PERSUASIVE TECHNIQUES

Technique Definition Examples/Questions to ask/What to look for

Glittering Generalities
Positive words or phrases with a “feel-good” quality leave a nice impression without making any guarantee. Vague, yet positive terminology: Soap that makes you feel “morning refreshed.”

Symbols
Associating the power of a cultural symbol with a product. An American flag used in the ad to associate a product with patriotism

Transfer
Words or images arouse emotions to connect the viewer’s emotion to the product being sold. Does the ad contain appealing images that are not directly connected with a product?

Testimonial
An ad in which a famous spokesperson endorses a product or service. Sports figures promoting athletic gear, sports drinks, or shoes.
Magic Ingredients The suggestion that a miraculous discovery makes a product effective. Often seen in ads for diet pills.
Scientific Language Ads using scientific sounding language to make a product seem more effective. Does the ad contain scientific diagrams or statistics?

Card Stacking
Ads giving only the positive side of a product or service, ignoring negative aspects. Soda advertisements that neglect to mention the large amount of empty calories contained in the product.


Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Elements of Language, 6th Course
pg. 323

Mississippi River, Classroom Activities. http://www3.iptv.org/mississippi/fieldtrip/eyespy.html