Monday, August 15, 2005

Emotional ads appeal to skeptics

I like this study on advertising claims and how people respond.

The study, reported in the Journal of Advertising, says that consumers who are very skeptical about the truth of advertising claims are more responsive to emotionally appealing ads than ones peppered with information. Emotional ads are characterized as providing an emotional experience that is relevant to the use of the brand; informational ads predominantly provide clear brand data.

The scientists looked at consumers' responses to advertising, including brand beliefs, responses to informational and emotional appeals, efforts to avoid advertising, attention to ads, and reliance on ads versus other information sources. They found that skeptical consumers like advertising less, rely on it less, and respond more positively to emotional appeals.

And I like this part in the press statement: "Skeptics are not, however, immune from the influence of advertising. The researchers said that this finding may appear counter-intuitive, as many consumers are inclined to express skepticism about overtly emotional ads, which they view as manipulative. And, such ads are successfully manipulative."

You can find more about the study "Ad skepticism: the consequences of disbelief" at the University of Washington web site.

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