Audience’s perception

One review of this topic identified several key characteristics that may influence choice between these two alternatives.

How important the audience will perceive the negative information to be the more important the shortcomings are perceived to be, the more trustworthy the source will tend to be perceived. However, even given this, the more important the shortcomings are to consumers the less effective the messages is likely to be at enhancing favorable attitudes toward the communicator’s product or position.

The audience’s perception of whether the communicator is revealing the negative information voluntarily – if the perception is that the communicator is revealing information only because he has to the communicator is not likely to gain much benefit from doing so. This likely to be the case, for product warnings such as those appearing on cigarette packs and other products

How highly correlated the potentially negative attributes are to other potentially desirable attributes featured in the message if consumers relate the negative information to some other positive product elements. Addressing the negative with a two sided appeal may also increase consumers’ attention to the positive elements and lead to a more favorable impression. of course if negative attributes are not perceived by the consumers as being related to positive ones, then this potentially positive effect will not occur.

Based on review it seems reasonable to conclude that in many cases two sided messages may not produce a favorable result for the communicator due to the variety of factors that influence their effect on consumers. Therefore it appears wise for marketers to use this technique with caution and only after careful considerations of the conditions existing in the situations at hand.

What is the best order in which to present persuasive arguments in an advertising message? Should the most important pars to the communicator be presented at he beginning middle or end? If a two sided message is used should the marketer use a pro-con or con-pro order? For a series of advertisements in a medium such as television does the first or last have an advantage in influencing attitude change? This article briefly addresses these questions and reviews some of the evidence relevant them.

Climax versus anticlimax order

A climax order refers to ordering message elements whereby the strongest arguments are presented at the end of a message. An anticlimax order refers to the presentation of the most important points at the beginning of the message. When the most important materials are presented in the middle of a message it is referred to as a pyramidal order.

On the basis of research findings the following tentative guidelines can be offered regarding the ordering of messages:

1) An anticlimax order tends to be most effective for an audience having a low level of interest in the subject being presented.
2) A climax order tends to be most effective for an audience having a high level of interest in the subject being presented.
3) The pyramidal order is the least effective order of presentation.

The first two generalizations can be explained in terms of audience interest. Where is low, the stronger more interesting points in a message have the greater potential for gaining audience attention and therefore they should be placed first (anticlimax order). In this way a communicator is better able to get her message across and thus effect change in the audience. However, with this approach the communicator also must be careful of avoiding an audience let down when the weaker points in a message follow.

When audience interest in the subject is high, their is no need to present the stronger points first, because the message will be affected to out of interest Therefore, the climax order should be used because points made at the end of the message exceed expectations created by the points initially presented.

The lesson marketers must learn for these statements are that for low interest products an anticlimax order appears effective. In addition, in some cases each method can perhaps be strengthened by presenting the important points at both the beginning and end of the message – in the form of an introduction and summary of important points. However, very little if any justification exists for a pyramidal order.