Ads convey promises on two levels: conscious product-specific motivations, and subconscious personal motivations.1 A case study is presented in which combining both types of motivations yields the best results.
Ernst Dichter introduced the term "motivational research" to the marketing industry along with his own method of applying the concept. This concept flowered into a widely used procedure of using qualitative research to detect the benefits sought by consumers in a specific product category, and then using quantitative research to measure the size of each "benefit segment" in a product category. Different ads could then be created for different benefit segments, or as many benefits as possible could be combined into the same ad. For example, a brand of toilet paper found that combining "softness" and "strength" in the same ads raised sales compared to earlier when it had separated the two benefits into separate ads.