🧑‍🔬 How to Hit a Nerve with Your Ads

We've all felt this before.

👋 Hey, it’s Josh from Psychology of Ads.

My girlfriend thought she smelled during our first date. That’s fair because it was a sweaty 30°C/86°F day. But I never noticed at all. It was just in her head. And that type of thing happens often - we tend to overestimate how much other people notice or care about our actions or appearances (or scents).

So how can marketers take advantage?

Let’s dive in…

Hope you have a great week ahead!

Today’s ad:

Brand: Dr. Squatch

Psychology Concept: Spotlight Effect

Days Running: 670 Days
(This gives an indication of how it’s performing)

Have you heard of the Spotlight Effect? 🤔

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🧪 The Spotlight Effect

The Spotlight Effect describes a tendency for people to overestimate the extent to which their actions and appearance are noticed and evaluated by others.

🤳 How Dr. Squatch Uses The Spotlight Effect

Similar to how my girlfriend felt on our first date, Dr. Squatch’s ad makes men feel like their smell is under intense scrutiny and very noticeable by women…almost as if there’s a spotlight on them.

The ad taps into the fear of negative judgment, creating a narrative where using Dr. Squatch soap is a necessity to avoid the embarrassment of B.O.

You see the key here is tapping into the heightened self-consciousness when we’re trying impress someone. The ad wouldn’t be as powerful if it revolved around a subject that didn’t involve potential embarrassment.

🧠 How You Can Use The Spotlight Effect

The key to leveraging the Spotlight Effect is to make your customers’ aware of how others perceive them, and how your product can enhance their social standing.

It sounds evil but, like all great marketing, you need to tap into your customers’ fears.

Here are some examples of how you can leverage the Spotlight Effect in your ads (if you only watch one - check out the last one!):

In this ad, clothing company All Citizens spotlights the embarrassment of sweat stains and how their t-shirts can help prevent them:

In this next ad, women’s health company Hers spotlights the anxiety around hair loss and how their product can help negate that feeling:

In this next ad fitness app Kic spotlights the worry of not knowing what to do at the gym and how their app will show you how to properly workout:

Finally, in this last example Myprotein essentially explains the Spotlight Effect in the ad itself:

(You may be thinking they didn’t even promote their product in that last ad. You’re right. Yet it seems to be resonating as the ad has been running for 480 days.)

All of these examples show how making your customers aware of how they're perceived by others and then offering a solution to improve that perception can effectively drive them to choose your product.

So, how will you use the Spotlight Effect?

Lemme know how it goes!

Until next time,


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