Advertising Messages and Creative Approaches • Whether advertising converts people into becoming brand-loyal customers or acts as a defensive shield to reassure current buyers, and whether central or peripheral cues are required, there still remains the decision about the nature and form of the message to be conveyed: the creative strategy. • In practice, the generation of suitable messages is derived from the creative brief. For the sake of discussion and analysis, four elements will be considered.
These concern the balance, the structure, the perceived source and the presentation o f the message to the target audience • The Balance of the Message • With high-involvement decisions, where persuasion occurs through a central processing route, the emphasis o f the message should be on the information content, in particular, the key attributes and the associated benefits. • It is evident from previous discussions that the effectiveness of any single message is dependent upon a variety of issues.
From a receiver’s perspective, two elements appear to be significant: first, the amount and quality of the information that is communicated, and, second, the overall judgement that each individual makes about the way a message is communicated. • The Balance of the Message • This suggests that the style of a message should reflect a balance between the need for information and the need for pleasure or enjoyment in consuming the message.
It is clear that when dealing with high-involvement decisions, where persuasion occurs through a central processing route, the emphasis of the message should be on the information content, in particular, the key attributes and the associated benefits. This style is often factual and product orientated. If the product evokes low-involvement decision-making, then the message should concentrate upon the images that are created within the mind of the message recipient. This style seeks to elicit an emotional response from receivers.
There are, of course, many situations where both rational and emotional messages are needed by buyers in order to make purchasing decisions. • Likeability • Likeability is important, because learning and attitude change may be positively correlated with the degree to which consumption o f the message is enjoyed. • An issue that has been gaining increasing attention since the beginning of the 1990s concerns the level of likeability that an advertisement generates. Likeability is important, because learning and attitude change may be positively correlated with the degree to which consumption of the message is enjoyed.
This means that the greater the enjoyment, the greater the exposure to the message and the lower the probability that the message will be perceptually zapped. • Biel (1990) found that changes in product preferences were considerably improved when receivers had `liked the commercial a lot’. This compares with those who were less enthusiastic or neutral towards the advertisement. Haley (1990) reported that advertisements that create a belief that the product is excellent and where messages that are liked are commercially more successful.
In other words, a message that is well liked will sell more product than a message that fails to generate interest and liking. • This begs the question, `what makes a message liked? ‘ Obviously, the receiver must be stimulated to become interested in the message. Having become emotionally engaged, interest can only be sustained if the credibility of the advertisement can also be maintained. The style of the message should be continued, in order that the context of the message does not require the target audience to readjust their perception.
This is particularly important for low-involvement messages, where receivers have little or no interest. If the weak theory is adopted, then `liked’ advertisements will tend to be those for whom the receiver has prior experience or exposure. Messages that are well liked appear to consist of the following components (du Plessis, 1998): 1. The advertisement needs to be entertaining. This usually means that the advertisement is new and people are curious. 2. People like advertisements with which they can identify and which show them in a good light 3.
People appear to like advertisements that refer to products that are new, that tell them how the products might be useful to them and which show them how to use products. Otherwise, perceptual selection will ensure that messages for products of which target has no experience, or which the target has no interest in, will be screened regardless of the quality or the likeability of the communication The likeability level that an advertisement achieves is not the sole reason or measure of an advertisement’s success or effectiveness (Joyce, 1991). Research from The Netherlands suggests that interest is also an important and interrelated factor. Stapel (1991) strongly suggests that advertisers should make their messages interesting, as this will probably lead to liking and overall effectiveness. • However, likeability and associated interest are new and interesting contributions that need to be considered when the style of an advertising message is determined. • Message Structure An important part of message strategy is the consideration of the best way of communicating the key points, or core message, to the target audience without encountering objections and opposing points of view. The following are regarded as important structural features which shape the pattern of a message • Conclusion Drawing • Should the message draw a firm conclusion for the audience or should people be allowed to draw their own conclusions from the content? Explicit conclusions are, of course, more easily understood and stand a better chance of being effective (Kardes, 1988).
However, it is the nature of the issue, the particular situation and the composition of the target audience that influence the effectiveness of conclusion drawing (Hovland and Mandell, 1952). Whether or not a conclusion should be drawn for the receiver depends upon the following: 1. The complexity o f the issue Healthcare products, central heating systems and personal finance services, for example, can be complex, and for some members of the target audience their cog nitive ability, experience and motivation may not be sufficient for them to draw their own conclusions.
The complexity of the product requires that messages must draw conclusions for them. It should also be remembered that even highly informed and motivated audiences may require assistance if the product or issue is relatively new. 2. The level o f education possessed by the receiver Better-educated audiences prefer to draw their own conclusions, whereas less educated audiences may need the conclusion drawn for them because they may not be able to make the inference from the message. 3. Whether immediate action is required If urgent action is required by the receiver, then a conclusion should be drawn very clearly.
Political parties can be observed to use this strategy immediately before an election. 4. The level o f involvement High involvement usually means that receivers prefer to make up their own minds and may reject or resent any attempt to have the conclusion drawn for them (Arora, 1985). One- and two-sided messages • This concerns whether the cases for and against an issue or just that in favour are presented to an audience. Messages that present just one argument, in favour of the product or issue, are referred to as one-sided.
Research indicates that one-sided messages are more effective when receivers favour the opinion offered in the message and when the receivers are less educated. • Two-sided messages, where the good and bad points of an issue are presented, are more effective when the • receiver’s initial opinion is opposite to that presented in the message and when they are highly educated. Credibility is improved and two-sided messages tend to produce more positive perceptions of a source than one-sided messages (Faison, 1961). • Order of Presentation Further questions regarding the development of message strategy concern the order in which important points are presented. Messages which present the strongest points at the beginning use what is referred to as the primacy effect. The decision to place the main points at the beginning depends on whether the audience has a low or high level of involvement. A low level may require an attention-getting message component at the beginning. Similarly, if the target has an opinion opposite to that contained in the message, a weak point may lead to a high level of counter-argument. • A decision to lace the strongest points at the end of the message assumes that the recency effect will bring about greater levels of persuasion. This is appropriate when the receiver agrees with the position adopted by the source or has a high positive level of involvement. • The order of argument presentation is more relevant in personal selling than in television advertisements. However, as learning through television is largely passive, because involvement is low and interest minimal, the presentation of key selling points at the beginning and at the end of the message will enhance message reception and recall. A decision to place the strongest points at the end of the message assumes that the recency effect will bring about greater levels of persuasion. This is appropriate when the receiver agrees with the position adopted by the source or has a high positive level of involvement. • The order of argument presentation is more relevant in personal selling than in television advertisements. However, as learning through television is largely passive, because involvement is low and interest minimal, the presentation of key selling points at the beginning and at the end of the message will enhance message reception and recall. A decision to place the strongest points at the end of the message assumes that the recency effect will bring about greater levels of persuasion. This is appropriate when the receiver agrees with the position adopted by the source or has a high positive level of involvement. • The order of argument presentation is more relevant in personal selling than in television advertisements. However, as learning through television is largely passive, because involvement is low and interest minimal, the presentation of key selling points at the beginning and at the end of the message will enhance message reception and recall. Source of the Message • The effect of source credibility. on the effectiveness of the communication, and in particular the persuasiveness of a message, should not he underestimated. • The key components of source credibility are, first, the level of perceived expertise (how much knowledge the source is thought to hold) and the personal motives the source is believed to possess. What degree of trust can be placed in the source concerning the motives for communicating the message in the first place? No matter what the level of expertise, if the level of trust is questionable, credibility ,will be adversely affected. Establishing Credibility • Credibility can be established in a number of ways. One simple approach is to list or display the key attributes of the organisation or the product and then signal trustworthiness through the use of third-party endorsements and the comments of satisfied users. • A more complex approach is to use referrals, suggestions and association. Trustworthiness and expertise, the two principal aspects of credibility, can be developed by using a spokesperson or organisation to provide testimonials on behalf of the sponsor of the. advertisement. Credibility, therefore, can be established by the initiator of the advertisement or by a messenger or spokesperson used by the initiator to convey the message. • Credibility Established by the Initiator • The credibility of the organisation initiating the communication process is important. An organisation should seek to enhance its reputation with its various stakeholders at every opportunity. • However, organisational credibility is derived from the image, which in turn is a composite of many perceptions. Past decisions, current strategy and performance indicators, level of service and the type of performance network members (e. . high-quality retail outlets) all influence the perception of an organisation and the level of credibility that follows. • Credibility Established by the Initiator • One very important factor that influences credibility is branding. Private and family brands in particular allow initiators to develop and launch new products more easily than those who do not have such brand strength. Brand extensions (such as Mars icecream) have been launched with the credibility of the product firmly grounded in the strength of the parent brand name (Mars).
Consumers recognise the name and make associations that enable them to lower the perceived risk and in doing so provide the platform to try the new product. • The need to establish high levels of credibility also allows organisations to divert advertising spend away from a focus upon brands to one that focuses upon the organisation. Corporate advertising seeks to adjust organisation image and to build reputation. • Credibility Established by a Spokesperson • People who deliver the message are often regarded as the source, when in reality they are only the messenger. These people carry the message and represent the true source or initiator of the message (e. g. manufacturer or retailer). Consequently, the testimonial they transmit must be credible. There are four main types of spokesperson: the expert, the celebrity, the chief executive officer and the consumer. • The expert has been used many times and was particularly popular when television advertising first established itself in the 1950s and 1960s. Experts are quickly recognisable because they either wear white coats and round glasses or dress and act like `mad professors’.
Through the use of symbolism, stereotypes and identification, these characters (and indeed others) can be established very quickly in the minds of receivers and a frame of reference generated which does not question the authenticity of the message being transmitted by such a person. Experts can also be users of products, for example, professional photographers endorsing cameras, secretaries endorsing word processors and professional golfers endorsing golf equipment • Credibility Established by a Spokesperson Entertainment and sporting celebrities have been used increasingly in the 1990s, not only to provide credibility for a range of high-involvement (e. g. Angus Deayton for Barclaycard and Marianne Paithfull for Virgin Atlantic, and low-involvement decisions (e. g. David Beckham for Brylcream) but also to grab the attention of people in markets where motivation to decide between competitive products may be low. The celebrity enables the message to stand out among the clutter and noise that typify many markets. It is also hoped that the celebrity and or the voice-over will become a peripheral cue in the decision-making process: Joanna Lumley for Boots Opticians and AOL email, Gary Lineker for Walkers Crisps and Heather Lockyear for L’Oreal. There are some potential problems which advertisers need to be aware of when considering the use of celebrities. First, does the celebrity fit the image of the brand and will the celebrity be acceptable to the target audience? Consideration also needs to be given to the longer-term elationship between the celebrity and the brand. Should the lifestyle of the celebrity change, what impact will the change have on the target audience and their attitude towards the brand? Witness the separation of the (then) England football coach, Glenn Hoddle, and his wife, and the consequent termination of the Weetabix advertisement set around the family breakfast table. • This matching process can be used to change brand attitudes as well as reinforce them. BT wanted to change the attitude that men had to telephone calls.
Rather than being just the bill payer and the gatekeeper of calls to other members of the family, the role Bob Hoskins had was to demonstrate male behaviour and to present a solution that was acceptable to all members of the family. Attitudes held by men towards the telephone and its use changed significantly as a result of the campaign, partly because Hoskins was perceived as a credible spokesperson, someone with whom men could identify and feel comfortable. • The second problem concerns the impact that the celebrity makes relative to the brand.
There is a danger that the receiver remembers the celebrity but not the message or the brand that is the focus of the advertising spend. The celebrity becomes the hero, rather than the product being advertised. Summers (1993) suggests that the Cinzano advertisements featuring Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter are a classic example of the problem: `The characters so dwarfed the product that consumers may have had trouble recalling the brand’. • Issues such as brand development can also be impeded when identification by an audience with the celebrity is strong.
Sony had to fade audiences away from its association with John Cleese by using a Robot/Cleese look-alike for a period. • Richard Branson is used to promote Virgin Financial products and Victor Kiam `so liked the razor that he bought the company’ (Remington). Here, the CEO openly promotes his company. This form of testimonial is popular when the image of the CEO is positive and the photogenic and on-screen characteristics provide for enhanced credibility. Bernard Mathews has established authenticity and trustworthiness with his personal promotion of Norfolk Roasts. • The final form of spokesperson is the consumer.
By using consumers to endorse products, the audience is being asked to identify with a `typical consumer’. The identification of similar lifestyles, interests and opinions allows for better reception and understanding of the message. Consumers are often depicted testing similar products, such as margarine and butter. The Pepsi Challenge required consumers to select Pepsi from Coca-Cola through blind taste tests. By showing someone using the product, someone who is similar to the receiver, the source is perceived as credible and the potential for successful persuasion is considerably enhanced. Sleeper Effects • The assumption so far has been that high credibility enhances the probability of persuasion and successful communication. This is true when the receiver’s initial position is opposite to that contained in the message. When the receiver’s position is favourable to the message, a moderate level of credibility may be more appropriate. • Whether source credibility is high, medium or low is of little consequence, according to some researchers (Hannah and Sternthal, 1984).
The impact of the source is believed to dissipate after approximately six weeks and only the content of the message is thought to dominate the receiver’s attention. This sleeper effect (Hovland et al. , 1949) has not been proved empirically, but the implication is that the persuasiveness of a message can increase through time. Furthermore, advertisers using highly credible sources need to repeat the message on a regular basis, in order that the required level of effectiveness and persuasion be maintained (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1991). • Presentation of the Message The presentation of the promotional message requires that an appeal be made to the target audience. The appeal is important, because unless the execution of the message appeal (the creative) is appropriate to the target audience’s perception and expectations, the chances of successful communication are reduced. • There are two main factors associated with the presentation. Is the message to be dominated by the need to transmit product-orientated information or is there a need to transmit a message which appeals predominantly to the emotional senses of the receiver?
The main choice of presentation style, therefore, concerns the degree of factual information transmitted in a message against the level of imagery thought necessary to make sufficient impact for the message to command attention and then be processed. There are numerous presentational or executional techniques, but the following are some of the more commonly used appeals. • Appeals Based upon the Provision of Information • Factual • Sometimes referred to as the `hard sell’, the dominant objective of these appeals is to provide information.
This type of appeal is commonly associated with high-involvement decisions where receivers are sufficiently motivated and able to process information. • Persuasion, according to the ELM, is undertaken through the central processing route. This means that advertisements should be rational and contain logically reasoned arguments and information in order that receivers are able to complete their decision-making processes • • The establishment of credibility is vital if any message is to be accepted.
One of the ways in which this can be achieved is to present the message in such a way that the receiver can identify immediately with the scenario being presented. This process of creating similarity is used a great deal in advertising and is referred to as slice-of-life advertising. For example, many washing powder advertisers use a routine that depicts two ordinary women (assumed to be similar to the target receiver), invariably in a kitchen or garden, discussing the poor results achieved by one of their washing powders. Following the advice of one of the women, the stubborn stains are seen to be overcome by the focus brand. The overall effect of this appeal is for the receiver to conclude the following: that person is like me; I have had the same problem as that person; he or she is satisfied using brand X, therefore, I too will use brand X. This technique is simple, well tried, well liked and successful, despite its sexist overtones. It is also interesting to note that a number of surveys have found that a majority of women feel that advertisers use inappropriate stereotyping to portray females roles, these being predominantly housewife and mother roles. • Demonstration A similar technique is to present the problem to the audience as a demonstration. The focus brand is depicted as instrumental in the resolution of a problem. • Headache remedies, floor cleaners and tyre commercials have traditionally demonstrated the pain, the dirt and the danger respectively and then shown how the focus brand relieves the pain (Panadol), removes the stubborn dirt (Flash) or stops in the wet on a coin (or edge of a rooftop – Continental tyres). • Whether the execution is believable is a function of the credibility and the degree of life-like dialogue or copy that is used. Comparative Advertising • Comparative advertising is a popular means of positioning brands. Messages are based upon the comparison of the focus brand with either a main competitor brand or all competing brands, with the aim of establishing superior. • The comparison may centre upon one or two key attributes and can be a good way of entering new markets. Entrants keen to establish a presence in a market have little to lose by comparing themselves with market leaders. • However, market leaders have a great deal to lose and little to gain by comparing themselves with minor competitors. Appeals Based Upon Emotions and Feelings • Appeals based on logic and reason are necessary in particular situations. However, as products become similar and as consumers become more aware of the range of available products, so the need to differentiate becomes more important. Increasing numbers of advertisers are using messages which seek to appeal to the target’s emotions and feelings, a `soft sell’. Cars, toothpaste, toilet tissue and mineral water often use emotion-based messages to differentiate their products. There are a number of appeals that can be used to solicit an emotional response from the receiver. Of the many techniques available, the main ones that can be observed to be used most are fear, humour, animation, sex, music, and fantasy and surrealism. • Fear • Fear is used in one of two ways. The first type demonstrates the negative aspects or physical dangers associated with a particular behaviour or improper product usage. Drink driving, life assurance and toothpaste advertising typify this form of appeal. The second approach is the threat of social rejection or disapproval if the focus product is not used. This type of fear is used frequently in advertisements for such products as anti-dandruff shampoos and deodorants and is used to support consumers’ needs for social acceptance and approval. • Fear appeals need to be constrained, if only to avoid being categorised as outrageous and socially unacceptable. There is a great deal of evidence that fear can facilitate attention and interest in a message and even motivate an individual to take a particular course of action: for example, to stop smoking.
Fear appeals are persuasive, according to Schiffman and Kanuk (1991), when low to moderate levels of fear are induced. • Ray and Wilkie (1970), however, show that should the level of fear rise too much, inhibiting effects may prevent the desired action occurring. This inhibition is caused by the individual choosing to screen out, through perceptive selection, messages that conflict with current behaviour. The outcome may be that individuals deny the existence of a problem, claim there is no proof or say that it will not happen to them. • Humour The use of humour as an emotional appeal is attractive because it can draw attention and stimulate interest. A further reason to use humour is that it can put the receiver in a positive mood. Mood can also be important, as receivers in a positive mood are likely to process advertising messages with little cognitive elaboration (Batra and Stayman, 1990). • This can occur because there is less effort involved with peripheral rather than central cognitive processing, and this helps to mood protect. In other words, the positive mood state is more likely to be maintained if cognitive effort is avoided.
Yellow Pages have used humour quietly to help convey the essence of their brand and to help differentiate it from the competition • It is also argued that humour is effective because argument quality is likely to be high. That is, the level of counter-argument can be substantially reduced. Arguments against the use of humour concern distraction from the focus brand, so that while attention is drawn, the message itself is lost. With the move to global branding and standardisation of advertising messages, humour does not travel well. While the level and type of humour are difficult to gauge in the context of the processing abilities of a domestic target audience, cultural differences seriously impede the transfer of jokes around the world. Visual humour (lavatorial, Benny Hill type approaches) is more universally acceptable (Archer, 1994) than word-based humour, as the latter can get lost in translation without local references to provide clues to decipher the joke. • Humour, therefore, is a potentially powerful yet dangerous form of appeal.
Haas (1997) reports that UK advertising executives have significantly higher confidence in the use of humour than their US counterparts, but concludes that ‘humour is a vague concept and that its perception is influenced by many factors’. These factors shape the context in which messages are perceived and the humour conveyed. • Animation • Animation techniques have advanced considerably in recent years, with children as the prime target audience. However, animation has been successfully used in many adulttargeted advertisements, such as those by Schweppes, Compaq, Tetley Tea, Direct Line Insurance and the Electricity Board. The main reason for using animation is that potentially boring and low-interest/involvement products can be made visually interesting and provide a means of gaining attention. A further reason for the use of animation is that it is easier to convey complex products in a way that does not patronise the viewer. • Sex • Sexual innuendo and the use of sex as a means of promoting products and services are both common and controversial. Using sex as an appeal in messages is excellent for gaining the attention of buyers. • Research shows, however, that it often achieves little else, particularly when the product is unrelated.
Therefore, sex appeals normally work well for products such as perfume, clothing and jewelry but provide for poor effectiveness when the product is unrelated, such as cars, photocopiers and furniture. • Haagen-Dazs premium ice-cream entered the UK market using pleasure as central to the message appeal. This approach was novel to the product class and the direct, natural relationship between the product and the theme contributed to the campaign’s success. • The use of sex in advertising messages is mainly restricted to getting the attention of the audience and, in some circumstances, sustaining interest.
It can be used openly, as in various lingerie, fragrance and perfume advertisements, such as WonderBra and Escape, sensually, as in the Haagen-Dazs and Cointreau campaigns, and humorously in the Locketts brand. • Music • Music can provide continuity between a series of advertisements can and also be a good peripheral cue. A jingle, melody or tune, if repeated sufficiently, can become associated with the advertisement. Processing and attitudes towards the advertisement may be directly influenced by the music.
Music has the potential to gain attention and assist product differentiation. Braithwaite and Ware (1997) found that music in advertising messages is used primarily either to create a mood or to send a branded message. In addition, music can also be used to signal a lifestyle and so communicate a brand identity through the style of music used. • Many advertisements for cars use music, partly because it is difficult to find a point of differentiation (Independent, 18 October 1996), and music is able to draw attention, generate mood and express brand personality (e. . Rover, BMW, Nissan Micra, Peugeot, Renault). • Some luxury and executive cars are advertised using commanding background music to create an aura of power, prestige and affluence, which is combined with strong visual images in order that an association be made between the car and the environment in which it is positioned. There is a contextual juxtaposition between the car and the environment presented. Readers may notice a semblance of classical conditioning, where the music acts as an unconditioned stimulus.
Foxall and Goldsmith (1994) suggest that the stimulus elicits the unconditioned emotional responses that may lead to the purchase of the advertised product • Fantasy and Surrealism • The use of fantasy and surrealism in advertising has grown partly as a result of the increased clutter and legal constraints imposed on some product classes. By using fantasy appeals, associations with certain images and symbols allow the advertiser to focus attention on the product. The receiver can engage in the distraction offered and become involved with the execution of the advertisement.
If this is a rewarding experience it may be possible to affect the receiver’s attitudes peripherally. Readers may notice that this links to the earlier discussion on `liking the advertisement’. • Finally, an interesting contribution to the discussion of message appeal has been made by Lannon (1992). She reports that consumers’ expectations of advertisements can be interpreted on the one hand as either literal or stylish and on the other as serious or entertaining, according to the tone of voice. This approach vindicates the view that consumers are active problem solvers and willing and able to decode increasingly complex messages.
They can become involved with the execution of the advertisement and the product attributes. The degree of involvement (she argues implicitly) is a function of the motivation each individual has at any one moment when exposed to a particular message. • Fantasy and Surrealism • Advertisers can challenge individuals by presenting questions and visual stimuli that demand attention and cognitive response. Guinness challenged consumers to decode a series of advertisements which were unlike all previous Guinness advertisements and, indeed, all messages in the product class. The celebrity chosen was dressed completely in black, which contrasted with his blonde hair, and he was shown in various time periods, past and future, and environments that receivers did not expect. He was intended to represent the personification of the drink and symbolised the individual nature of the product. Audiences were puzzled by the presentation and many rejected the challenge of interpretation. `Surfer’ and `Bet on Black’ are more recent Guinness campaigns which seek to convey the importance and necessity to wait (for the drink to be poured properly).
To accomplish this, it portrays a variety of situations in which patience results in achievement. • Fantasy and Surrealism • When individuals respond positively to a challenge, the advertiser can either provide closure (an answer) or, through surreal appeals, leave the receivers to answer the questions themselves in the context in which they perceive the message. One way of achieving this challenging position is to use an appeal that cognitively disorients the receiver (Parker and Churchill, 1986). If receivers are led to ask the question `What is going on here? ‘ their involvement in the message is likely to be very high. Benetton consistently raises questions through its advertising. By presenting a series of messages that are socially disorientating, and for many disconcerting, Benetton continually presents a challenge that moves away from involving individuals into an approach where salience and `standing out’ predominates. This high-risk strategy, with a risk of rejection, has prevailed for a number of years. The surrealist approach does not provide or allow for closure • The conformist approach, by contrast, does require closure in order to avoid any possible counter arguing and message rejection.
Parker and Churchill argue that, by leaving questions unanswered, receivers can become involved in both the product and the execution of the advertisement. Indeed, most advertisements contain a measure of rational and emotional elements. A blend of the two elements is necessary and the right mixture is dependent upon the perceived risk and motivation that the target audience has at any one particular moment. • The message appeal should be a balance of the informative and emotional dimensions. Furthermore, message quality is of paramount importance.
Buzzell (1964) reported that `Advertising message quality is more important than the level of advertising expenditure’. Adams and Henderson Blair (1992) confirm that the weight of advertising is relatively unimportant, and that the quality of the appeal is the dominant factor. However, the correct blend of informative and emotional elements in any appeal is paramount for persuasive effectiveness. • Advertising Tactics • The main creative elements of a message need to be brought together in order for an advertising plan to have substance.
The processes used to develop message appeals need to be open but systematic. • The level of involvement and combination of the think/emotional dimensions that receivers bring to their decision-making processes are the core concepts to be considered when creating an advertising message. Rossiter and Percy (1997) have devised a deductive framework which involves the disaggregation of the emotional (feel) dimension to a greater degree than that proposed by Vaughn (1980) (see Chapter 12 for details). They claim that there are two broad types of motive that drive attitudes towards purchase behaviour.
These are informational and transformational motives and these will now be considered in turn. • Informational Motives • Individuals have a need for information to counter negative concerns about a purchase decision. These informational motives are said to be negatively charged feelings. They can become positively charged, or the level of concern can be reduced considerably, by the acquisition of relevant information. • Transformational Motives • Promises to enhance or to improve the user of a brand are referred to as transformational motives.
These are related to the user’s feelings and are capable of transforming a user’s emotional state, hence they are positively charged. Three main transformational motives have been distinguished by Rossiter et al. (1991): • Various emotional states can be associated with each of these motives, and they should be used to portray an emotion that is appropriate to the needs of the target audience. • One of the key promotion objectives, identified earlier, is the need to create or improve levels of awareness regarding the product or organisation.
This is achieved by determining whether awareness is required at the paint of purchase or prior to purchase. Brand recognition (at the point of purchase) requires an emphasis upon visual stimuli, the package and the brand name, whereas brand recall (prior to purchase) requires an emphasis on a limited number of peripheral cues. These may be particular copy lines, the use of music or colours for continuity and attention-getting frequent use of the brand name in the context of the category need, or perhaps the use of strange or unexpected presentation formats. Advertising tactics can be determined by the particular combination of involvement and motives that exist at a particular time within the target audience. • If a high involvement decision process is determined with people using a central processing route then the types of tactics shown in Figures 21. 2 and 21. 3 are recommended by Rossiter and Percy(1997). If a low-involvement decision process is determined with the target audience using a peripheral processing route, then the types of tactics shown in Figures 21. and 21. 5 are recommended. • The Rossiter-Percy approach provides for a range of advertising tactics that are oriented to the conditions that are determined by the interplay of the level of involvement and the type of dominant motivation. These conditions may only exist within a member of the target audience for a certain time. Consequently, they may change and the advertising tactics may also have to change to meet the new conditions. There are two points that emerge form the work of Rossiter and Percy.
The first is that all messages should be designed to carry both rational, logical information and emotional stimuli but in varying degrees and forms. Second, low involvement conditions require the use of just one or two benefits in a message whereas high involvement conditions can sustain a number of different benefit claims. This is because • persuasion through the central processing route is characterized by an evaluation of the alternatives within any one product category
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