Tone and Communicative Analysis in Advertising
In this case study, we want to show you how our system analyzes different advertising texts, and how the results can show the difference in the effectiveness of the ads. For this, we took three random texts about croissants, texts which we found with a simple Google search.
Let’s consider a bakery advertising its products online, on their website. Each product has a short description and one of these products is a croissant.
“A croissant is a butter flaky bread, named for its distinctive crescent shape. It is also sometimes called a crescent or crescent roll. Croissants are made of a leavened variant of puff pastry by layering yeast dough with butter and rolling and folding a few times in succession, then rolling. Making croissants by hand requires skill and patience; a batch of croissants can take several days to complete. However, the development of factory-made, frozen, pre-formed but unbaked dough has made them into a fast food which can be freshly baked by unskilled labor. This innovation, along with the croissant’s versatility and distinctive shape, has made it the best-known type of French pastry in much of the world. In France and Spain, croissants are generally sold without filling and eaten without added butter, but sometimes with almond filling.”
“The delicious gluten-free croissants for quick baking are simply scrumptious. Gluten-free. The manufacturer guarantees a special manufacturing process, complete traceability at all stages of manufacturing and storage to avoid the risk of contamination. Without the addition of milk, nuts, peanuts, sesame and soy. Milk, sesame and soy are processed in this factory.”
“More than a quarter century ago, tradition was inspired to create an authentic Parisian croissant, made in the tradition of France’s best artisans. The result is a tender croissant with 24 layers of decadent flakiness that consistently bake up light and delicate…perfect with creamy butter or homemade jam. Available in a variety of sizes as either straight or preformed crescents, we have done the work; all you need to do is proof, bake and enjoy!”
Although all 3 texts can be used for the description on the website, let’s look at the differences between them.
When we look at the emotions expressed in the three texts it is very clear which one of them has the better results.
The third text is clearly the most effectively, because it is expressing joy. This is obviously related to the pleasure that gets people to opt for croissants. Surprise is also very effective when used to advertise a product, especially when used together with joy.
Although it doesn’t concern our case, negative emotions can still be used effectively when advertising products or services, and can sometimes be very effective in motivating customers to take action. This is the case when the product or service advertised helps solve a problem, when the customer is motivated by the absence of the problem he or she is dealing with.
Charles E. Osgood, Ph.D showed that all of our value judgments can be reduced to the estimates in the space of three dimensions: Good-Bad, Strong-Weak, Active-Passive. The desired outcome of the croissant description should be to have readers unconsciously associate the product with positive emotions, activity and strength.
As we can see, the third text has the best values in terms of measuring attitudes: Positive and Strong. This means that TEXT 3 makes unconscious impression in a more positive and strong way, directing them towards taking action. The first and second texts are much less effective.
‘Communication Style’ category
We can easily see from this graph that all three texts use mostly words referring to feelings. This is a good thing, because it is important that the people reading the description associate positive feelings to the product advertised, in this case the croissant.
However, people tend to process information in different ways, and focusing only on feelings might not lead to the best results. While keeping in mind that most people are predominantly visual and tend to think mostly in images, it is desired in general that all the 4 major ways to communicate information are used in the advertising of any product.
Given the nature of our product, the croissant, it is unlikely that customers are interested in the rational arguments in favor of buying croissants. As we can see, TEXT 2 is predominantly rational (98%), although more important are the sensory impressions, such as visual, auditory and kinesthetic. In our case, having more words that help a person think in terms of images and feelings is more desirable.
None of the three texts manage to achieve to use all 4 ways of communication, although we can see that the TEXT 3 is the most effective, because it has a better balance between visual (10%) and kinesthetic (58%) communication styles. Although, it has a low expression of auditory channel, it wouldn’t be a great problem, because naturally it would be quite hard to describe a croissant in terms of the sounds related to it. However, it is desired to add at least some words referring to sounds in order to improve the effectiveness of the ad, and create a full representation of the croissant in the mind of the reader.
For the purpose of this case study we chose three random texts about croissants. By analyzing the tone and communicative style we can gain more insight about texts’ effectiveness, making a better impact on the audience.
Choosing the best text for your ad or website can be hard. But now, instead of just guessing and praying for the desired result you have a technology to make the best of your communication.