What is the Plain Appeal?

The Plain 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 Plain Appeal reaches audiences by appealing to their sense of what’s normal, commonplace, or average. Faced with onslaught of unrealistic advertising and Photoshopping, many consumers feel that they can connect with advertising that portrays people and things more realistically or in ways they’re used to seeing.

When Should I Use the Plain Appeal?

The Plain Appeal is especially effective when you sense that your target audience may be tired of or turned off by advertising that showcases unrealistic body types, physical abilities, accomplishments, and so forth. The Plain Appeal speaks to the average person, essentially telling them that average is okay, and even awesome.

How Do I Apply the Plain Appeal in Advertising?

The Plain Appeals works best when you use images and language that speaks to what your audience perceives as normal. You might portray physical characteristics that are very common but often seen as flawed in the beauty world. Or you might showcase what the average, middle-class or blue-collar worker looks like in natural and common settings (as opposed to showing beautiful, wealthy, or accomplished people). The goal of this appeal is to make people feel like it’s okay to be plain or “flawed” and there’s nothing wrong with (and in fact, it may be cool) to be unique in a very common way.

Examples of Plain Appeals in Action