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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13348
The role of effective advertising appeals in generating approach behavior in consumers -DMP-Linnanmäki
Author: Tynkkynen, Heidi
Title: The role of effective advertising appeals in generating approach behavior in consumers -DMP-Linnanmäki
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; mainonta; advertising; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; tehokkuus; effectiveness; hyvinvointi; welfare
Pages: 119
Key terms: Informational appeal, emotional appeal, transformational appeal, interactivity, consumer behavior, effectiveness of advertising
OBJECTIVES The objective of this study was to develop an understanding on how advertising appeals influence consumers' behavior and to examine which types of advertising appeals are the most effective in generating approach behavior in consumers. Thereby this study attempted to provide insight into improving the effectiveness of advertising. The study compared the effect that an informational, an emotional, a transformational appeal and an interactive element embedded in an advertisement had on consumers. Even though earlier literature recognizes advertising appeals as key elements of effective advertising, research on their impact on consumers' actual behavior is limited. Hence a lack of understanding of what appeal is the most effective created a motivation for this study.

METHODOLOGY Elements of Mehrabian's and Russell's environmental psychology model (1974) and Lang's limited capacity model (2000) were combined to a framework, which enabled studying the impact of advertising appeals on consumers' approach behavior. The framework was further examined in the empirical part of this study, which consisted of a consumer survey and a field experiment. Both research designs were conducted in an amusement park context. The consumer survey examined whether different advertising appeals, which all advertised an amusement park ride, evoked different emotional states in consumers. Emotional states were measured by the extent to which consumers felt pleasure, arousal and dominance since according to Mehrabian and Russell (1974) high levels of these emotions should induce approach behavior. Three separate one-way analyses of variance combined with a Games-Howell post-hoc test were applied to analyze the data produced by the consumer survey. The field experiment examined whether advertising appeals generated different extents of approach behavior in consumers by observing the actual visitor volume of the advertised amusement park ride. A multivariate regression analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between the different advertising appeals and consumers' approach behavior. Combined these two methods allowed examining the conceptual boundaries of Mehrabian's and Russell's model (1974) and gave new insight into what determines consumers approach behavior.

KEY FINDINGS The main finding of this study was that consumers feel different degrees of pleasure towards different advertising appeals but the extent to which appeals generate pleasure does not determine their effectiveness in generating approach behavior. This became evident as the informational appeal was the most effective in generating approach behavior even though it generated least feelings of pleasure while the interactive appeal was the least effective even though it induced strongest feelings of pleasure. Hence, in an environment with a multitude of different kinds of stimuli, the appeal that is the most simple and clear, such as an informational appeal, is likely to be the most effective. Moreover, the appeal which requires most mental resources to be processed, such as an interactive advertisement, is likely to be the least effective in generating approach behavior. These findings suggests that a stronger predictor of approach behavior than the emotions that consumers experience is in fact the capacity, or mental resources, that consumers have to process advertising messages from among other stimuli. Regarding the performance of other advertising appeals, the transformational appeal did not evoke as much pleasure as was expected and was not as effective as previous research suggested. The emotional appeal induced strong feelings of pleasure, however, as was the case with the interactive ad, the felt pleasure did not induce approach behavior. The effect of feelings of arousal and dominance on approach behavior could not be investigated as the advertisements did not evoke these feelings in consumers.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.