How to Create Persuasive Ads

June 22, 2021

For many years, efforts were strongly tied to a paradigm that predicated on rationality as the key lever for our purchase decisions.


Rationality seen in the context of the buying process that considered price, quality, decisions made on measurable and comparable aspects of the product. However, numerous studies revealed a different line of reasoning that shed a light on yet another important aspect. This new paradigm believed in emotions over rationality as the key factor triggering the purchase.

An interdisciplinary perspective combining Anthropology, Sociology, Economics and Psychology brought a new view on the subject. An approach exhibits a long list of human biases and prejudices that influence our actions and perception in a major way.

Economic variables play an important, sometimes determinative, role in the equation. But so do psychological variables, sociological variables, cultural variables, environmental variables, etc., and these latter factors will often override economic considerations.

We were now looking into the fundamental flaws in human behaviour that was irrational.

Most interestingly, this was a kind of irrationality that was predictable to a good extend and therefore we saw the emergence of behavioural economics. Marketers soon discovered the staggering power of emotions. They also became aware of the fact that the presence of irrationality does not completely alleviate rationality or logical reasoning during purchase.


They realized that a vital combination of both aspects would help deliver a new, effective form of communication - this gave birth to Persuasive Advertising.


Persuasive Ad in Practice

Simply speaking Persuasive Advertising leverages information with the right mix of rational fact-based inputs packaged in an emotional capsule. This combination delivers effective behaviour change. If done correctly it influences the desired behaviour in audiences.


This famous ad from Volvo hinges on rational information in regards to safety. However, it is delivered through a strong, emotionally scintillating creative.  

 Proven Tactics used in Persuasive Advertisement


Persuasive Advertising must pay attention and in great detail to each element of the communication. Colours play a very important role in influencing our behaviour. The choice of colour must not be accidental. Just changing the colour of your Call to Action button can result in increased or decreased efficacy. The colours you decide to use have to be selected with meticulous care.


Changing the call-to-action button of an online ad from light green to yellow can increase conversion rates by 14.5%




One message per communication delivers the best when it comes to persuading people. In the above ad, the amazing Tony Abbot, its creator talks about nothing but safety.

Offered Value


Assuming that people buy a certain product because they want to help your business is completely ideational. They make a purchase when they see a clear profit for themselves or expect their needs to be fulfilled.

 The below quote sums the point effectively

To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”― Daniel H. Pink, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others


Anxiety Suppression


A well-done piece of Persuasive Advertising will always aim at reducing anxiety in the audience. This is rather useful advice for new brands whom people always approach with some doubt or caution. Highlighting warranty, showcasing a no-fuss return policy are good examples of elements in an ad that help. 

Sense of Urgency - Limited Time Offers


One of the tactics that work under Persuasive Advertising is time restriction. Fear of missing out makes people move from a point of inertia and acting. Sales and limited time offer are all a part of communication that uses time in order to induce pro purchase behaviour.

Amazon Prime Day Sale is a great example of the success of Limited Time Offer 


Digital Commerce 360 estimates that Amazon Prime Day 2020 sales hit $10.4 billion – up from $7.16 billion (+45.2%) over Prime Day 2019

Apart from time, availability is also a great lever that works in the interest of persuasive advertising. Brands often use “limited edition” issues to create a sense of urgency. 


Call to Action


The clarity in persuasive communication is a must. A great ad must have a strong message that is easy to read. Especially in the online world where time spent on a page is so short.


A distinct call to action with a clear message helps you complete your mission.

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