Subliminal Messages: An Analysis of Jib Fowles' Top Fifteen Advertising Appeals List

Magazines, newspapers, online articles, and commercials all use advertising. Jib Fowles looks at how these advertisements work by using one or more appeals. He created a list of the top fifteen appeals he believes are the most used in advertisement. This list ranges from the need for sex to basic physiological needs like food, drink, and sleep. “Seventeen” magazine is a magazine for young teenage girls. This magazine contains several articles on anything ranging from celebrity fashion to dorm room contests.

Each article has different appeal tactics to get its message across to its readers. Based on the results and appeals this magazine uses, the readership is mostly for tween and teenage girls. Evidence for this statement is that there are several boyfriend quizzes, style tips, celebrity interviews, gossip.

The magazine solidifies its readership by putting articles, posters, and ads teen girls would like. Surveying this magazine results in the belief that the main appeals used are the need to achieve, the need for attention, and the need for affiliation.

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The need to achieve means to make people strive to achieve their goals. The need for attention is just that and the need for affiliation satisfies a humans desire to “fit in”. For example, there is a section called, “Who wore it best?” It shows pictures of several celebrities wearing the same outfit with their own flares on it. These ads appeal to young girls’ need to achieve. It appeals to this need because every young girl has a celebrity idol.

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If they see their idol wearing an outfit that someone else has, and most thinks she wore it best, she will believe that if she can achieve anything despite the obstacles. However, if her idol doesn’t win.

In comparison, “People” magazine is aimed towards more aged audiences. They put bits and pieces In one specific issue, there is the veteran from Iraq that burned over 40% of his body on the cover. This catches the attention of people because of their need to satisfy curiosity. Once people are drawn in by this picture then they begin to skim the magazine and find something interesting leading them to buy the magazine. I believe Fowles’ top fifteen advertising appeals list has one downfall. The need to achieve and dominate should maybe be considered one in the same.

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Subliminal Messages: An Analysis of Jib Fowles' Top Fifteen Advertising Appeals List. (2022, Sep 20). Retrieved from

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