Digital Communication


Digital Communication

Persuasive communication in advertising and marketing


Persuasive communication is a type of interpersonal communication that aims to convince an interlocutor, in the same way as verbal communication and non-verbal communication. By using this rhetoric correctly in marketing and advertising, you can target and reach new customers: you can influence their opinions, feelings and wishes in a positive way to encourage them to buy something or take action.

Persuasive communication: definition

Persuasive communication represents theart of persuasion. This term has its origins in the Latin language “persuader” whose meaning translates as “to persuade” or “to encourage someone to do something”. Persuasive communication allows in particular to influence an individual’s thinking, behavior or attitudes through communication. For example, it encourages people to carry out certain actions, change their minds or provoke an emotional reaction. Most people use persuasive communication in everyday conversations without even knowing it. In a political, marketing or commercial context, persuasive communication will, on the other hand, be used consciously as a rhetorical tool. Imagine: you sell products online; you can then use persuasive communication to encourage people to buy your products or take other actions.

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Persuasive communication: here are different techniques to adopt

Persuasive communication contains many persuasion techniques. Here are some examples that will help you better understand the art of rhetoric:

  • Technical foot in the door : This is a technique similar to door-to-door sales. We start by asking for a small favor that the person opposite cannot refuse. So, we already have “one foot in the door”. Then simply request a larger service. In a logic of consistency, the person opposite will feel obliged to accept.
  • Technical door in the face : This is the opposite technique to that cited above. We first ask for a service that is too large and will surely be refused because it is inaccessible. Then, we offer another service, much more affordable. So, there is a good chance that the person opposite will accept what we offer them.

The objectives of persuasive communication

Persuasive communication is primarily used to influence your interlocutor. Here are the goals you can achieve when you use the art of persuasion:

  • Promote the brand image : persuasive communication can be used to make your potential customers aware of a product, an idea or a theme.
  • Change an attitude or idea : persuasive communication allows you to change the attitude or ideas of your interlocutor on a particular subject or product.
  • Influence beliefs : persuasive communication allows you to influence the beliefs of your interlocutor on a subject or a product.
  • Change behavior: Persuasive communication can also influence the behavior of your interlocutor.

Persuasive communication in advertising and marketing

When persuasive communication is used wisely in marketing and advertising, it is then possible to positively influence the purchasing decision from a customer for a product. You manage to convince your customers by arousing their interest in your brand or a particular product. This is why persuasive communication can be used to optimize your conversion rate. It also allows you to build loyalty among your existing customers in relation to your brand which will gain notoriety. People generally act more emotionally than rationally. In fact, they will choose a certain product rather than another because its advertising message will awaken emotions in them.

Persuasive communication in marketing and advertising is not only intended to encourage purchases, but also to influence the attitude of your customers. The customer must have the feeling that he himself made the choice to purchase and that it is the right decision. Instead of touting the benefits of a product, persuasive advertising tries to provoke an emotional response in the customer. She plays with emotions and feelings in order to achieve a positive association with the product.

“Neuromarketing” is a discipline that studies emotions to better understand consumer behavior. Furthermore, persuasive communication is often used in association with gender marketing, the communication of which is based on gender stereotypes (feminine and masculine).

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Registers of persuasive communication in advertising and marketing

According to Aristotle, there are three registers in the art of persuasion: ethos (credibility), pathos (emotions) and logos (reason). In persuasive marketing, we can distinguish these three main registers which also bring together marketing and advertising techniques.

  • Ethos: this register highlights the notions of credibility and trust, similar to the halo effect in marketing. For example, your product gains credibility when an expert or public figure promotes it.
  • Logos : this register refers to logic, reason and rationality. This type of persuasive communication is based on data, existing facts or statistics. Thus, it is by appealing to reason that we can convince a customer of the usefulness of a product or the particularity of a service sold.
  • Pathos : in this register, we will arouse the client’s positive or negative emotions to encourage them to action. An example of pathos techniques: an image of puppies (positive), a loving mother holding her child in her arms (positive), a desperate family (negative) or a serious illness (negative).

Persuasive communication techniques in advertising

There are many different persuasive communication techniques that can be used in marketing and advertising. They were developed according to the concept of cognitive bias. Its objective is to convince the recipients of an advertising message and encourage them to buy or use a product or service. Here are two proven techniques: the lure effect and the anchoring effect. Among the persuasive advertising techniques, we find the following:

The carrot and the stick

The carrot and stick principle is a persuasive technique that claims people would prefer rewards over punishments. In advertising, the carrot represents the potential gain or advantage of the use of a product. This is the case, for example, when you are shown an advertisement for a moisturizing cream that allows you to have smoother and brighter skin every day.

The stick, for its part, designates a potential loss or arouses fear. This type of advertising aims to stop a certain action and offer a better alternative. For example, an advertisement promoting a home alarm system draws attention to the fact that people who do not have one could easily be robbed. Anti-smoking campaigns are also a good example.

The principle of scarcity

Hypothetically, people like things that can only be bought in limited numbers or that few people own. It is on this hypothesis that the principle of scarcity operates which gives a feeling of power and increases self-esteem. Advertising messages that contain wording such as “exclusive offer” or “limited edition” create a sense of urgency and imply scarcity. This can increase demand and positively influence the purchasing decision. The principle of loss aversion works the same way.

One message per ad

To retain the attention of your customers and convince them to read the rest of your ad, limit yourself to one message. If you highlight the benefit or main feature of a product, it will be easier for your customer to understand the value of the product. And the probability of making a sale increases because you only convey one message: this product will improve the quality of life of your customers.

Write in the second person

Another persuasive advertising technique: addressing the second person (singular or plural) with pronouns such as “you”, “your” or “tu”, “you”, depending on the degree of distance you wish to initiate with your interlocutor. It allows you to speak directly to a potential customer on a more personal level. This technique is used to attract people’s attention and convince them, in their imagination, that the product will improve their lives.


The need of control is a biological and psychological necessity. People need to feel like they are in control of their lives and their actions. When potential customers watch an ad, they should feel like they have a choice. On the contrary, if he has the impression that he is being forced to buy a particular product, he will tend to react in an angry manner and turn away from the message.


While calls to action (CTAs) are decisive in encouraging potential customers to take the next step, they do not always succeed in creating real action. We can then set up a call-to-value. Here the principle is not focused on the invitation to carry out an action, but on communication of value or utility of the product that will be obtained by doing this action. Examples of call-to-value: “Subscribe to our Newsletter and receive exclusive advice from our best experts” or “Become an exclusive member today and you will have access to all our quality articles and offers . »

The bandwagon effect

In marketing, the bandwagon effect (or fashion effect) is also a very popular persuasive communication technique. This principle is based on the fact that people tend to follow the example of others without developing or considering their own opinion. The bandwagon effect, for example, makes it possible to make a brand that was already popular even more popular. To this effect can be added a word of mouth effect.

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