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Behavioural evidence for the effectiveness of threat appeals in the promotion of healthy food to children
Karine M. Charry and Nathalie T.M. Demoulin, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 31, No. 4, 2012, pp. 773-794
The current paper investigates the effectiveness and the persuasion process of threat appeals on children.
The current paper investigates the effectiveness and the persuasion process of threat appeals on children. Disregarded by scholars, probably for ethical reasons, the study of negative appeals targeting 8- to 12-year-olds to promote healthy food seems nevertheless relevant, in the unprecedented context of childhood obesity. To test our assumptions, an experiment was set up with 126 children. Results indicate that the appeal is effective and that the persuasion process of threatening advertisements is led by affective reactions. In contrast to earlier research on older targets, cognitive processes do not improve its effectiveness. Furthermore, exposure to threat appeals increased pre-adolescents’ healthy food consumption in comparison with appeals that may be considered more ‘typical’, such as fun and action. These conclusions and a teleological perspective of ethics invite further study of threat appeals targeting children.
Ad Bites: Toward a Theory of Ironic Advertising
Ekin Pehlivan, Pierre Berthon and Leyland Pitt, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp. 417-426
Irony is employed to add edge or bite to advertising—to make it stand out. Yet the irony of ironic advertising is that it is used but not thoroughly understood; practiced but not well researched.
Irony is employed to add edge or bite to advertising—to make it stand out. Yet the irony of ironic advertising is that it is used but not thoroughly understood; practiced but not well researched. In this study, the authors set out to remedy this failing by laying the foundations of research into ironic advertising. Specifically, they define a construct and then develop a theory that explains how ironic advertising works. From this, they develop a series of propositions that specify how a message and its interpretation interact to determine the relative efficacy of an ironic communication. The article then outlines a research agenda and concludes by specifying the contribution of the theory to practitioners and researchers.
The multidimensional nature and brand impact of user-generated ad parodies in social media
Bruce G. Vanden Bergh, Mira Lee, Elizabeth T. Quilliam and Thomas Hove, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2011, pp. 103-131
What is the impact of ad parodies on the brands they spoof? This question arises from the recent confluence of heightening comedic interest in parodying advertising and the growing trend of amateurs creating their own ad parodies in social media.
What is the impact of ad parodies on the brands they spoof? This question arises from the recent confluence of heightening comedic interest in parodying advertising and the growing trend of amateurs creating their own ad parodies in social media. This article reports on a multi-phase study investigating the key dimensions of ad parodies and how they influence brand attitudes, attitudes towards the parodies, and intention to pass along the parodies. Four primary dimensions of ad parodies were discovered: humour, truth, mockery and offensiveness. Humour and truth were positively related to attitudes towards the parodies and intention to pass them along, while offensiveness was negatively related to attitudes towards the parodies. However, the dimensions of ad parodies had no impact on brand attitudes. The results demonstrate that, although advertisers should be aware of this trend, they can take comfort in consumers' ability to distinguish between brand messages and entertainment.
The cultural dimension of assertiveness in cross-cultural advertising: The perception and evaluation of assertive advertising appeals
Ralf Terlutter, Sandra Diehl and Barbara Mueller, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2010, pp. 369-399
This paper proposes a conceptual model that attempts to explain the impact of the cultural dimension of assertiveness on the perception and evaluation of a standardised advertisement.
This paper proposes a conceptual model that attempts to explain the impact of the cultural dimension of assertiveness on the perception and evaluation of a standardised advertisement. The basic concept of the model is that a given standardised advertising stimulus is likely to be perceived and evaluated differently in various cultures, dependent upon the level of importance individuals place on assertiveness (individual level assertiveness) as well as the level of assertiveness in the environment surrounding that individual (societal level assertiveness). Applying the GLOBE framework of cultural dimensions (House et al. 2004) to advertising research, consumers in the United States, Germany, Great Britain, Austria and Argentina were surveyed. Results indicate that, overall, assertiveness is a favourable cultural dimension for advertising purposes. Results demonstrate that it is not consumers from the country with the highest assertiveness scores who most positively evaluate advertisements incorporating assertive appeals. Rather, consumers from the country who perceive the highest level of assertiveness in the advertisement tend to evaluate it most positively – and they, in fact, are from the country with the lowest assertiveness scores. The proposed model was confirmed to a large extent. Implications for the use of assertive appeals in international advertising are discussed and the limitations of the research are addressed.
The effect of health, cosmetic and social antismoking information themes on adolescents’ beliefs about smoking
Nina Michaelidou, Sally Dibb and Haider Ali, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2008, pp. 235-250
The paper examines the effect of long-term health-related and short-term social and physical antismoking information on adolescents’ beliefs about smoking.
The paper examines the effect of long-term health-related and short-term social and physical antismoking information on adolescents’ beliefs about smoking. Findings from a UK school-based study indicate that antismoking information about the short-term effects of smoking, such as cosmetic (e.g. yellow teeth and fingernails and smelly clothes) and fitness, have a greater impact on beliefs than long-term health-related information. The implications for the design of antismoking campaigns are explored.
Understanding the emotional and coping responses of adolescent individuals exposed to threat appeals
Sonia Dickinson and Matthew Holmes, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2008, pp. 251-278
Social marketers continue to incorporate threat appeals into their advertising campaigns. By understanding how both type, and level of threat, as well as individuals’ emotional response impacts on their coping response, health communicators can become knowledgeable about how to generate health message acceptance.
Social marketers continue to incorporate threat appeals into their advertising campaigns. By understanding how both type, and level of threat, as well as individuals’ emotional response impacts on their coping response, health communicators can become knowledgeable about how to generate health message acceptance. Coping responses are of interest to researchers because they have social implications, and influence whether or not an individual actually takes on a desirable or undesirable behaviour. That is, after deciding on their coping response, individuals then proceed to develop attitudes that lead to behavioural decisions. Therefore, this research provides an improved understanding of threat appeal effectiveness, through an experimental design where the relationship between ‘type of threat’, and ‘level of threat’, an individual’s emotional responses, and their subsequent coping response are examined.
Comments - Fear appeals
Michael S. LaTour and Jeff Tanner, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2006, pp. 409-416
This Comments section looks at the subject of fear appeals in advertising. Michael LaTour argues that a broader approach to understanding fear arousals is necessary, and that further study outside North America is also needed if understanding of the subject is to further develop.
This Comments section looks at the subject of fear appeals in advertising. Michael LaTour argues that a broader approach to understanding fear arousals is necessary, and that further study outside North America is also needed if understanding of the subject is to further develop. Jeff Tanner also argues that research in this area is often overly limited to the field of health, and that only by widening this approach can advertisers truly gain an understanding of the use of fear arousal in advertising.
Are sex and death taboos in advertising? An analysis of taboos in advertising and a survey of French consumer perceptions
Delphine Manceau and Elisabeth Tissier-Desbordes, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2006, pp. 9-33
Sex and death, subjects traditionally considered taboo, are now presented in advertisements. Focusing on the French cultural context, this paper analyses whether these topics are still considered taboo in our society.
Sex and death, subjects traditionally considered taboo, are now presented in advertisements. Focusing on the French cultural context, this paper analyses whether these topics are still considered taboo in our society. We use the concept of taboo as studied in ethnology and psychoanalysis, which makes the reticence of consumers easier to understand and aids the study of taboos in relation to cultural context. We analyse the use of taboos in advertising, reviewing the literature on the impact of the use of death and sex in advertising, and relating it to ethical issues and cultural aspects. We then present a survey analysing whether French consumers find it acceptable to present taboos in advertising and identifying which individual characteristics affect attitudes towards taboos in advertising. Women and seniors are particularly hostile to sex and death in advertising, while young people find these themes more acceptable. The general attitude towards advertising also appears to have a strong impact on attitudes. We draw managerial implications from these results.
Does it pay to shock? Reactions to shocking and nonshocking advertising content among university students
Rajesh V. Manchandra, Kristina D. Frankenberger and Darren W. Dahl, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 43, No. 3, September 2003, pp. 268-280
Although the use of shocking content in advertising appeals has been widely adopted, the effectiveness of such communication strategies has not been empirically investigated.
Although the use of shocking content in advertising appeals has been widely adopted, the effectiveness of such communication strategies has not been empirically investigated. In two laboratory studies, conducted in the context of HIV/AIDS prevention, we examine the effectiveness of shock advertising in comparison to the commonly used appeals of fear and information. Our findings suggest that shocking content in an advertisement significantly increases attention, benefits memory, and positively influences behaviour among a group of university students.
Don't Be Afraid to Use Fear Appeals: An Experimental Study
Michael S. LaTour, Robin L. Snipes and Sarah J. Bliss, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 36, No. 2, March/April 1996
The use of fear appeals has become popular because they have been found to increase the interest and persuasiveness of ads.
The use of fear appeals has become popular because they have been found to increase the interest and persuasiveness of ads. However, fear appeal use in advertising is still not universally accepted. Critics argue that fear appeals are unethical and can 'backfire' or have unintended negative effects on consumers. In this paper, we execute a field study which examines the perceived ethicality of the use of a strong video fear appeal shown to a potentially sensitive group of consumers. In addition, attitude toward the ad, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention for the product being promoted were investigated. The results help to blunt 'blanket' criticism of fear appeals and provide evidence for advertising executives who wish to argue for serious consideration of fear appeal use.
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