One manipulative technique I have noticed in advertisements today is the use of suspenseful music and dramatic settings that grab the audience’s attention. Usually those commercials look like they can be movie trailers and lead the audience to believe that something unpredictable is going to happen when in fact at the end one finds out that the commercial is trying to sell something as simple as butter.
In this article “Suspense as an Experience of Mixed Emotions: Feelings of Hope and Fear While Watching Suspenseful Commercials”, the authors Robert Madrigal and Colleen Bee speak about the suspense that is used to increase customer preference in advertisements. In their study they tested whether suspenseful ads are more favorable and more enjoyable than non-suspenseful ads. They surveyed thirty-six undergraduates in groups of six to fourteen. Each individual was told to watch four given commercials on a computer that included suspenseful and non-suspenseful ad types. Each participant was then told to fill in a survey. Their study concluded that 55 percent of the subjects felt both hope and fear from suspenseful ads and that the people found it to be more entertaining and favorable than non-suspenseful ads.
Robert Madrigal is an associate professor of marketing with a PHD at the University of Oregon. Colleen Bee is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the College of Business at Oregon State University where she received a Ph.D.
In this commercial the setting is dark and the music is creepy. At first I thought it was going to be a commercial about drugs because the person looked like criminal while pulling the money out of their jacket and he or she was wearing a hood. It made me wonder who the person was waiting for. However, at the end we find out that the commercial is advertising “easy shipping”. It definitely tricked me into thinking that this advertisement was about drug trafficking. I am not really interested in the idea of shipping, but the fact that I was not sure what this commercial was going to sell made me want to keep watching it.
This advertisement leaves me in suspense. You can see the man touching the girl in the back as if they do not have much time together because something is about the separate them. It leaves the audiences to imagine what they want to happen. His face on the front makes me nervous as if he knows the bad situation that is about to come. The blue shades used in this picture are mysterious and leaves you a bit frightened. Usually you think perfume as something happy that smells good, but this perfume seems mysterious and almost makes you want it more.