Sometimes advertisers are explicit about the need to which they are appealing, whereas, at other times, appeals are veiled or purposely kept ambiguous, and the consumer has to determine the relevance of the appeal to him.
Direct appeals are those that clearly communicate with the consumers about a given need, followed by a message that extols the advertised brand as a product that satisfies that need. In Industrial advertising, some ads may have a direct appeal, satisfying the customer’s technical need; but, in consumer advertising, the direct appeal plays a very limited role. Examples of direct appeal ads for consumer products are rare. In America, the hamburger was once advertised with the hunger appeal. The ad said: “When you get a man-size hunger, eat a whopper hamburger.”
Indirect appeals are those that do not emphasize a human need, but allude to a need. Because advertisers understand the influence of needs upon selective perception, they leave some ambiguity in the message so that the consumers may be free to interpret it and the need to which the advertiser is appealing. Since this interpretation of the consumer is not difficult, there is no risk involved in keeping the ambiguity in the message.