Advertising Principles - Evidence-based principles

Finalist for AMA’s 2011 Best Book in Marketing

A complete description of the principles has
been published in Persuasive Advertising

German Edition available

Chinese Version available
This Page has been visited
times since Febuary 1998.

Advertising Principles

Aims: This evidence-based site summarizes empirical research on how to develop persuasive communications and how to test their persuasiveness. It provides specific advice on what to do in what situations. It explains why the principles work and provides evidence on their effectiveness. For more on the aims, see "Welcome."


Recent Maintenance of
29 Aug 2017 - Jessie

We have fixed a technical glitch with our Daily Commercials on the home page. Now the Daily Commercials can play on all major browsers and mobiles as well. Also, we updated the commercials that illustrate advertising principles. Now for each principle, you can watch an example of an ad either complies or violates that advertising principle. The Free Internet Course on the right side of the homepage has also been updated with more up-to-date information. This is the course that Professor Armstrong has taught at the Wharton School since 1998.

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Should Super Bowl Ads Emphasize their Brands—and follow other evidence-based principles?
22 Feb 2017 - Jessie

To gain attention, advertisers on the Super Bowl ignore many persuasion principles. Here are two examples:

Mystery Ads: Many companies used “mystery ads” in the Super Bowl. That is, they decided to conceal the name of their brand. About 90% of print ads by major brands regard their brand as a way to communicate useful information.

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Daily Commercial

Today's Commercial: Principle 8.8.1 Bud-wiser frogs
Consider using humor for well-known low-involvement products - Complies

Each commercial was selected to illustrate a single principle. Some show commercials that comply with a principle; others show ones that violate a principle. They are in numerical order; so if you would like to find an earlier one, refer to the complete list of commercials.



An appeal from J. Scott Armstrong

If you find this site useful in your role as a practitioner, educator, or researcher, please consider purchasing Persuasive Advertising. To date, all of the royalties have gone towards improvements of this not-for-profit site. (See funding)

Principle of the day:

5.9.2 If resistance is expected, use indirect conclusions when the arguments are strong and obvious

Today's Exercise


The Advertising Principles site summarizes all useful knowledge about advertising so that it can be used by researchers, practitioners, and educators. Ideas for improving the site, please send to the Site Manager Jessie Du :


© Copyright J. Scott Armstrong and Kesten C. Green. All rights are reserved.

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