Sex...and Other Sneaky Marketing Tactics Brands Use to Lure Us In!

Posted by Natalie Saumure

Aug 1, 2012 12:24:00 PM

marketing tactics

Isn’t it nice sometimes to use tactics that you know will have an instant impact on an audience? I mean...look at this cat – isn’t it the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?! Doesn’t it make you want to read this article... speaking for myself, YES it does! 

Do you notice when ads/commercials/articles use cutesy animals to lure you in? These little furballs make my heart melt – so of course, I fall for this tactic every time!

What piques your interest and grabs your attention so you can't look away? Here is a list of effective marketing tactics that companies use in their advertising efforts to increase visitor engagement.

1) Cutesy little animals

  • Take a look at Telus. Even though cell phones in NO way relate to cute animals, the company has a proven track record of finding success in using animals to promote their cell phones and services.
  • Telus first began their animal-focused ad campaign in 1999 with an eye-catching red-eyed-bright-green tree frog jumping out of a jar. This campaign still continues today using a consistently simple method of a white background as the backdrop to cute animals and the slogan, “The future is friendly.” 
  • TV commercials use popular songs as memorable center-pieces of the ads, giving them absolute power over any audience. The Telus frog had become renowned for its role in the advertising industry, and following in his tracks were other talking animals including meerkats, rabbits, parrots, hippos, pigs, fish, frogs, penguins, lizards, cheetahs, lambs... the list goes on! 
Telus animals

2) Using numbers that SHOCK people

  • Using numbers in the headlines of your content is a tested and legitimate way to get more clicks.
  • The numbers that really work are the ones that make your readers do a double take.
  • Think about it -- "50 ways to generate leads from Facebook" is far more appealing than "How to generate leads from Facebook".
  • To strengthen the numbering effect, they'll often include strong emotional words like "shocking," "unbelievable," or "extreme."

3) Adorable babies

  • Similar to cute animals, many brands have seen success using cute babies as a way to market themselves. 
  • Remember the Coppertone Water Babies? They put that baby on all of their products to appeal to mothers who loved their cuddly little kids.
  • It projects feeling of comfort and happiness that many marketers want their audience to feel.
  • But the Coppertone association with babies makes sense... What about the brands that use babies when it has no direct relation to their product? 
  • Evian Babies was a successful series of ads launched back in 2009. CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) was a major component to the series and it is also a tactic used to get our attention. 
  • CGI is exciting and reassuring - it satisfies the desire for companies to be avant-garde in their marketing approach.
  • This campaign included many videos posted on YouTube, which went viral. Check out Evian Roller Babies! This video alone has been viewed over 58 million times and became known as one of the most successful brand campaigns ever. 

4) Sex Sells!

  • And last but not least - the advertising industry's go-to tactic: Sex appeal. This is a common fall-back method for garnering an audience's attention.
  • The use of a gorgeous model in a television or print ad has become a commonplace method to sell products, but it still seems to work.
  • For decades, brands have tried to convince customers that if they use their products or services, they will look like the model in the magazine or have the confidence and attitude of a celebrity.
sex appeal

So there we have it - the fantastic four. I'm not saying you should implement all of these tactics (especially not all at once!), but hey, next time you want to significantly increase traffic and brand awareness ... at least you'll have some cool tricks up your sleeve!

Have you used any of these tactics? What's worked best for you?



Topics: social media, advertising, branding, engage customers, online marketing, content, marketing strategy, online traffic, online behavior, evolution of marketing, persuasion

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