Emotion Kicks Information’s Ass

Medical News Today: Consumers who are very skeptical about the truth of advertising claims are more responsive to emotionally appealing ads than ones peppered with information, according to a new study.
The finding comes from work by researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle University, and Washington State University who examined 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.
As part of the study, researchers showed consumers eight television commercials, half of which were defined as emotional, half as informational. For example, an emotional ad for Ernest and Julio Gallo wine emphasized a familial atmosphere at the winery and surrounding vineyards, while an informational ad for Joy dishwashing liquid showed how effectively the product removed baked-on foods.
“Highly skeptical consumers have likely become skeptical over time, in response to numerous interactions in the marketplace that have led them to distrust ad claims. Advertisers have developed strategies for approaching these skeptical consumers, including using emotional appeals, whose success does not require acceptance of informational claims,” said co-author Doug MacLachlan, professor of marketing and international business at the UW Business School.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.