Advertising Principles - Evidence-based principles

New Evidence on Principles

2.2.2 Focus on individuals similar to the target market

The Bystander Effect - Complies

3.5.1 How to use fear to persuade: Emphasize bad outcomes, assign blame, and call for actions by others.

Research on mass communications during WWII concluded that mild fear was more persuasive than strong fear. Later research challenged this finding. A Glossary Link Glossary Link meta-analysis of 98 experimental and non-experimental studies confirmed that strong fear is more effective (Witte & Allen 2000).

Sunstein and Zeckhauser (2011) found even stronger support. They concluded that fear is much more likely to be aroused by describing vivid and fearful consequences than by stressing that the harmful event is likely. More

3.6.1 Example of Provocation: Increase diversity bake sale: 2011

Persuasion Principle 3.6.1 says, "Provoke customers only when it attracts attention to a selling point." Here, I present only an example of an application, not evidence. In September 2011, a bake sale held at the University of California at Berkeley offered cupcakes at various prices depending on the customer's race and gender. More

7.2.1 Use simple prose for high-involvement products with strong arguments -- and obfuscate for products with weak arguments, but only if the message is delivered by a high-status source.

In a survey of 110 Stanford undergraduates, 86% admitted they made their writing more complex so as to appear to be more intelligent. Two-thirds admitted to using a thesaurus to increase complexity. Is obfuscation a useful persuasive strategy for students? More

7.13.1 Use disclaimers or corrective advertising only if they provide information customers need.

A review of the 18 studies with 25 experiments reinforces the conclusion that market forces (i.e., cautious customers, and firms' desires to please customers and avoid law suits) are best for consumers in practice. Government mandated disclaimers were expensive and confusing in all experimental comparisons, and in all of the 15 studies (with 22 experimental comparisons) that examined intentions or decisions (Green & Armstrong 2012).

7.13.1 Do mandatory disclosures help consumers?

A review of the evidence on mandated disclosures covered not only advertising but also areas such as Miranda rights, informed consent, and Institutional Review Boards. Such disclosures may not seem contentious as they simply involve providing more information to those who might find it useful. Surprisingly, then, Ben-Shahar and Schneider (2011) were unable to find a single mandatory disclosure for which the benefits outweighed the costs. More

© Copyright J. Scott Armstrong and Kesten C. Green. All rights are reserved.

Contact us with any suggestions here