17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (2023)

Creating ads is not an easy task. Convincing an audience to buy your product or service can take a lot of persuasion. Sometimes we can turn to himLogical fallacies in advertisingto do this. Unfortunately, most of the time these are not the best tools to convince potential customers to do business with you. But what are logical fallacies? Are they even effective? Should you stay away from them, or are there instances where they can work in your favor?

Table of Contents


  • What are logical fallacies in advertising?
  • Why are errors used in advertising?
  • Are errors in advertising effective?
  • Examples of logical fallacies in advertising
    • for man
    • To the People (The Wagon Call)
    • appeal to ignorance
    • appeal to compassion
    • appeal to authority
    • raises the question
    • circular reasoning
    • fallacy of the wrong dilemma
    • sunk cost fallacy
    • genetic error
    • hasty generalization
    • incorrect equivalence
    • after that, that's why
    • diversion tactics
    • slippery slope
    • the straw man
    • You too
  • Should you use fallacies in advertising?

What are logical fallacies in advertising?

the errors arelogically flawed statementsthis can significantly weaken your arguments. Many of us use them every day without even knowing it, especially when we get into a heated discussion where emotions run wild. For example, you may disagree with your interlocutor's point of view on an issue because of his political stance, or you may attack him because he criticizes you for something he is guilty of.

But the logical fallacy is not necessarily a matter of interpersonal conversation. You are acommon persuasion tactics in advertising campaigns, from old school billboards todigital video advertising. Your goal is usually to elicit some sort of emotional response from your viewers. at least withEmotions in video marketingIt has proven to be an effective promotional tool.

Why are errors used in advertising?

You may be wondering: do logical fallacies tend to weaken one's argument,advertisers should not avoid them? If that's the case, why are some of thebest publicityfull of mistakes? At least some of the mostcontroversial ads, like the infamous Pepsi commercial starring Kendall Jenner, have been criticized precisely because they are based on logical fallacies.

The truth is when it's done rightLogical fallacies in ads can be quite subtleand much harder to notice unless you're actively looking for them. In such cases, they have the power to deceive the viewer into believing that they are being presented with valid arguments and facts. This is not to say that the use of fallacies always impliesfalse advertising, more so that they leave him space.

Are errors in advertising effective?

As we mentioned, despite the questionable morality of using fallacies in advertising, they have the power to do so.Launch an ad campaign to fame. If you watched TV or used the Internet in the late 2000s, you probably saw Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign. What turned out to be one of Apple's most successful ad campaigns—it increased Mac sales by more than 30% and even won an award—was actually full of fallacies, and no one tried to hide it.

The campaign consisted of a series of ads featuring two people, one representing the Apple Macintosh and the other representing the PC. The two people performed skits comparing each other's features and specifications. The ads implied that PC users tend to be boring and unpopular nerds, while Apple users tend to be hip, cool, and hot.

Examples of logical fallacies in advertising

Can you identify some of the fallacies in Apple's campaign? If not, we are here to help. Let's take a look at some of theThe most common logical fallacies, how to use them, and some examples of ads with errors.

for man

The fallacy of man is involvedan attack on the integrity or character of a personinstead of your argument. It is used to discredit the adversary or the subject of the claim and make it less credible.

For example man:

Person A:Sigmund Freud revolutionized psychology and is still considered an authority on many psychological topics..

Persona B:Freud was addicted to cocaine, so I wouldn't consider him an authority by any means..

(Video) Logical Fallacies

This is one of the most common logical fallacies in political debates and electoral campaigns.

To the People (The Wagon Call)

The roving appeal is based on the assumption that thePopularity of a product or service.it is proof of its value or quality. In other words, it is trying to convince people to jump on the bandwagon.

For example to people:

The iPhone is the best cell phone that exists since almost everyone has it.

One of the most effective logical fallacies out there, the moving car is regularly used in advertising.

appeal to ignorance

Ad Ignorance, also known asan appeal to ignorance, is a logical fallacy that assumes that something doesn't have to be true just because we don't have proof that it's true (or vice versa: just because we don't have proof that something is false, it has to be true).

For example ignorance:

There is no evidence that vaccines work, so they don't really have to work!

Ad ignorantiam is a relatively common fallacy in everyday communication, and it's relatively easy to commit without even knowing it. However, it is not necessarily a powerful persuasion tool, so its use in advertising is quite limited.

appeal to compassion

The argument for grace is a fallacy.appeals to a person's pity. Not only is it a common fallacy of logic, but it's also quite popular.manipulation tactics. Unfortunately, this also means that it can be very effective.

Examples of Mercy:

  • Nobody wants to help in this house. But you'll see when I'm gone.
  • Ms. Jackson, please give me a passing grade. My father will be angry if I fail.
  • Don't leave me, I'm nothing without you!

It goes without saying that pity appeals are common as a powerful persuasion tool in commercials, particularly those that focus on it.Charities and donations.

(Video) 31 logical fallacies in 8 minutes

17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (2)

appeal to authority

People tend to believe who they think they are.authority figuresWhether you're a parent, teacher, boss, or industry professional. The ad verecundiam fallacy takes advantage of this.

An example of shame:

  • My dad said that Santa was real and my dad knows everything!

Appealing to authority is often very effective, as we tend to believe the people we think are the most knowledgeable. It goes without saying that this is one of the most popular persuasion techniques for many advertisers.

17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (3)

raises the question

Asking the question, or petitio principii in Latin, is a fallacy.uses himself to prove his own veracity. It basically states that X is true because it is true.

Example of principle of requirement:

  • Eating too much sugar is unhealthy because sugar has a negative effect on health.

In other words, the principle requirement includesrepeat the same factto determine its credibility. It's not exactly the most compelling fallacy out there, which is why it's not that common in advertising.

circular reasoning

Circular Reasoning is the sneakier brother of the previous fallacy. However, there is a big difference: while the Petitio Principii is based on a single repeated statement, the petitio principii creates circular reasoning.a chain of statements that mutually prove to be true, only to return to the original. It asserts that X is true because Y is true, and Y is true because (Z is true and Z is true because) X is true.

Example of circular reasoning:

  • I believe in God because the Bible says that God is real and the Bible came from God..

17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (4)

17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (5)

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fallacy of the wrong dilemma

The false dilemma fallacy is fairly easy to spot once you know what you're looking for. As its name indicates, it is presenteda choice between two optionswithout taking into account that there are other options outside of the two offered. It can also be a manipulation tactic.

(Video) 20 Most Common Logical Fallacies

For example, let's imagine a father trying to convince his son to eat more vegetables. Parents may ask, "Do you want vegetables for dinner?" (To which almost any child would simply say no.) Alternatively, the parent could ask, "Would you rather have carrots or cauliflower for dinner?" That gives the child afalse feeling of being able to have a say in the matter, although the result is the same: they eat more vegetables.

17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (6)

sunk cost fallacy

The sunk cost fallacy has its roots in economics. It assumes that since you have already invested time, money, or effort into somethingyou should keep investing, regardless of low or non-existent returns. However, the sunk cost fallacy is not limited to finance. It can refer to anything from reading a book to interpersonal relationships.

Example of sunk cost fallacy:

  • I'm not happy in my relationship anymore, but we've been together for so long that I don't want to give up..

genetic error

The genetic fallacy can be quite problematic and often brings with it a series of biases and prejudices. assumes thatthe background or provenance of an object or person defines the qualitiesof the object or person.

Examples of genetic fallacies:

  • The best car you can buy is any car from Germany.
  • He is a Muslim, so he cannot respect women..
17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (7)

hasty generalization

The hasty generalization error is self-explanatory. Containsdraw conclusions based on limited informationor the generalization of a group from a small number of people that integrate it.

An example of a hasty generalization would be a research study with a small number of participants, or a person who quits a particular restaurant because they were once dissatisfied with the service. might as wellAvoid considering all available informationin order to present the data in a certain way, e.g. B. the following poster:

17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (8)

This ad for diet pills bets you to conclude that the woman in the photo has lost weight thanks to the product. Ignore the possibility that she has been on a strict diet, exercised regularly, or had weight-loss surgery, for example.

incorrect equivalence

False equivalence is a logical fallacy that shows that two objects or people are in the samedespite obvious differences at the same level. For example, he may compare his boss to a slave owner to show how demanding the boss is, although there is an obvious difference between the two.

17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (9)

False equivalence is one of the most common logical fallacies in advertising, as it can demonstrate the superiority of a particular product over, say, more expensive alternatives (although in most cases a higher price indicates lower quality). high).

after that, that's why

After this, then, because of this (O after this, I will break away) you are one fallacy thatassumes that correlation indicates causation. In other words, just because two events happened one after the other, it means that the first event caused the next. A good example would be a child who assumes that just because a rooster crows just before sunrise, the rooster actually causes the sun to rise.

Post-hoc is one of the most common misconceptions in television, as ad campaigns often focus on selling an idea before the product actually sells. Commercials for men's toiletries tend to focus on the increased chance of attracting a mate, while commercials for diapers, for example, imply that the right diaper makes the baby happier and calmer.

diversion tactics

Simply put, the red herring fallacy implies thatChange the topic from a current issue to something irrelevant(or only apparently relevant). The purpose of this fallacy is to divert attention from the problem at hand and can be a clear indicator of a weak argument.

(Video) 14 Logical Fallacies in 14 Minutes

one of the mostviral marketing videosOf all time, the Old Spice commercial starring Isaiah Mustafa is full of fallacies, including red herrings. Instead of focusing on the intrinsic attributes of the product (quality ingredients, good smell, reasonable price), the commercial takes us on a wild ride from a man's bathroom to the beach and on a horse. He suggests that the use of Old Spice will make a man desirable, wealthy, and exciting.

slippery slope

You can think of the steep slope fallacy asa chain of red herrings. The slippery slope assumes that because A happened, it causes B to happen, which causes C to happen, and so on. The result is often overly dramatic and blown out of proportion to the original event. One of the most famous examples of a slippery slope is the iconic sex scene from the movie Mean Girls.

Example of a slippery slope:

Coach Carr:Don't have sex because you will get pregnant and die! ... If you touch, you get chlamydia and you die.

the straw man

The straw man fallacy is the plot ofoversimplifying or misinterpreting the opposition's argumentattacking him is one of the most common fallacies in real life. It usually indicates bias and a lack of a strong argument.

Examples of the straw man fallacy:

  • murmur:You can't go to the party until you've done your homework..
  • She:You don't want any social life from me at all!
  • Political One:I am against a total gun ban and instead advocate stricter regulation.
  • Politician of:My opponent does not care about the lives of our children.

The iconic Budweiser commercial from the 2015 Super Bowl is a great example of the straw man fallacy in advertising. In addition to telling the audience that Budweiser craft beer is qualitatively superior, it also implies that people who drink craft beer, discuss the nuances of its flavor, and "make a fuss about it" actually don't like beer at all.

You too

Tu quoque roughly translates to "you too," and that's what this fallacy is all about. It'sdiscredits the opponent's argument as hypocritical. This is one of the most common logical fallacies, as it is a powerful tool to disarm an opponent.

Examples of errors you can also:

  • Smoking is bad for you. You must stop
  • You smoked all your life, who are you to tell me that.
  • You should eat less sweets; they are not good for you.
  • I saw you have cake for breakfast this morning.
17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (10)

Should you use fallacies in advertising?

Now that we've looked at some error ads and commercials, you probably have a better understanding of their effectiveness. Although theyshould not be the means chosen to convinceIn your campaign, if implemented correctly, they can attract more potential customers. Still, it's better to stick to something more effective.rhetorical meanto make your ads more attractive where possible.

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17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (11)

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(Video) Logical Fallacies in Advertisements | Insurance Commercial Analysis

17 most common logical fallacies in advertising [with examples] (12)


Which fallacy is most commonly found in advertising? ›

The Bandwagon Fallacy is when someone concludes that something is true or good simply because it is popular. This reasoning is used often in advertising. Businesses try to convince consumers that they should buy a product or use a service simply because everyone else is doing so.

What are the 6 common logical fallacies that we must avoid? ›

6 Logical Fallacies That Can Ruin Your Growth
  • Hasty Generalization. A Hasty Generalization is an informal fallacy where you base decisions on insufficient evidence. ...
  • Appeal to Authority. ...
  • Appeal to Tradition. ...
  • Post hoc ergo propter hoc. ...
  • False Dilemma. ...
  • The Narrative Fallacy. ...
  • 6 Logical Fallacies That Can Ruin Your Growth.
Jun 22, 2021

What is a logical fallacy in advertisement? ›

Advertising fallacies are a marketing technique that appeals to consumers' emotions or biases to make a product or service seem more alluring. Advertisers will employ flawed arguments to convince a potential buyer a given product is the correct one to purchase.

What type of fallacy is Coca Cola? ›

The Coke commercial has a Logical Fallacy of: An Appeal to Emotion. The Pepsi commercial has a Logical Fallacy of: An Appeal to Authority.

What are the 9 types of fallacies? ›

  • Ad Hominem Fallacy.
  • Fallacy of False Cause.
  • Straw Man Fallacy.
  • Appeal to Ignorance.
  • Appeal To Emotion.
  • Slippery Slope.
  • Fallacy of Equivocation.
  • Appeal to Popularity.

What are the 4 logical fallacies? ›

The important thing is to follow the pattern of the flawed logic. The four fallacies are: ad hominem (attack the person not their arguments), false dichotomy, false analogy, and the smoking doctor combines consensum gentium (wisdom of the crowd) and a plea to authority.

What are the 23 types of advertising appeals? ›

An emotional advertising appeal depends more on feelings and perceptions than logic or reason to provoke action.
  • 1 Personal Appeal. ...
  • 2 Social Appeal. ...
  • 3 Humor Appeal. ...
  • 4 Fear Appeal. ...
  • 5 Sexual Appeal. ...
  • 6 Romantic Appeal. ...
  • 7 Endorsement Appeal. ...
  • 8 Youth Appeal.
Nov 10, 2017

What kind of fallacy is Colgate commercial? ›

Colgate uses false authority because the Doctors are normally not fully qualified to be Doctors. *Summary- If you have bad dental hygiene, use Colgate and it will fix everything.

What are the types of logical fallacies and their meanings and examples? ›

Logical fallacies are flawed, deceptive, or false arguments that can be proven wrong with reasoning. There are two main types of fallacies: A formal fallacy is an argument with a premise and conclusion that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. An informal fallacy is an error in the form, content, or context of the argument.

What is an example of a common fallacy? ›

Example: “People have been trying for centuries to prove that God exists. But no one has yet been able to prove it. Therefore, God does not exist.” Here's an opposing argument that commits the same fallacy: “People have been trying for years to prove that God does not exist.

What are the ten most frequently used fallacies? ›

Fallacies refer to flaws within the logic or reasoning of an argument. Ten fallacies of reasoning discussed in this chapter are hasty generalization, false analogy, false cause, false authority, false dilemma, ad hominem, slippery slope, red herring, and appeal to tradition.

What kind of fallacy is Dove? ›

Dove Commercial

At the last part of the commercial, it was said that “for smoother, more glowing skin in 7 days it must be dove” which also proves another false cause fallacy (oversimplified cause) because dove is not the only reason for our skin to glow.

How is logic used in advertising? ›

The second branch of persuasive marketing, logos, is the appeal to logic and reason. It uses statistics, facts, and figures to show why someone should logically buy what you're promoting. It's a great way to showcase your credibility with facts and reason.

What are the 3 types of fallacies? ›

The common fallacies are usefully divided into three categories: Fallacies of Relevance, Fallacies of Unacceptable Premises, and Formal Fallacies. Many of these fallacies have Latin names, perhaps because medieval philosophers were particularly interested in informal logic.

What kind of fallacy is Nike? ›

The logical fallacies present in the Nike ad line are appeal to false authority, false dilemma, false cause and effect, and ad nauseam.

What type of fallacy is Snickers? ›

In addition, Mars plays upon the extreme notion that, by consuming a Snickers bar, you will become a better you. Unfortunately, in the process of convincing its audience that it is the best candy bar in its class, Mars commits logical fallacies, such as hasty generalization, a false dichotomy, and appeal to authority.

What kind of fallacy is Burger King? ›

This burger King ad is an example of an ad hominem fallacy. Burger King is attacking the competition, which is McDonalds Big Mac. They are insisting that the Whopper is bigger than the "big" Mac and looks more like a Medium.

What are 2 logical fallacies? ›

There are two major types of logical fallacies, formal and informal.

What are the 7 types of reasoning? ›

7 types of reasoning
  • Deductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning is a type of reasoning that uses formal logic and observations to prove a theory or hypothesis. ...
  • Inductive reasoning. ...
  • Analogical reasoning. ...
  • Abductive reasoning. ...
  • Cause-and-effect reasoning. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Decompositional reasoning.
Jun 1, 2021

What are the 7 types of arguments? ›

The following are the primary types of arguments used in daily life:
  • Causal argument. ...
  • Rebuttal argument. ...
  • Proposal argument. ...
  • Evaluation argument. ...
  • Narrative argument. ...
  • Toulmin argument. ...
  • Rogerian argument. ...
  • Classical Western argument.
May 11, 2021

What are five informal fallacies? ›

Traditionally, a great number of informal fallacies have been identified, including the fallacy of equivocation, the fallacy of amphiboly, the fallacies of composition and division, the false dilemma, the fallacy of begging the question, the ad hominem fallacy and the appeal to ignorance.

What are the 5 common logical connectives? ›

Commonly used connectives include “but,” “and,” “or,” “if . . . then,” and “if and only if.” The various types of logical connectives include conjunction (“and”), disjunction (“or”), negation (“not”), conditional (“if . . . then”), and biconditional (“if and only if”).

What are the five major categories of fallacies? ›

  • Appeal to the People (argumentum ad populum) df.: concluding that p on the grounds that many people believe p. ...
  • ad hominem (appeal to the man) df.: concluding that not-p on the grounds that someone with a bad character or that was in. ...
  • Begging the Question (petitio principii) ...
  • Slippery Slope. ...
  • The Naturalistic Fallacy.
Nov 5, 2009

What are the 10 advertising appeals? ›

The various types of advertising appeals are rational appeal, musical appeal, sexual appeal, humor appeal, emotional appeal, scarcity appeal, and fear appeal.

What 14 techniques are used in advertising to appeal to an audience? ›

20+ Commonly Used Advertising Techniques
  • Technique #1: Color Psychology.
  • Technique #2: Composition.
  • Technique #3: Rule of Thirds and The Golden Mean.
  • Technique #4: Focal Point.
  • Technique #5: Visual Path.
  • Technique #6: Typographic Composition.
  • Technique #7: Repetition.
  • Technique #8: Body Language.
Aug 30, 2019

What are the 9 advertising techniques? ›

So here are some very common and most used techniques used by the advertisers to get desired results.
  • Emotional Appeal. ...
  • Promotional Advertising. ...
  • Bandwagon Advertising. ...
  • Facts and Statistics. ...
  • Unfinished Ads. ...
  • Weasel Words. ...
  • Endorsements. ...
  • Complementing the Customers.

What are the 8 different types of advertising? ›

The 8 main types of online ads include product listing ads, display ads, demand-side platform ads, affiliate ads, native ads, social media ads, video ads, and email ads.

What are the 5 main advertising techniques? ›

Basic techniques used in propaganda transfer successfully to advertising and remain the most frequently employed.
  • The Use of Repetition. ...
  • Claims Relating to a Product. ...
  • Association and Connection with the Customer. ...
  • Convincing Customers to Join the Bandwagon. ...
  • Promotions and Rewards.

How is Pepsi fallacy used? ›

The logical fallacy from this Michael Jackson Pepsi ad is that we have an appeal to authority by showing that if we drink Pepsi, we feel the Pepsi way like Michael Jackson, therefore Pepsi is the choice of a new generation.

How the fallacy was used in Coke? ›

It basically tells us as the claim, if you drink coke, then you'll be happy. Essentially, the ad wants us to think coke is a bottle of happiness, which we all know isn't true.

What kind of fallacy is apples to oranges? ›

False equivalence is an informal fallacy in which an equivalence is drawn between two subjects based on flawed or false reasoning. This fallacy is categorized as a fallacy of inconsistency. Colloquially, a false equivalence is often called "comparing apples and oranges."

What is an example of an ad hominem? ›

For example: "My opponent was (allegedly) wrong in the past, therefore he is wrong now". The second one is a behavioral ad hominem: "My opponent was not decent in his arguments in the past, so now he is not either".

What are the common fallacies committed by social media users give five examples? ›

The 6 Dangerous Fallacies of Social Media
  • Social Media is Inexpensive. False. ...
  • Social Media is Fast. False. ...
  • Social Media is “Viral Marketing” Get our best tips. ...
  • Social Media results can't be measured. False. ...
  • Social Media is optional. It doesn't matter what the demographics of your customers are. ...
  • Social media is hard. False.

What is fallacy of four terms give an example? ›

Major premise: Nothing is better than eternal happiness. Minor premise: A ham sandwich is better than nothing. Conclusion: A ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness.

What are some real life examples of fallacies? ›

Example: “People have been trying for centuries to prove that God exists. But no one has yet been able to prove it. Therefore, God does not exist.” Here's an opposing argument that commits the same fallacy: “People have been trying for years to prove that God does not exist.

What is a red herring fallacy? ›

This fallacy consists in diverting attention from the real issue by focusing instead on an issue having only a surface relevance to the first.

Which of the fallacies is the most commonly used? ›

Five of the most common fallacies are the Appeal to Ignorance, the False Dilemma, the False Cause, Ambiguity, and the Red Herring.

What are the 3 Formal fallacies? ›

The standard Aristotelian logical fallacies are:
  • Fallacy of four terms (Quaternio terminorum);
  • Fallacy of the undistributed middle;
  • Fallacy of illicit process of the major or the minor term;
  • Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise.


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