🧑‍🔬 How Hopper Convinces You To Travel More

The science of increasing perceived value

Hello hello,

It’s Josh from Psychology of Ads.

This week we’re discussing how to increase the perceived value of your product within your ads. It’s a tactic everyone should be testing in their ads.

Let’s get into it:

Hopper is the #1 most downloaded travel app in North America.

Their ads are a masterclass in how to increase perceived value.

They do it with The Anchoring Effect.

Here’s what I mean:

🧪 The Anchoring Effect

The Anchoring Effect is a psychological phenomenon in which your judgement or perception of something is influenced by a reference point (or an “anchor”).

🤳 How Hopper Uses The Anchoring Effect

Hopper uses the Anchoring Effect by highlighting their cheap prices, compared to the alternatives.

All of their ads have to do with how cheap they make it to book travel:

But while they mostly anchor against competitor prices, they also anchor against everyday items (in the tweet example below):

🧠 How You Can Use The Anchoring Effect

The key to The Anchoring Effect is to increase the perceived value of your product by anchoring it against something else.

The anchor could be another product in your lineup, competitor’s products, or everyday purchases.

One of my favourites is anchoring against a cup of coffee. It’s pretty powerful if you could say “for less than a cup of coffee per day” in your messaging.

But you don’t need to just anchor on price.

For example, check out how Ridge Wallet creates an anchor in this basic Us vs Them ad:

Their wallets are actually more expensive than typical wallets but they anchor on their unique selling proposition (USP) - the slimness of their wallets. Just showing their product by itself isn’t impactful. But by anchoring it against the alternative, it showcases the benefit of their wallet. And that’s the whole idea behind the Anchoring Effect.

Here are some other examples:

  • Strategic Pricing: Show individual prices of a variety of products and then display a bundle of products at a lower price point. The individual price becomes the anchor, making the bundle seem more valuable.

    • You can also do this for subscriptions - show the lower monthly cost for an annual plan vs the cost of a monthly plan.

  • Highlight your USPs compared to competitors

    • Visually show your product against a competitor. Illustrate one specific point (like in the Ridge Wallet example). You can anchor against speed, convenience, quality, or anything else.

  • Lifestyle Anchoring: Show a desirable lifestyle or outcome associated with your product, next to their current lifestyle.

    • This is a classic Before vs After type of ad. Illustrate life after using the product, anchoring to life before using the product.

You can also layer your anchors.

For example, use a price anchor and lifestyle anchor - show that a competitor’s alternative is (a) more expensive and (b) less desirable compared to your product.

Hopper does this well, showing that their hotels are cheap and luxurious.

Here are some hooks using the Anchoring Effect are:

  • "The industry standard for [service/product feature] is [standard metric]. We wanted to change that. That’s why [your product] proudly offers [improved metric], setting a new standard for [industry]."

  • "Most people believe [service] costs around [higher average price]. But with [your product], you get premium quality for just [your lower price]."

  • "Luxury doesn't have to mean expensive. [your product] offers the premium experience you expect at [affordable price], not [higher price].”

So, how will you use the Anchoring Effect in your ads?

How will you increase the perceived value of your product?

Let me know how it goes!

Until next time,


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