- Written by Hannah Bartle
Informative and persuasive advertising are both powerful tools to use when conveying the strengths of a company's product or services. Although both forms are useful resources for building a brand and conveying a message, they have their differences and should each be used strategically. The major differences in these advertising techniques relates to the ways each seeks to deliver information. Informative advertising has persuasive techniques, but relies more heavily on facts, whereas persuasive advertising seeks to appeal to consumer emotion to close the sale. When it comes to informative advertising, this form of advertising highlights how your product’s features and benefits solve your customers’ problems, as well as compares your product to your competitors' product. Informative advertising is commonly used to drive "primary demand" for new product and service categories. It is also used for introducing new products and services into existing categories. Although this type of advertising relies on facts and figures to trigger a desired action, the ad’s message is usually framed in a compelling way. Informative advertising uses techniques that, instead of focusing on a clever way to convince customers to buy a product or service, chooses to rely solely on the strength of product features to encourage consumers to make purchases. Persuasive advertising, on the other hand, often uses more deceptive and flashy ideas than informative advertising. The goal of persuasive advertising is to drive selective demand for specific products or services. Persuasive advertising tends to be user-oriented. It has the mission of building selective brand preference by communicating a personal benefit for a user that is unique to a specific brand. This type of advertising may use beautiful or famous people in marketing campaigns to encourage consumers to associate positive emotions with their company. Companies also might offer discounts on purchases to encourage consumers to buy higher quantities of specific products or encourage purchases across a wider product range. Both informative and persuasive advertising focus on different aspects of persuasion, so it is important to decide what your company is aiming to achieve with your advertising strategy. You may want to evoke emotion, or instead give statistics, but no matter which route you decide to go, you need to use some form of advertisement to catch your audience's attention. Referencing examples that show the difference between an informative advertisement versus a persuasive advertisement can be examined when looking at previously executed ads. A great example of an informative advertisement that has been executed properly is the Miller Lite add regarding how its calories and carbs are much lower than the average light beer, specifically Bud Light. In this advertisement, Miller Lite stated that they have 96 calories and 3.2 grams of carbs in their beers, whereas Bud Light has 110 calories and 6.6 grams of carbs in their beers. These numbers are not very far off, but by showing that Miller Lite is ultimately better for you, it was hard for audience members to try and argue the situation. This advertisement is not only informing the public of the benefits associated with drinking their specific brand of beer, but also is showing the public statistics in order to persuade people who are concerned about what they consume, to switch to Miller Lite. An example of an advertisement that was persuasive is the Heinz Fiery Chilli Ketchup ad. In relation to food, the word “hot” has multiple meanings such as, having a high temperature and being spicy. Heinz brilliantly used the connotation of high temperature to highlight the spiciness of their ketchup, and their creative method of communicating the value of their product helped them instantly attract people’s attention. This ad is far more persuasive regarding the creative use of the hand mit to show how “hot” the new ketchup is, thus appealing to people who enjoy spicy products in a funny and clever way, instead of a factual way. Although informative and persuasive advertising have their differences, they still share the common objective of persuading audiences to do something in response to an advertising message. Public service ads about risks in smoking cigarettes are considered informative, but they have the intent of persuading smokers to stop smoking. Most informative advertising is intended to persuade, as shown above with the Miller Lite ad. This ad was intended to be informative, but also persuade beer drinkers to switch brands through the information given. “Information persuasion advertising” can be as valid as persuasion advertising in effecting attitude or behavior changes under appropriate circumstances. Both of these forms of advertising are crucial when it comes to the launch of a new product or campaign. Although persuasive advertising and informative advertising definitely utilize different elements of persuasion, they still aim to achieve the same goal: convincing your audience to take a desired action. How you go about getting your audience to take this action, whether it be through a clever campaign such as Heinz Ketchup’s, or through an information ad such as Miller Lite, in the end you will use both factual information and creativity to create the perfect ad and see success with your campaign.