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Can sex sell bread? The impacts of sexual appeal type, product type and sensation seeking
Chun-Tuan Chang and Chien-Hun Tseng, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2013, pp. 559-585
Despite the prominent use of sexual appeals in advertising, little is known about how consumers process messages that contain explicit versus implicit sexual appeals.
Despite the prominent use of sexual appeals in advertising, little is known about how consumers process messages that contain explicit versus implicit sexual appeals. This research presents the results of two studies that tested whether product type and individual consumer differences in sensation seeking moderated the effects of sexual appeal type. In Study 1, we conducted an experiment and found that an explicit sexual appeal was more effective in promoting a sexually related product, while an implicit sexual appeal was more effective in promoting a non-sexually related product. The above-mentioned results only held for high sensation-seeking participants, not for those who are low sensation seekers. In Study 2, we used a different manipulation of product type and replicated the results. The findings underscore how important it is for marketers to learn more about how different sexual appeals work. The findings also illuminate how practitioners can avoid negative consumer reactions to a sexual appeal.
Conspicuous Conservation: Using semiotics to understand sustainable luxury
Marie-Cecile Cervellon, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 5, 2013, pp. 695-717
This paper investigates the meaning of sustainable luxury among the wealthy, who are the primary target group of luxury brands.
This paper investigates the meaning of sustainable luxury among the wealthy, who are the primary target group of luxury brands. In doing so, it highlights the interest of using a combination of semiotics tools (Peirce's and Greimas' paradigms) to analyse consumers' discourses. Indeed, understanding the sign-value of a brand in relation to the natural environment and society is paramount to the development of CSR activities, in order to avoid, on one side, being perceived as greenwashing and, on the other, losing the brand meaning and authenticity. Findings indicate that the luxury clientele opposes 'ascribed luxury' (discreet and emphasising traditional manufacturing techniques) to 'achieved luxury' (conspicuous and marketed). The contribution of luxury brands to society welfare should be located on a continuum between sustainability in ethos and along the supply chain, and pure philanthropic actions, both being worthy in consumers' views, and both being expected from luxury brands to different degrees, depending on the brand ascribed or achieved status.
A Multi-Country Examination of Hard-Sell and Soft-Sell Advertising: Comparing Global Consumer Positioning in Holistic- and Analytic-Thinking Cultures
Shintaro Okazaki, Barbara Mueller and Sandra Diehl, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp. 258-272
Prior research has revealed that advertisements utilizing a global consumer culture positioning (GCCP) strategy more often adopt soft-sell (indirect and image-based) rather than hard-sell (direct and information-based) appeals.
Prior research has revealed that advertisements utilizing a global consumer culture positioning (GCCP) strategy more often adopt soft-sell (indirect and image-based) rather than hard-sell (direct and information-based) appeals. However, little empirical research has examined consumer preferences for soft-sell versus hard-sell advertising appeals in multi-country settings. This investigation attempted to fill this gap by proposing a multi-country research framework and conducting a pilot study. Soft-sell and hard-sell versions of a print advertisement were pretested with nearly 2,000 subjects in both holistic- and analytical-thinking countries. Findings indicated that employing a soft-sell appeal would be more effective than its hard-sell counterpart in global markets. Results from t-tests collectively indicated that soft-sell advertisements were more likely to generate favorable attitudes and less likely to evoke advertising irritation in most of the countries examined. In closing, the authors discuss theoretical as well as managerial implications, recognize important limitations, and summarize suggestions for future research.
How Strong is the Pull of the Past? Measuring Personal Nostalgia Evoked by Advertising
Altaf Merchant, Kathryn LaTour, John B. Ford, and Michael S. LaTour, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 53, No. 2, 2013, pp. 150-165
Marketers frequently evoke personal nostalgia in their advertising. To date, scales have been developed to measure the propensity to get nostalgic but not the actual dimensions of personal nostalgia.
Marketers frequently evoke personal nostalgia in their advertising. To date, scales have been developed to measure the propensity to get nostalgic but not the actual dimensions of personal nostalgia. Results from four studies show that advertising-evoked personal nostalgia comprises four correlated but distinct dimensions: past imagery, positive emotions, negative emotions, and physiological reactions. This multidimensional scale showed a high level of validity and reliability. Moreover, due to careful choice of sampling frames, the study demonstrates a high level of external generalizability. Evaluating nostalgia-based advertising using the study’s multidimensional scale may provide marketers with strategic insights for developing and fine-tuning advertising aimed at inducing nostalgia among consumers.
Nature imagery in advertising: attention restoration and memory effects
Patrick Hartmann, Vanessa Apaolaza and Patxi Alija, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2013, pp. 183-210
Environmental psychology postulates that interacting with nature has inherently positive emotional, cognitive and physiological effects.
Environmental psychology postulates that interacting with nature has inherently positive emotional, cognitive and physiological effects. Based on Attention Restoration Theory and related research, this paper presents a theoretical framework hypothesising that nature imagery presented in an advertisement enhances cognitive advertising message elaboration and memory. Three experimental studies, including an eye-tracking experiment, which successively addressed emotional, information processing and memory effects of exposure to nature imagery in advertising, provided evidence supporting postulated effects. Findings confirmed the hypothesis that advertisements featuring visual representations of pleasant nature scenes can evoke very similar emotional responses to those experienced in pleasant natural environments, which constitutes a necessary condition for the suggested cognitive effects. As hypothesised, advertising messages of advertisements featuring pleasant nature imagery achieved higher memory scores in both unaided recall and recognition compared to identical advertisements displaying a variety of other attractive pictures.
24/7 Diginography: Reality ethnography to decode the context sensitivity of colour among Asian countries
Dangjaithawin Anantachai, Kanita Tungworapojwitan and Rosesanant Punithipandku, ESOMAR, Asia Pacific, Ho Chi Minh City, April 2013
This paper reports on a study that decoded the different cultural and generational meanings of colour in China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, in order to provide brands with a better understanding of the impact and implications of their colour choices.
This paper reports on a study that decoded the different cultural and generational meanings of colour in China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, in order to provide brands with a better understanding of the impact and implications of their colour choices. The research is based on findings from a market research online community of "nowsumers", whose close connection to digital and mobile technology enables the collection of constant ethnographic data ("24/7 diginography"). The paper includes an investigation of aspects of these consumers' everyday lives, with emphasis on their non-spoken observations in relation to colour symbolism.
Visual awareness: A manifesto for market research to engage with the language of images
Simon Pulman-Jones and Colin Strong, Market Research Society, Annual Conference, 2013
This paper argues the case for market researchers to use images in order to help marketers understand consumers.
This paper argues the case for market researchers to use images in order to help marketers understand consumers. More broadly, it calls for market research to recognise that the language of images must be given due recognition in the corporate world. Images form a tool for social identity through history; the digital revolution has also led, the paper argues, to society becoming increasingly image-based. But images play a limited role in the mainstream methodological repertoire of market research - and this needs to change. Such a process represents a great new opportunity for semiotics to move into a more central role within market research. The paper suggests three methodological approaches to help improve understanding of the language of images: individual, social and cultural.
Animal distraction: Geico's disruption of automotive insurance advertising using lizards, cavemen and pigs
Geoffrey Precourt, Event Reports, 4A's Transformation, March 2013
This report from the 4As's Transformation annual conference describes the genesis and subsequent iterations of the widely-celebrated series of humorous commercials that have been the advertising hallmark of Geico, the US automotive insurer.
This report from the 4As's Transformation annual conference describes the genesis and subsequent iterations of the widely-celebrated series of humorous commercials that have been the advertising hallmark of Geico, the US automotive insurer. The idea for the first commercial, featuring a gecko, stemmed from an incidental sketch in 1999 following focus group findings that many consumers mispronounced the company's name. This has since spawned creative treatments involving characters such as cavemen and pigs. Geico's irreverent approach in a low-interest category has grown its market share from 2% to 12% since the first commercial, prompted competitors to adopt similar creative strategies and led to a big increase in adspend within the automotive insurance sector.
Creativity in advertising
Dominic Twose, Millward Brown Points of View, July 2012
This Point of View aims to explain why creativity is at the heart of successful advertising. Creativity helps grab attention, even when people are actively filtering ads out.
This Point of View aims to explain why creativity is at the heart of successful advertising. Creativity helps grab attention, even when people are actively filtering ads out. Mnemonic systems demonstrate how creativity makes an ad memorable, such as in the case of an advertising jingle. Creativity can generate curiosity, which makes a brand seem more interesting. Also, the way experiences are framed can fundamentally affect the way they are perceived, so when warm emotions are evoked by well-branded advertising, those emotions will colour perceptions of the brand itself. This theory can be seen in practice through the Cannes Creative Lions and Millward Brown's Link copy testing, which demonstrates that winning ads score high on enjoyment, involvement, positive emotions and being different from other ads.
The Naked Truth: Revealing the Affinity for Graphic Sexual Appeals in Advertising
Tom Reichert, Michael S. LaTour and John B. Ford, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp. 436-448
Graphic sexual appeals grab attention but the advertising literature suggests that these messages are far from a “magic bullet.” Using a large national panel (N = 1,506), the current research manipulated levels of nudity in fragrance ads and assessed key constructs including Sexual Self Schema, Sensation Seeking, and dimensions of the Reidenbach-Robin Multi-dimensional Ethics Scale to determine which factors best account for individual response.
Graphic sexual appeals grab attention but the advertising literature suggests that these messages are far from a “magic bullet.” Using a large national panel (N = 1,506), the current research manipulated levels of nudity in fragrance ads and assessed key constructs including Sexual Self Schema, Sensation Seeking, and dimensions of the Reidenbach-Robin Multi-dimensional Ethics Scale to determine which factors best account for individual response. Findings indicate that elements of all three variables were important predicators of viewers’ emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral responses, especially as nudity increased. The results elucidate key factors for managerial action when incorporating sexual appeals in brand building.
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