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Advertising as Persuasion

Bob M. Fennis


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Advertising as →  Persuasion may be defined as an instrumental and intentional form of commercial communication by which a deliberate attempt is made to convince consumers of the value of the message position, i.e., the product or brand advertised. Advertising as persuasion focuses on the impact of advertising stimuli on cognitive, affective, and behavioral consumer responses ( Kardes 2002 ). Implied in this conceptualization is a focus on the effectiveness of advertising on the individual level, rather than on a more aggregate level. Advertising stimuli can pertain to message elements (e.g., advertising format, the use of fear appeals, humor, sex, music, or number of arguments), source elements (e.g., brand familiarity, endorser characteristics such as fame, attractiveness, or credibility), or channel elements (e.g., visual versus nonvisual means of communication). Cognitive responses include belief and attitude formation and change (→  Attitudes ). Affective responses include the influence of ads on →  emotions and mood. Behavioral responses pertain to purchase and choice behavior, consumer decision-making, and brand loyalty. Although this definition suggests a linear process and passive receiver, the body of research paints another picture. That is, any impact advertising may have depends largely on the way the consumer responds to the message, understood as the extent and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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