What is the Rational Appeal?

The Rational 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 Rational Appeal persuades audiences to purchase something or act on something by appealing to their sense of reason or logic. In other words, the Rational Appeal effectively makes something make sense or seem obvious in such a way  that it really can’t be argued.

When Should I Use the Rational Appeal?

The Rational Appeal is especially effective when the product, service, or idea contains many features that will appeal to someone’s sense of reason. For example, if you are advertising a vehicle that you know has technical features that will appeal to your audience (maybe enhanced sound system, better gas mileage, higher safety rating, and so forth), you can use the rational appeal to make your audience nod their head and say, “yep, that makes total sense. I want that.”

How Do I Apply the Rational Appeal in Advertising?

The Rational Appeal is applied by using facts, statistics, and other general data and information that will speak reason to your audience. Use images, numbers, graphics, and information that will be easy to understand, straightforward, and powerful. Avoid using common or not-so-impressive facts that won’t impress your target audience.

Examples of Rational Appeals in Action