🧑‍🔬 How To Crush Your Competitors

Before they crush you...

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Hey – it’s Josh from Psychology of Ads.

Thanks for the positive feedback on last week’s edition.

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Ok, now let’s get into this week’s breakdown:

Today’s ad:

Brand: AG1

Psychology Bias: The Contrast Effect

🧪 Contrast Effect

The Contrast Effect is an unconscious cognitive bias that occurs when two things are judged in comparison to one another, instead of being assessed separately, distorting our perception.

🤳 How AG1 Uses The Contrast Effect

AG1 directly contrasts their drink supplement to all the pills it replaces.

This ad does three things very well:

  1. A beautiful split-screen directly showing the simplicity of their product vs the alternative

  2. Listing all the benefits (how it helps your health), not features (ingredients)

  3. The ad focuses on one core benefit (simplicity vs multiple pills) rather than various benefits (simplicity, cost savings, quality etc.).

This ad wouldn’t be impactful without the direct comparison to the cup of pills.

That’s the magic of The Contrast Effect.

We judge things differently when shown in comparison to something else, rather than by itself.

🧠 How You Can Use The Contrast Effect

The key to the Contrast Effect is how you frame your product vs. alternatives.

The goal is to show your prospects that there is a better way of doing things.

And focus on one core benefit of your product v.s the alternative.

To do this, I find it helps to choose one core benefit from your product and highlight the exact alternative.

For example:

  • For a fitness app:

    • Benefit: The app’s algorithm provides a personalized routine that will generate better results in less time.

    • Alternative: Generic workout routines that aren’t personalized (wasted time) or personal trainers (expensive).

  • For an organic food brand:

    • Benefit: Promote better health through whole natural foods.

    • Alternative: Processed foods, weight gain, depression.

  • For a premium coffee brand:

    • Benefit: High-quality single-origin beans that ensure a unique, consistent flavour profile that improves your morning routine.

    • Alternative: Mass-produced blends that offer inconsistent flavors and a less satisfying experience.

Notice how the Contrast Effect becomes so much more powerful when you focus on one core benefit to compare.

So, how will you use The Contrast Effect?

Let me know if it works for you.

Until next time,


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