Different types of appeals

However, a variety of benefits have been suggested for humorous appeals including:

1) Humor attracts attention.
2) Humor can increase retention of the advertising message.
3) Credibility of the source can be enhanced with humor.
4) Attitude toward the ad can be enhanced with the use of humor.
5) Counter arguments may be minimized with the use of humor because it acts to distract the audience from making cognitive responses.

Despite these proposed benefits, research evidence has not consistently and systematically shown humor to have a superior effect on consumers when compared to non humorous appeals. For example humorous messages may attract greater attention, but they may also have a detrimental effect on message comprehension and recall. In an advertising context, one can sometimes counter this potential problem by focusing the humor on product attributes expected to be instrumental in influencing attitudes. In addition, a number of studies have actually not found humor to increase viewers’ attention to message content.

Certainly universal agreement does not yet exist on the exact benefits of humorous appeals. However, it has been suggested that for humor to be successful the advertised product should be appropriate for the use of humorous appeals, humor should contribute to the main point of the message and the humor should be tasteful n addition, recent evidence suggest that humor is more effective in changing consumers’ attitudes and choices when the audience already holds positive evaluations of the advertised product.

Emotional versus rational appeals

Should, marketers use emotional or rational appeals in promoting their products? As the reader might guess neither approach has been shown to be generally superior to the other. This seems understandable because the effectiveness of appeals is likely to be a function of the underlying motives consumers have for considering the product as well as other factors such as involvement and the type of processing (central vs. peripheral) being used by the consumer.

When emotional appeals appear to be appropriate, the following points have been offered as guidance for constructing the appeal:

1) Use emotionally charged language especially words that have a high personal meaning to the target consumers.
2) If the brand or message is unfamiliar to the audience associate it with well known ideas.
3) Associate the brand or message with visual or non verbal stimuli that arouse emotions.
4) The communications should be accompanied by nonverbal cues, such as hand motions which support the verbal message.

Comparative appeals

The terms comparative advertising refers to advertising that make some form of comparison between the promoted brand and some other brand or brands. In a stricter sense this would involve comparisons with one or more specifically named or recognized brands of the same generic product in terms of one or more specific products or attributes. The advertisement for Harvard Presentation Graphics presents a good example that meets these criteria.

Although comparative ads are now fairly popular prior to the 1970s they were quite rare, especially on television. However, in 1979 the Federal Trade Commission formally encouraged the practice, based on the belief that such ads would provide consumers with more and better information for making brand comparisons. Some of the widely known comparative campaigns include the Avis Corporation stating we try harder compared to hertz and showing service attributes as their claim to superior performance. Schick also confronted Norelco, Remington and Sunbeam, in a direct comparison of electric shaver Pepsi Challenge comparative campaign. In all of these cases, and in a umber of others, quite favorable sales results accrued to the company initiating the comparative appeal.

However, although many advertising practitioners extol the benefits of comparative appeals, research evidence has suggested a number of potential problems.

1) Comparative ads have not been shown to be significantly more effective in increasing brand awareness.
2) Comparative ads may results in information over load for at least some consumers.
3) Comparative ads may be perceived as offensive, and the sponsoring company may be perceived as less trust worthy
4) Comparative themes may encourage consumers involvement and as a consequence, lead to more counterarguments against the message This can generate a so called boomerang effect and depress band attitudes rather than generating more favorable ones. However use of two sided comparative ads (where some minor disadvantages for the brand are mentioned) appears to reduce such counterarguments.
5) The effect of comparative ads may be influenced by various sources, audience and situational conditions. For example, those loyal to the advertised brand may tend to respond more favorably than others. Also, some evidence suggest that such ads may be more effective for the brand that is not the present market leaders