In his hierarchy of needs model, Abraham Maslow has identified five categories of needs which include physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness, and the need for safety, ego needs, and self-actualization (Ebert and Griffin, 185). Customers buy products because of their promise, implicit or explicit, of satisfying any or all of these needs.
To sell products, advertisements therefore appeal to these needs through various advertising appeals, which include: the Emotional Appeal, fear appeal, humor appeal, sex appeal, music appeal, scarcity appeal, rational appeal, masculine feminine appeal, brand appeal, snob appeal, adventure appeal, less than perfect appeal, romance appeal, emotional words or sensitivity appeal, youth appeal, endorsement, play on words, bandwagon appeal, plain appeal and statistics (Ambekar, 1).
In outlining how advertisers appeal to each of the needs identified under Maslow’s hierarchy, we shall analyze the advertisement below.
This advertisement appeared on Cover Girl magazines and is used to advertise a beauty product made by Olay known as the Simply Ageless Foundation. This is a revolutionary new anti-aging product, which unlike traditional aging products which settle into a person’s line’s and wrinkles, remains suspended over those wrinkles thus giving the user a permanently youthful look (People, 1).
The advertisement uses the image of Ellen DeGeneres, an accomplished actress and media personality who has either starred in or has under her belt renowned productions such as Finding Nemo and Ellen, and who as well hosts her own talk show and is married to famed actress Portia de Rossi (People, 1).
The advertisement sends the message that by using the Simply Ageless Foundation product from Olay, one can have the permanently youthful look and be as beautiful – perhaps even successful - as DeGeneres. In this regard, the advertisement can be described as playing upon two types of advertising appeals: the youth appeal and the masculine feminine appeal.
As far as the former is concerned, it gives the impression that by using the product one would attain the youthful look. As far as the latter is concerned, the advertisement gives the picture of the perfect person - DeGeneres – and makes a strong statement that by using the product one would also attain the qualities of the perfect person.
These appeals play upon the need for belongingness identified under the Maslow hierarchy. In a world where youthful and good looks are valued highly, one must do everything within his/her power in order to attain the beauty or youthful looks as a way of gaining acceptance in society.
Ambekar, Ashwini. (2009). Different Types of Advertising Appeals. 9 Jan 2009. 26 June 2009. http://www.articleswave.com/advertising-articles/types-of-advertising-appeals.html
Ebert, Ronald J and Griffin, Ricky W. (2000). Business Essentials. Prentice Hall. ISBN: 0130842559, 9780130842558.
People. (2008). First Look: Ellen DeGeneres’s CoverGirl Ads! Dec 10 2008. 26 June 2009. http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/2008/12/10/first-look-ellen-degeneress-covergirl-ads/