Advertisement Secret 3: Use Power of Association in Advertisements to make good ads great

“Matthew is faster than a tortoise”

What? That must mean he is quite slow. Why else would he be compared to a tortoise?

“Matthew is slower than a Cheetah”

A Cheetah! Everyone is slower than a Cheetah. But Matthew must be quite fast, otherwise, his name wouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence as a Cheetah.

Even though both sentences are mentioning the same person, audiences of each sentence are likely to form a completely different opinion of Matthew’s running speed. Just by associating his speed with different animals, the speaker can change the intended meaning of the sentence.

This is a very old trick, commonly known as framing or anchoring. In negotiation, anchoring high or low can change the final result as negotiators often settle very close to the initial amount. In the world of branding, the association is a very strong tool in creating a distinct image for any brand; e.g. Nike keeps on sponsoring outstanding athletes to associate itself with athleticism.

In the world of advertisement, such associations are very effective as well. That is where the next rule in the advertisement tricks comes into the picture because this particular rule is all about association.

Method: Power of Association

Visual Driven Ad


Identify the benefit/harm the product in question is going to offer

Identify the performer who is considered best in providing that benefit

Associate your product with that performer through visuals

In the marketing world, for every product, there is a class topper the product can associate with. That is why speed is often portrayed by showing a sprinting Cheetah, the fragrance is depicted by showing flowers, and so many other attributes are promoted with unrelated yet relevant elements. The following is an example of that:

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Hong Kong, Executive Creative Directors: Simon Handford, Sandy Chan, Creative Director: Alvin Lim, Associate Creative Director / Copywriter: Richard Sorensen, Art Directors: Alvin Lim, Sonny Tjahjadi, Account Team: Jason Pan, Retoucher: A Thousand Eyes, Published: December 2012, Courtesy:

Beijing Sports Radio tries to focus on the excitement a sport can bring to viewers. To exemplify their strength, they compared the perceived benefit with what one would get if s/he was present in the stadium.

More Examples of the Power of Association:

The following ad shows the strength of association in a different way. It shows contrasting regulations by associating kinder joy with a gun.

Advertising Agency: Grey, Toronto, Canada, Chief Creative Officer: Patrick Scissons, Copywriter: Patrick Scissons, Art Director: Yusong Zhang, Photographer: Eden Robbins / Sugino Studio, Account Supervisor: Laura Rovinescu, Advertiser’s Supervisor: Shannon Watts, Planner: Malcolm McLean, Agency Producer: Vikki Kuzmich, Producers: Sarah Gheriani, Taeko Yamanouchi, Retoucher: Miho Matsuoka, Courtesy:

Advertising Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, UK, Executive Creative Director: Paul Brazier, Art Directors: Andy Clough, Sonny adorjan, Copywriters: Diccon Driver, Richard McGrann, Milo Campbell, Art Director: Alan Wilson, Photographer: George Logan, Retoucher: Tony Swinney, Published: April 2013, Courtesy:

I have written similar how-to guides using other advertising tricks. To read other advertising secrets and how-to guides, visit the following link:




3x Top Writer ⚡ 10+ years in Marketing & Growth Hacking. ⚡I help others in personal growth, branding & finance. ⚡Join

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Mofrad Muntasir

3x Top Writer ⚡ 10+ years in Marketing & Growth Hacking. ⚡I help others in personal growth, branding & finance. ⚡Join