Psychology Hacks for Marketing & Advertising 


With widespread access to the Internet and social media, today’s consumers have abundant purchasing options and a wealth of information at their fingertips. This can make selling your service or products more difficult as you likely face steep competition from your peers in business. Producing effective marketing and advertising campaigns is a necessity to stand apart from your competition and break through the onslaught of brand messaging consumers see on a daily basis. Implementing these psychology hacks for marketing can help you develop compelling messaging that resonates with consumers.  

Helpful Psychology Hacks for Marketing & Advertising 

Tap into the Power of Social Proof  

Social proof is a powerful psychological phenomenon. Human beings are a highly social species and respond to messaging that conveys the popularity of a product or service. A common example of social proof you have likely seen is the classic “As Seen On TV” icon found on packaging for consumer goods like appliances, kitchenware, and gadgets. The “As Seen on TV” icon legitimizes a product or service by demonstrating that other people have used and bought a particular item.  

Essentially, social proof helps consumers feel more comfortable making purchases. While not every product or service can be advertised on television, smaller brands and businesses can use social proof by sharing testimonials, positive reviews, follow counts from official social media pages, and more. For example, highlighting testimonials in an easily-seen location on a website’s product page is a great way to benefit from the social proof phenomenon.  

Use Symbols & Shapes to Enhance Your Brand Messaging 

As visual creatures, people respond to images. The way our brains are wired makes the use of symbols in marketing especially powerful. One easy-to-implement example is placing checkmarks in your copy. For instance, rather than using traditional bullet points, use checkmarks in your copy for bulleted lists. Our brains interpret checkmarks like we would a green light at an intersection. Checkmarks send the message that we are on the right track and can positively influence our decision-making behavior.  

Shapes help convey your brand’s tone, too. Following is some helpful information on how particular shapes enhance your messaging: 

  • Triangles: Psychologically-speaking, triangles evoke emotions of stability and strength. Common brands that utilize triangles in their messaging include Mitsubishi and Adidas. Triangular shapes can often be found in branding and logos for legal practices and businesses in scientific industries. 
  • Horizontal Lines: Lines oriented horizontally convey tranquility and community. A famous example of horizontal lines used effectively is IBM’s logo.  
  • Vertical Lines: Suggesting masculinity, aggression, and strength, vertical lines are eye-catching and attention-grabbing when used in infographics, logos, banner images, and in printed marketing pieces like direct mail.  
  • Circles and Ovals: There’s a reason circular shapes are wildly popular in marketing and advertising materials. Well-known brands like Ford, Land Rover, Pepsi, and GE all incorporate ovals and circles in their imaging. Circular shapes are associated with feelings of unity, community, and trust.  

These psychology hacks for marketing only scratch the surface. There’s been a wealth of research devoted to this topic, especially the effect shapes, font, and color have on consumer emotion. In a previous blog post, our team delved into the psychological effects of color on consumer habits, which you can read by clicking here. The pros at Pel Hughes recommend devoting some time to studying the psychological impact that graphic design can have on your business for optimal marketing and advertising campaigns.  

Based in New Orleans, Pel Hughes is a woman-owned, full-service printing company that offers graphic design, direct mail campaigns, database services, and campaign automation. Give us a call at (504) 486-8646 to request a quote on your next project.