I am a big proponent of psychology and how it could be used in developing successful marketing strategies. The main goal of an advertising campaign is to attract and draw in as much attention as possible from potential buyers. With the multitude of advertisements that we come across everyday, companies need to develop ways to stand out from not only other ads but particularly their competition. Marketers have been using psychology methods to help develop their advertising campaigns for many years. With growing competition, it is important that companies learn new ways to attract attention with psychology.

In 1895, Harlow Gale was the first psychologist to use theory and scientific methods to study advertising and the process of persuasion. He was the first to develop advertising surveys and experiments that sought to find the effects of advertising on attention and memory. He was intrigued by how people processed ads “from the time they see the advertisement until they have purchased the article advertised.” He concluded that “attitude toward the ad” consisted of both affective and cognitive aspects, central and peripheral cues, issue involvement, personal influence and unconscious attitude formation.

In 1903, Walter Dill Scott wrote The Theory and Practice of Advertising, where he asserted that people were highly suggestible and obedient. He believed in two advertising techniques, which involved commands and coupons: 1) stating a direct command such as “use such and such product” and 2) asking consumers to complete a coupon and mail it into the company.

Harry Hollingworth was a psychologist who worked to understand what was behind the use of effective advertising. He believed that advertising needed to accomplish four things in order to be successful: 1) attract a consumer’s attention, 2) focus the attention onto the message, 3) make the consumer remember the message and 4) cause the consumer to take the desired action.

As the psychology of advertising got more popular, other psychologists started conducting experiments that would be the stepping stones for successful advertisements. Starting in the 1960s, Madison Avenue became the hub of advertising agencies where many companies would make great strides in the advertising world.

Psychology has had a huge impact on the effectiveness of advertisements. Once people become consciously aware of a particular advertisement, they need to store the message in their memories long enough to provoke a purchase. The advertisement needs to convince or show a target audience that they need or want the item, which may lead to a potential purchase or impulse buy. Many studies show the effectiveness of advertisements through the use of psychological factors that affect behavior or buying decisions. Psychology has a huge impact on the advertising industry by providing new research discoveries of what motivates people to buy.

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