How Does Advertising Exploit Human’s Seven Sins?

We are all, at one time or another, lured into partaking in one or more of the seven deadly sins.

We are all, at one time or another, lured into partaking in one or more of the seven deadly sins.

We are all, at one time or another, lured into partaking in one or more of the seven deadly sins. Advertisers and marketers knowingly or unknowingly play on these human weaknesses with their ads. Some are subtle, while others are right in your face. Don’t believe this to be true? Let’s take a closer look at how these sins are used in advertising.

Lust

Even the most chaste among you know that sex sells. You can’t help but be stuck by the looks of a beautiful man or women, which is why they so often show up in ads. Perfume and beer ads are where this is played to the fullest, and while you may believe that you are immune to the sin of lust, think about that the next time you order a beer and think of the bikini-clad blonde in the ad or when you see beautiful models in perfume ads.

Gluttony

Have you ever noticed how fast food ads start to appear right about the time you get hungry? There is something about a juicy burger or a cheesy pizza that looks piping hot that just tickles the taste buds and makes you want to order the biggest meal possible. Advertising for all-you-can-eat buffets and all-inclusive resorts if done inappropriately can encourage overeating and wasteful behaviors.

Greed

Who doesn’t like get rich or get something for free? We are always looking for a quick way to make more money or win a prize, which is why gambling and sweepstakes ads are so prevalent everywhere you look. Admit it, when you see that lottery jackpot advertised as being in the hundreds of millions of dollars, you are tempted to buy a ticket. This feeling is even stronger to regular gamblers and it often wins.

Sloth

Why get in the car and go to the mall to make your next purchase when you can simply sit on the couch and order it online while still in your pajamas? E-commerce sites know that we are all lazy at heart, which is why things like one-click purchasing, free delivery and free setup, help sell their goods. The same strategy is done with drive-thru fast food restaurants so that even if you are not rushed in going anywhere, you can just sit, order and eat in your car.

Wrath

This particular sin is most commonly exploited when there are political ad campaigns being run. Facts might no longer matter as high emotion takes the stage. That said, controversial ads for just about anything can get people fired up and ready to take action.

Envy

Ads are filled with beautiful people using products that are either out of our price range or totally unnecessary. The desire to be just like the models in those ads tells us otherwise, though, which is why we so often reach for our wallets and purses to buy those items, even with the burden of a financed loan or layaway.

Pride

When you buy something new that makes you look or feel good, you want to show off a little. Look at women who get engaged and are presented with a big fancy ring from their fiancée. They want everyone sees that ring, the bigger, the better. Envy and pride, as you may have already noticed, tend to go hand in hand.

When it comes to advertisers getting the word out about the products or services, it helps to understand why and how things work so you can make a smart and educated decision.

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