(edited by) Marc Andrews, Matthijs van Leeuwen, Rick van Baaren – Hidden Persuasion: 33 Psychological Influences Techniques in Advertising


BIS Publishers, ISBN: 978-9063693145, English, 192 pages, 2014, The Netherlands

The dream of influencing or even dominating other minds has always been present in megalomaniac human beings. But what was just a myth in the past has now become (partially) a science. The advertising industry, more than other cultural fields, has developed sophisticated and effective techniques for influencing customer’s reactions, sometimes quite profoundly. In this book the editors have made an excellent job of selecting and describing thirty-three “social influence” techniques. These techniques are clearly explained and supported with generous visual examples of self-explanatory advertising campaigns. Outstanding concepts in the science of persuasion are clearly elucidated, including discussion of the prodigious impact of web mechanisms such as “likes”, “in-app purchase” and “only one left”. It’s also significant that the techniques are not explained through video, or interactive devices, but with a plain old book, forcing the reader to take time to focus on static text and visuals. The book is structured by its own particular interface. Each chapter/concept is valued by a rating of three “parameters” (“effectiveness”, “x-factor” and “implementation”) and three “needs” (“system”, “social”, “self”). It’s an eye-opening study that can be tested by consumers as well as advertisers. The editors suggest that the techniques described in the book are open for anyone to use: “in the end, we’re all persuaders and targets of persuasion.”