This is a universal marketing and advertising tool that explains why there are so many babies in insurance ads, dogs in truck commercials and beautiful people in beer campaigns. The basic way that this tool works is that it gets the target audience’s attention in the awareness stage of the consumer brand building stage. Pre-existing interests are effective after the audience has been exposed to the advertisement (this earlier post goes into detail about stages in the brand building model), which is usually self-selected based on media choice. Example: I chose to watch this football game. That’s when I saw this beer ad with young, attractive adults having a party on the beach…
Some of the basic pre-existing interests are:
human motives (hunger, love, fear, pleasure…)
and the list goes on, based on the basic consumption motives of your target audience. There are a few conditions to using pre-existing interests. First, consistency is very important for any advertising campaign. If your team has selected a pre-existing condition for a campaign, then it is important to not change course. Along those lines, repetition adds to the strength of the associations that your audience will have with that pre-existing condition and the product or service in your marketing campaign.
Ultimately, the goal of using pre-existing interests is to help your consumer remember the brand while making the purchase decision.
There are some brands that have used this tool masterfully to build brand awareness. If you have some favorites, post a link in your comments.