“Research on persuasion shows the more arguments you list in favor of something, regardless of the quality of those arguments, the more that people tend to believe it,” Norton says. “Mainstream ads sometimes use long lists of bullet points—people don’t read them, but it’s persuasive to know there are so many reasons to buy.”
... The model also explains why some ads ask you to click on your age first. “Giving your age is low-stakes but it begins the dialogue. The hard sell comes later.”
Poorly drawn graphics are a deliberate choice as well. “People notice when you put something in the space that’s different, even if it’s ugly,” Urminsky says....
Plus, “if the ad were too professional, it might undermine the illusion that it’s one man against the system,” Norton says. Slick ads suggest profit-hungry companies, not stay-at-home moms or rogue truth-tellers trying to help the little guy.
There may be another reason for the length and shoddiness of the ads. “The point is not always to get the customer to buy the product,” Urminsky says. “It may be to vet the customer. Long videos can act as a sorting mechanism, a way to ‘qualify your prospects.’ Once you’ve established this is a person who’ll sit through anything, you can contact them by email later and sell them other products.”
“Those Nigerian prince scams are not very convincing,” he adds, “but they’re meant not to be. If you’re a skeptical person, the scammers want to spend as little time with you as possible. These videos may screen people in a similar way.”
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Slate on why marketers use "one weird trick" claims
Slate's Alex Kaufman sat through the pitches so you don't have to, then talked to some marketing experts about why they're so odd. Cialdini's Influence explains it all, but if you don't have time to read that classic (though you should), here are some highlights from Slate's story: