Neurology tells us that ‘fear’ has a more direct path to the brain than pleasure. For example, if we are walking through tall grass and see a stick the signal of danger (snake) will by-pass the neo-cortex to make us jump away. We won’t ‘think’ before we act.
But you never see (almost never) an add for a commercial product or service that warns about the dangers of buying the competing product. (There are a few exceptions like the famous “Where’s the beef” ad in 1984 – but even that ad didn’t mention the competition by name like most political ads.)
Both “Ad Machines” are committed to motivating the viewer …but one does it through highlighting benefits and the other through warning of danger (they are even called ‘Attack Ads”.).
Why is that?
When you have the opportunity to speak to a group, which tact do you choose? Are you delivering a message of fear or reward?
One thing is certain…I’ll be happy when the political season is over.