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The Eight Criteria of Persuasion

The Eight Criteria of Persuasion

It arrived in the mail and sat buried in a stack of ”I’ll read it later” solicitations. After all, it was just a brochure for another awards competition—one more out of the forty or so a year that we wouldn’t enter.

When I finally read it, the deadline had passed, but there was something in this solicitation from the Zephyr Advertising Awards for all of us who create broadcast communication.

Here’s a quote:

“…judging is based on the overall persuasive power of the work…advertising that rises above the competition and the clutter, and makes a clear, powerful case for its product.”

It’s kind of like what happens with those commercials we create, where our audience members are the judges of whether or not we have a winner.

“Work is evaluated using criteria associated with advertising that is capable of changing minds. The judges ask themselves, ‘If I were in the market for this product, would this ad be strong enough to change my beliefs and attitudes, and make me more likely to purchase the product?’”

This is the primary question we should ask ourselves about every commercial we launch.

Then, just imagine what would happen if we could answer “yes” to each of the following eight Zephyr Advertising Awards judging criteria!

1.   Is there a Big Promise based on a major personal benefit?

2.   Is there emotional and/or factual support for the Big Promise?

3.   Is the writing informative, interesting and easy to read (listen to/watch)*?

4.   Is the ad unusual or unexpected?

5.   Is the product or company personality expressed?

6.   Does it make an emotional connection with the audience?

7.   Is the message clear, simple and easy to understand?

8.   Is it strong enough to change beliefs and attitudes about the product?

Who knew I’d find inspiration for creating great commercials in a direct marketing piece?

The awards we want to win are results for our clients… who then reward us by continuing to invest in advertising so we can continue to get them results. That’s persuasion.

* Parenthetical comment is mine.

Want another way to break writer’s block for free? Email me, jeffrey@hedquist.com, and I’ll send you a way to use an old “Saturday Night Live” sketch to create a powerful campaign. No charge.

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