5 Modes of Marketing Persuasion

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5 Modes of Marketing Persuasion

We live in a world of persuasion – human communication depends on it and it is virtually inescapable in this industry. Whether it be through emotion, logic, or establishing credibility, each day brands are persuading consumers to choose their service, buy their product, or support their cause, but in a world where consumers are bombarded with over 5,000 marketing messages a day. Aristotle’s 3 Modes of Persuasion are simply not enough. With that said here are 5 Modes of Persuasion (new and improved):


The first of Aristotle’s modes of persuasion is where you communicate your brand’s character. This is your chance to establish your credibility as a brand or product – how do consumers know they can trust you? In most cases, brand credibility is accomplished by having a spokesperson, usually a celebrity or professional athlete, who endorses the brand or product. For a brand like Nike, all they have to do is make sure their “Swoosh” is seen on Lebron James; however, for a credit union or small nonprofit, it’s not as simple as “Just Do It.” Thankfully, credibility extends far beyond advertisements; company history, experience, capabilities, clients, and partners are all useful ways to show off your credibility. So it all comes down to your values as a brand – employee behavior, affiliations with organizations, community testimonials, and reputation all play a role in ethos.


As Dale Carnegie said, “when dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion.”  With pathos, the goal is to tap into a powerful human emotion to make your arguments more compelling, whatever they might be. Brands do a really great job of using this appeal, and it’s one of the easiest forms of persuasion to work with. Cute puppies are not the only kind of content that can trigger an emotional response from an audience, despite it being one of a few very popular forms (we’re looking at you Budweiser). Motorola recently released an ad targeted at Millennials that uses nostalgia to generate excitement about a future announcement. In this ad, they highlight what may be the world’s most recognizable flip phone from the mid-2000s: the Motorola Razr.


Despite not yet being released, this spot was effective in generating excitement for Motorola’s upcoming announcement – racking up almost 2 million YouTube views and 3.6 million more on Facebook. People are excited and they’re not even sure what they’re excited for, but that feeling of nostalgia is enough. That’s why it works; they found an emotion that appeals to their audience.


Rooted in fact and data, logos can be a difficult appeal to execute effectively. Presenting factual information typically comes across as boring, but there are many ways to bring data and facts to life. This is the chance for you to do something interesting and exciting with your nonprofit’s annual report. Finding a creative way to present to your donors how their donations are making a difference in your organization how your credit union’s members’ choice to bank with you has provided one million puppies to needy children in third world countries (take THAT Budweiser) can directly impact your organization’s future. There are also ways to indirectly use logical reasoning to appeal to consumers. Let’s look at Nivea – they created a SunSlide that dispenses waterproof sunscreen so kids get completely covered while enjoying the sun and playing on an awesome inflatable slide:


NIVEA SUNSLIDE from FCB Cape Town on Vimeo.

They appeal to the obvious fact that people need to wear sunscreen, but turn it into something fun which is more appealing to the consumer. Not only were they able to apply sunscreen on over 100 kids, but they were able to create hype and generate awareness for their brand by revolving this entire installation around the fact that South Africa has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, and that Nivea is the solution that works!



In the past year, Internet ad revenue had more than a 20% increase and mobile ad revenue grew by more than 66%, so it is to no surprise that social media would be the fourth and “newest” persuasive appeal. Social media has bridged the gap between brand and consumer – giving brands a voice and consumers a chance to interact with their favorite brands. If done correctly, social media is an opportunity to let your consumers speak for you. The persuasion comes through the social media hive mind, in essence another form of word-of-mouth marketing, but so central to our lives it receives its own persuasion category. A customer shoutout letting you know that your brand’s product is “clutch” could be your greatest advertisement (best of all, it didn’t cost you anything). This word-of-mouth advertising is powerful, and most of the time consumers aren’t even aware they’re doing it.

Having a presence on social media these days is almost as important as having a brand/company website; it gives consumers an opportunity to see how other consumers are reviewing your brand. It combines social pressure and recommendations coming from peers rather than brands – a mix of ethos and pathos.


“It’s my money and I need it now!” We’ve all heard these words repeated over and over again in JG Wentworth’s TV ads, and the sentiment is reminiscent of today’s consumer. Thanks to technology, vast amounts of knowledge and marketing messages are literally at the palm of our hands – Google can generate a list of all the nearest bookstores in less than 30 seconds. It’s no longer enough to simply tell consumers about your website, you have to get them there NOW. Establishing a donation deadline or including a “limited time” offer are great ways of creating a sense of urgency that will ultimately lead the consumer to take action immediately.

Each of these modes of persuasion is a great way to connect with your consumer, and although different brands may benefit from specific appeals, using all five in unison is the reciPea to persuasion!

If you’re in need of Blooming Creative Strategy, contact The Pod Advertising!