium,another, he was with his family walking on the streets while the lastone involved him close to the people, some were clapping while otherstried to greet him. The president’s pictures are engraved in a blueframe and below the frame it is written “Change we believe in”(West, 2012). According to the FearAppeal theory,believable messages that seek to frighten people are effective inpolitical advertisement because it alters the behavior by threateningthem that choosing another candidate will spell harm or danger to thepublic. On the same note, the ad often presents the preferredcandidate as the best solution for averting the potential hazard. Asa result, the public is swayed to vote for a specific candidate, whoallegedly, is the only one who has the capacity to achieve specificgoals (Zaluzec, 2010).
Publicadvertisements are designed to provide information and educate thegeneral public. The aim is to change an opinion that is held by thepublic or to create the awareness of an existing problem. I had aquick look at an advert that campaigns against smoking. The tone ofthe advert was a haunting one. It involves a man who is shaving hisbeards on a mirror. In between the neck, he has a hole “stoma”that is meant to improve breathing for throat cancer survivors. Onthe advert, it is written “Beware not to cut your stoma” thepicture is haunting enough to raise awareness (Pride, 2008). Thepurpose of the ad is to discourage people from starting to smoke, aswell as encourage individuals who are already smokers to quit thebehavior. The fear appeal philosophy is efficient in this ad becauseit induces a high anticipation of great distress to people who maydare to engage in abusing tobacco (Zaluzec, 2010). Subsequently, itemphasizes on healthy lifestyle that is free from substance abuse.
Fearis effective on issues that pertain to public health as it emphasizesthe need for awareness and taking quick action. The advert on smokingapplies the fear appeal theory because as it shows scary image of aperson with poor health, a condition that has resulted from smokingand it raises fear that is in turn likely to make someone to quit thebehavior after seeing it. Commercial adverts are designed as amarketing communication with the aim of persuading a selectedaudience to adapt to a new action or to continue with an old one. Itmay also aim at reassuring the owners of the company that the companyis successful and remains as a going concern (Pride, 2008).
Thecommercial advert I watched belonged to Seiko Watch Company where avery luxurious watch is displayed, and there is a blurred image of aperson in the background. The advert tries to put a luxury tone. Theemotion is that the owner of the watch is not important hence anyonecan own the watch (Pride, 2008).
Incommercial advertising, fear can be effectively used to promote agiven product or service. For example, the companies that selldeodorants use fear to show the damage caused by the bad odor. Thefear appeal works in these ads in by showing that an individual willsuffer from embarrassment, social stigma or even discrimination if heor she fails to use certain service. As a result, the targeted groupwill be stimulated to buy the deodorant in the effort to avoid theimage caused by the bad smell (Zaluzec, 2010). Social conditions suchas the ones associated with death, such as “smoking kills”,create a sense of fear to its viewers. Besides, there are others suchas amputation of the body parts due to cancer and loss ofeffectiveness in other body parts like impaired sight (Pride &Ferrell, 2008).
Individualexperiences in a haunting advert create fear. For example, nobodylikes dying, and majority of humans fear death. Humans also havesimilar fear towards amputation and the association with diseasessuch as cancer. On the same note, individual experiences can be usedto create active fear. The use of bad odor from sweat, the mouth orfrom tooth decay can all be used to produce positive fear (Pargament,2013).
Allen,J. (2012). Emotionsand marketing.London: Karnac Books.
Pargament,K. (2013). Principlesof marketing.Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Pride,W., & Ferrell, O. (2008). Marketing(14th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Zaluzec,J.A. (2010). The use of fear appeals in political advertisements.AmericanUniversity Washington,D.C. Retrieved from
West,D.M. (2012). Top five ads for Obama. Brookings. Retrieved from