For the price of

This 2016 campaign, called ‘It’s that affordable’, by Memac Ogilvy, uses a really interesting tactic. To send the message that products in IKEA are ‘affordable’ (not ‘cheap’), they use a simple and effective way for us to understand the range of prices – compare some of the products’ prices with the prices of things that we are very, very familiar with.

They do use a small trick here – the products they are compared with always are in multiples, not a single product 🙂 But considering how familiar we are with those products, it works.

IKEA’s campaign is based on positive reinforcement. On the other end are campaigns that use the same tactic, but with negative reinforcements. In those campaigns, the trick is reversed – multiples of one ‘bad’ item are compared with only one expensive product!

Two campaigns that use that tactic are geared towards smoking addiction. Both use ‘the cost of’ tactic to try and dissuade the audience from smoking. Instead of focusing on the health impact, they focus on the financial impact – that is, ‘If you don’t smoke for X days/years, you could have saved…’. Does it work, for impulsive habits like smoking? I don’t know, but money is a very powerful motivator!

The first is by Korea National Tobacco Control Center (by the agency Enzaim Health) which claims, “If you quit smoking today, you can own a car in 72 months!”.

The other is by the Brazilian agency, Master Comunicacao, which uses 5 different products, the cost of which we know generally to be expensive, to give us the ‘what did we lose?’ scenario.

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