Humour Effect On Memory And Attitude

Moderating Role Of Product Involvement

Hwiman Chung
New Mexico State University
Xinshu Zhao
University of North Carolina

Due in part to the popularity of using humorous advertising campaigns (according to Weinberger and Spotts, 24.4% of primetime television advertising in the USA is intended to be humorous), the advertising scholars have studied the effects of humorous advertising campaigns on advertising effectiveness (e.g. Markiewicz 1974; Cantor & Venus 1980; Belch & Belch 1983; Duncan et al. 1983; Gelb & Pickett 1983; Sutherland & Middleton 1983; Madden & Weinberger 1984). Sternthal and Craig (1973) drew some tentative but useful conclusions about the effects of humour on advertising by reviewing the early literature on humour in general, and Gelb and Pickett (1983) and Spotts et al. (1997) provide some theoretical discussions of how humorous advertising may affect consumers. These discussions consider the use of humorous messages, which can create some positive (favourable) attitudes towards the advertised brand through a transfer of effect created by the ad to the brand. This transfer of effect has been proven by researchers in consumer behaviour (Ray & Batra 1983; Holbrook & O'Shaughnessy 1984; Mitchell 1986).