What is the Personal Appeal?

The Personal Appeal, also known as the Emotional Appeal, is one of roughly twenty advertising strategies that marketing professionals use to persuade people to buy a product, pay for a service, donate to a cause, or otherwise be persuaded. The Personal Appeal seeks specifically to incite emotional responses in viewers strong enough to encourage them to buy or act. While several other advertising appeals also seek to affect people’s emotions (consider the Fear Appeal or the Humor Appeal), the Personal Appeal encompasses the wide range of other emotions that an advertiser may wish to play with in order to persuade his/her target audience. While there are scores of emotions an advertiser could use, some of the more common ones besides fear and humor are sadness, pity, anger, excitement, and joy.

When Should I Use the Personal Appeal?

The Personal Appeal is applicable in may different scenarios for a wide variety of products, services, and ideas. If what you want to advertise is especially prone to affecting emotions, the Personal Appeal is a good choice to use. For example, if you are advertising a non-profit organization that is seeking donations for a humanitarian relief effort, as an advertiser you can use the Personal Appeal to evoke emotions of sadness and empathy, encouraging people to feel bad for those suffering and want to do something to help.

How Do I Apply the Personal Appeal in Advertising?

The Personal Appeal works best when you use images that evoke strong emotions. While you want to be careful about exploiting people in the images and the people viewing the messages, you can often effectively use imagery that tugs at consumers’ heart strings in some way. The Personal Appeal doesn’t always need to be used to evoke emotions of sadness, pity, and empathy, though. You can use images that make people feel good and happy, jealous, worried, or any other range. Just use appropriate images and text that speak directly to a targeted emotion.

Examples of Personal Appeals in Action