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Attitude Change and Interactive Communications

Chapter 8


Persuasion: effectiveness of marketing communications to change attitudes

Reciprocity Scarcity Authority Consistency Liking Consensus


Communication Model

Figure 8.1

New Message Formats

Worldwide revenue will reach $39 billion in 2007!

Moblogging Video blogging (vlogging) Podcasting RSS (Really Simple Sydication) Flogs (fake blogs)
Discussion: Are flogs ethical?

The Source
Source effects: the same words by different people can have very different meanings
Source credibility Source attractiveness

Match between consumers needs and offered rewards of source Match between source and type of product
Experts for utilitarian products Celebrities for social risk/impression products Typical consumers for everyday/low-risk products


Source Credibility
A sources perceived expertise, objectivity, or trustworthiness
Consumers beliefs that communicator is competent and provides competitor information

Credible source is persuasive when consumer has no formed opinion about product Endorsement contract = large profits

Building Credibility
Relevant qualifications of source to the product can enhance credibility of message


Source Attractiveness
Perceived social value of source
Physical appearance Personality Social status Similarity


What Is Beautiful Is Good

Halo effect
Good-looking people are thought to be smarter, cooler, and happier Consistency principle

Physically attractive source leads to attitude change

Directs attention to marketing stimuli (ads with attractive models) Beauty = source of information (especially for attractivenessrelevant products)


Many, many companies rely on celebrity endorsers as communications sources to persuade. Especially when targeting younger people, these spokespeople often are cool musicians, athletes, or movie stars
In your opinion, who would be the most effective celebrity endorser today, and why? Who would be the least effective, and why?

Nonhuman Endorsers
Often, celebrities motives are suspect as endorsers of mismatched products Thus, marketers seek alternative endorsers:
Cartoon characters Mascots/animals Avatars


The Message
Positive and negative effects of elements in TV commercials
Most important feature: stressing unique product attribute/benefit
Table 8.2 (Abridged) Positive Effects Showing convenience of use Showing new product/improved features Negative Effects Extensive information on components, ingredients, nutrition Outdoor setting (message gets lost)

Casting background (i.e., people are incidental to message)

Large number of onscreen characters

Indirect comparison to other products Graphic displays


Sending the Message

Visual vs. verbal communication of message
Visual images: big emotional impact Verbal message: high-involvement situations
Factual information More effective when reinforced by a framed picture Require more frequent exposures (due to decay)


Dual Component of Brand Attitudes

Figure 8.3


Powerful description/graphics command attention and are strongly embedded in memory
Active mental imagery (vs. abstract stimuli)

Concrete discussion of product attribute


Comparative Advertising
Message compares two+ recognizable brands on specific attributes
New OcuClear relieves three times longer than Visine

Butconfrontational approach can result in source derogation Effective for a new product that:
Does not merely say it is better than leading brand Does not compare itself to an obviously superior competitor

Discuss some conditions in which it would be advisable to use a comparative advertising strategy


Emotional vs. Rational Appeals

Appeal to the head or to the heart? Many companies use an emotional strategy when consumers do not find differences among brands
Especially brands in well-established, mature categories (e.g., cars and greeting cards)

Recall of ad contents tends to be better for thinking ads

Although conventional ad effectiveness measures may not be entirely valid to assess emotional ads

Humorous Appeals
Specific cultures have different senses of humor Overall, humorous ads do get attention
Funny ad as source of distraction Inhibits counterarguing, thus increasing message acceptance

Humorous Appeals (Contd)

Humor is more effective when it:
Doesnt swamp message of clearly defined brand Doesnt make fun of potential consumer Is appropriate to products image


Fear Appeals
Emphasize negative consequences that can occur unless consumer changes behavior/ attitude Fear is common in advertising (especially in social marketing) Most effective:
Moderate threat Presented solution to problem Highly credible source

Not all threats are equally effective at inducing a fear response

The strongest threats are not always the most persuasive