Persuading Consumers with Video Psychology

It’s not necessarily manipulation, but it definitely is the art of persuasion. Video commercial is the leading advertising tool in marketing today. In fact, studies show that 88 percent of business owners claim that video commercials are the most important part of their marketing strategy. And 69 percent of online consumers say they’d rather watch a video than read about a new product or company.

That’s why understanding the psychology behind creating a successful video ad is essential for your business.

There are two ways to understand the psychology video marketing—the central route and the peripheral route to persuasion.

The central route influences consumers by creating powerful content that projects facts, logical arguments and distinct bits of information that make potential customers feel as if they need your product or need to take action. After watching, they feel completely invested, like they HAVE to do something.

A great example of this is a commercial by CocaCola, which states facts about obesity and how they now make several low-calorie colas. This allows consumers to make a logical decision on their own based solely on the facts. Another example of central route persuasion is from SEIA—the USA’s largest trade association for Solar energy. Although this ad uses some cues like music and a great storyline, it provides facts and testimonials that help influence people to take action. It’s still objective and allows consumers to think about the issue using facts and logical information.

The peripheral route influences consumers not based on just facts or the influential content in the message—but, the actual emotional and superficial stimuli, also known as cues. These cues can be a story, music, colors, expressions, or all of the above. It’s not just about the objective act of persuasion, but the subjective, emotional acts in the video.

One of the more famous video commercials that uses emotional storylines and music to influence people to adopt a pet is “Shelter Dogs, in the Arms of an Angel.” Another popular one is the Folgers Coffee Christmas commercial. This video commerical pulls at the heartstrings of families all over the world.

Whichever method you choose, both are powerful. Think about your company mission and values. Perhaps you want to use both methods to capture a broader range of consumers? The great thing is that no matter what, you know that the video will influence people in some way—and that’s the point.


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