There’s plenty of fear in today’s society. Fear of terrorist, losing face, losing your hair. Fear of smelling bad, losing your job, losing the plot.
For the most part fear saps us of our energy, leaves us anxious and hesitant. At its extreme it can give us an adrenalin rush for fight or flight.
It is rarely a very good motivator for small things.
Fear of a bear can make you run… I’m less convinced the fear of looking unattractive at a bus stop would get you moving.
Does it depend on the consequence?
So how serious do the consequences have to be to make fear an effective motivator for action? On TV today we’re told to stop smoking, we’re told not to drink too much and we’re told they’ll track us down and punish us if we don’t pay our TV license. Do the dire consequences galvanize us into action?
Does fear in advertising motivate you?
I came across the following two ads from Switzerland and Brazil. One tells me if I don’t use nasal spray, I’ll look stupid. The other suggests if I don’t drink diet soda my boyfriend will dump me for the fit competition waiting on the sidelines.
In both cases they tried to use humour to package these message and they did make me laugh, just because the premise is so odd.
Are your customers the people in your ads?
If you did buy these products, would you be admitting that you relate to the unfit or sniffling characters in the ads?
I’d be interested to know if you find these ads funny and whether you think the fear factor is a good motivator to buy their products.
Let us know what you think in the comment box below.
Otrivin Nasal Spray Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland
Sprite Zero Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi Buenos Aires