Fear Trigger in Advertising

by Jenny Madison | August 19, 2015


The emotion of fear (specifically fear of loss) is a key driver in human decision making. In fact, many studies suggest that loss aversion is twice as powerful as the pleasure of gain.

Here in Creative Services, we’ve read the research that substantiates fear’s powerful grip, and the data we’ve tracked from our fear-inspired spots corroborates those findings. When one of our most tenured clients gave us the idea to fuse the credibility of testimonials with fear-based messages, we didn’t flinch.

If you’re not too scared, take a look at one of the spots from our Fear campaign, directed by Producer Nicole Melton.



Fear is Our Friend

Although we use a range of psychological triggers in the spots we produce, fear is especially important for lawyer advertising. Many accident victims have never needed a lawyer before. What they don’t know really can hurt them. Fear is the focal point of one of the most important messages we tell folks: If you don’t get a lawyer, you’re going to lose your shirt to the insurance company!

By demonstrating what can happen if the viewer doesn’t pick up the phone, we’re educating them and tapping into a basic instinct:  we all have to hold on for dear life to what’s rightfully ours.  Small children will fight for a toy they aren’t playing with, and a dog will growl over a bone that it only plans to hide. Loss aversion crosses species and demographics!  It’s universal and reptilian. For those reasons and more, fear really is our friend!

These spots can be prepared for any law firm, and they even work for different case types. For more information about our Fear campaign and other Creative Services offerings, don’t be afraid to contact cj Director of Creative Services Jennifer Floyd at jfloyd@cjadvertising.com. We wouldn’t want you to miss out!