Aspirational promises as a key technique in advertising and marketing

The promise of better.

Presenting a product as a solution to people’s problems is a frequent technique in ads and marketing campaigns.
Aspirational promises can have both a direct and a subconscious effect. Something as simple as pairing your product with happy and attractive models can sell the image as a part of the product. Making a person think, if I buy [that] then I will be happy and healthy as well.

The technique taps into the hierarchy of needs, as set out by Maslow in 1943. The five-stage model is divided into basic needs (e.g. physiological, safety, love, and esteem) and growth needs (self-actualization). Aspirational promises in advertising can present a product that fulfils a person’s basic needs as solving a growth need. Evian’s tagline ‘live long’ is a great example of this. Water fulfils a basic need, but the promise it gives health and longevity fulfils a growth need of an individual.

Evian's 'live long' campaign is an example of aspirational promise

Evian's 'live long' campaign is an example of aspirational promise.

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This article is a part of the Advertiser's psychology toolkit - the psychology of selling and marketing in design.

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Form for thought - A blog about design psychology and design thinking for graphic designers, web designers, ui designers, ux and illustrators. Looking into the psychology of colour, user behaviour and advertising psychology.