Advertising Principles - Evidence-based principles

Persuasion Principles AuditTM

The Persuasion Principles Audit examines the extent to which a given advertisement follows the advertising principles. Its primary purpose is to determine the most effective ad among a set. It can also lead to suggestions for improving ads. Finally, it can help people learn how to design and improve ads.

The audit provides an effectiveness score, the Persuasion Principles Index (PPI©), based on how well the principles are applied. This simple approach is in line with recent research on the use of the “index method” (see Armstrong and Graefe, 2010). The score's primary benefit is to compare ads for the same product; for example alternative ads for a given Glossary Link campaign, or ads between competitors for the same product category and target market. In addition, it provides a Weighted API; the weightings are applied to each principle, are based on three sources: 1) coder’s judgment that a principle is especially important in the situation, 2) the amount and quality of prior evidence, and 3) the effect size based on prior published research (along with judgments by Scott Armstrong).

If you are new to the Persuasion Principles Audit, go to the Self-training module. Otherwise, go to Rate Ads, direclty below.

Rate ads

There are Excel spreadsheets for “Still” (print or internet) and “Motion” (radio, TV, and Internet) ads. When feasible, it is recommended that multiple raters be used for each ad, especially when the raters are inexperienced. The Administrator’s Summary helps to summarize across raters.


Rating Sheet for Still Ads
Administrator’s Summary of Still Ratings
Rating Sheet for Motion Ads

Administrator’s Summary of Motion Ratings


Report Writing

The report should provide specific operational changes that focus on the most important changes. Avoid mentioning what was done poorly; simply focus on how the ad might be improved. Provide reasons why each change would improve the ad. Provide support with links to original sources. If possible, show what the ad might look like given the changes; cutouts are especially effective for still ads.

Use Persuasion Principles Audit Report: Sample Format to structure your report. Use the Checklist for Writing Management Reportsand Oral Presentations: An Evidence-based Checklist.



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