Advertising is basically an attempt to convince a number of people to buy a product or service using relatively little information about it.
Giving all the technical specifications of what is offered would not only be very expensive in terms of the type of advertising space that would need to be hired, but it would also not serve to persuade anyone; in any case, it would be boring.
What advertising tries to do is to express sensations and ideas through mental shortcuts that allow to wake up the interest for what is offered and to make it gain a memorable halo of seduction, so that its effects remain during the lapse that passes between the viewing of the advertising piece and being able to pay for the product.
And, if there is an area in which these psychological tricks used in marketing to sell things stand out, this is that of food advertising .
The resources and tricks of food ads
There are many types of advertising, and of course there are certain resources that are possible in some cases and not in others. However, many of them are not exclusive to one of the classes and, in practice, are very common.
Here you can see a review of some of the tricks advertising uses to sell food products.
1. Strategically placed water drops
How do you make a food look so much fresher than it really is? Simply by making the food displayed have strategically placed drops of water, especially in the case of fruits and vegetables.
If it is such an effective measure, it is precisely because we do not stop to think about why there is so much water in the food . Simply, our brain associates the image of the drops with the concept of “the fresh”, a very intuitive relationship between both ideas that makes us not question this mental shortcut.
2. Induction of synaesthesia
Synaesthesia is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when information coming in through one sense (e.g. sight) is experienced at the same time as if it had come in through another (e.g. touch).
Advertising uses these resources to make viewing an ad piece as close as possible to tasting what is being sold . For example, amplifying the sound of a cookie or a potato chip crunching subtly evokes a tactile sensation. Watching a slice of fried bacon bounce off a hamburger also provides information about its texture.
3. The close-ups
The close-ups show us all the most appetizing details of the food. This strategy of food advertising works, first of all, because seeing a food so enlarged makes us think that we have it very close to our eyes and, therefore, close to our mouth .
Thus, we already anticipate the taste that what we are seeing must have and, somehow, the neuroendocrine cycle begins that has to do with chewing and salivating. In order to reduce the feeling of frustration that would be produced by interrupting this cycle of physiological activation , we began to think about what we could do to taste this product as soon as possible; that is to say, it displaces hunger towards a goal in the near future, instead of eliminating it.
But, in addition, close-ups are the perfect excuse to resort to the following advertising strategy.
4. The slow motion
Slow motion is not something that in itself makes us more eager to buy a product when used in food advertising, but it allows advertisers to make sure that the audience of a TV spot sees what they should see and does not lose detail.
In addition, there are images, such as what happens when two jets of fruit juice hit each other in the air, that only make sense if shown in slow motion .
5. All kinds of image tricks
The function of the beer mug in an ad is to look like one, not to be one. That’s why you do everything you can to create things that look like food without necessarily being so: the bubble layer that crowns the beer mugs is usually soap foam , painted and cosmetic-coated foam is used to create something that looks like meat, and many foods are filled with substances injected with syringes to make them look bulky and rounded.
And, of course, all the computer-made effects that are cost-effective have long been used to create three-dimensional models of food.
6. The Still Life
Everything about food (or pseudo-foods created for the occasion) that can and should enter the eyes of the advertisers’ target audience is conveniently presented through a still life. The still life is basically the “showcase” of what is to be sold , an image in which the product or set of products appears occupying the entire center of the advertising piece. The idea here is to show the definitive aspect of what has been sold, to make all the relevant details appear at once.
The objective of the still life is to create an image that is stored in the memory and that serves to recognize the product at the point of sale. That is why in the case of television spots it almost always appears at the end, when the viewer’s attention has already been captured and it is time to help him or her achieve the overall image of the product, instead of a series of fragmented images shown on different planes.