The Human Element: A Changing World of Advertising

As a society, we have raised the bar on effective techniques of persuasion. In a recent Harvard Business Review article written by Jeffrey Rayport, the human experience is highlighted as a prime new medium for advertising. No longer does advertising solely entice somebody to buy the product for its perceived purpose; instead, it leads consumers to be active participants in the sale! A beverage company based out of London, Diageo, launched a new marketing campaign last summer that allows people buying whiskey to become a more involved part of the experience.

A person can scan a code embedded on the bottle and upload a video online, only accessible through that QR code. Then, the person can give the bottle to a friend as a gift, and the friend can not only get the drink, but also a custom-made video able to be viewed on any smart phone.  Click the picture below to see the video!


Persuasion does not work in the same manner that it once did. We now block internet pop-ups and pay online music stations a fee so that we don’t have to listen to annoying advertisements. The shift in advertising success is said to force companies to reinvent their approach and consider alternative methods by which to attract customers. Personally, I know that I am a huge contributor to this added challenge for companies, as I will go to any length to not encounter advertisements online or while watching television, movies or listening to music.

Persuasion through the media is still inevitable. However, standards really have been raised. Now, persuasion must be so seamlessly engrained in some type of user experience that the person is unaware of the persuasive intent, or just is so entertained that he/she doesn’t care. Diageo’s approach not only convinces people to buy their type of whiskey, but it also persuades people to continue to buy their products in the future.

By bringing in the human element, they intertwine pathos and logos, allowing for the users to be happily engaged while making a smart decision economically- two gifts for the price of one! Customers are happy to be able to send messages to those whom they care about, allowing for both the sender and the receiver to have positive emotional associations with this product. Additionally, it makes logical sense to someone walking through a store to purchase a bottle that allows for future, lasting entertainment, not just initial satisfaction.

Think about your influence in this changing advertising world… Are you a main contributor to the raised standards? And would you be somebody that would appreciate this engagement and be more likely to purchase a product like this?

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