Michigan Ross School of Business
Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication

Complete Working Papers List

  • A Dual Process Model of Advertising Repetition Effects (PDF)
    Christie L. Nordhielm

    Advertisers regularly introduce new advertising executions in an effort to avoid advertising wearout. Yet, in order to present a consistent overall image, specific features of these ads, such as the brand name, logo, typeface, or printed background, are often presented repeatedly over a number of ads. The present research evaluates whether, how and why people's responses may differ depending on how frequently they are exposed to individual features of a communication as opposed to their frequency of exposure to the communication as a whole. In this chapter, the focal thesis that is developed is that people may process a communication and thus its individual features either perceptually or conceptually, and the type of processing performed dictates the effect of repeated feature exposure on people's judgments. Repeated exposures to features that are processed perceptually are likely to produce monotonically increasing evaluations, whereas repeated exposures to features that are processed conceptually should result in evaluations that exhibit an inverted U-shaped pattern. The results of several experiments are reviewed to provide support for this model.

  • A New Marketing Paradigm For Electronic Commerce (PDF)
    Donna Hoffman and Thomas P. Novak

    The World Wide Web has revolutionized the way of marketing products in this twenty first century. The authors of this article argue that a new business paradigm is required for any company to achieve success when choosing to advertise with this new medium of communication.

  • Affective and Cognitive Consequences of Visual Fluency: When Seeing is Easy on the Mind (PDF)
    Piotr Winkielman | Norbert Schwarz | Rolf Reber | Tedra A. Fazendeiro

    The question of what makes visual stimuli persuasive has a long tradition in theories of aesthetics. At least since Plato and Aristotle, theoreticians pondered what makes for evocative sculpture, good architecture, and appealing design. As the Greek philosophers noted, some images influence perceivers via their symbolic meaning, such as themes of transcendence, intimacy, heroism, conflict or struggle. Other images affect perceivers via their formal aspects, such as harmony, balance, symmetry, proportion, and simplicity. The Greek philosophers also suggested that some images speak through the head while others speak through the heart, or to use more modern terms, convey a message or create an experience.

  • Aim High: Toward and Analytical Schema for Visual Rhetoric (PDF)
    Christine M. Miller

    This paper is premised on the assumptions that visual images used to persuade are worthy of critique, and that concepts used to analyze verbal messages are also useful in examining visual messages. Accordingly, an analytical schema for visual persuasion is proffered and illustrated using two case studies of institutional recruiting: the armed forces and higher education. By examining how an institution can use visual images to recruit and retain members, key precepts of visual persuasion are revealed. The central precept relates to the use of images to reflect a particular culture. Hence, the analytical schema sketches a way to conduct rhetorical critiques of visual images when those images use the characteristics of a culture to persuade.

    In particular, the essay explores how recruiters use certain characterizations of their institution to appeal to prospective applicants. In so doing, the characterizations become endowed with persuasive power because they are culture-bound, and because they establish a common verbal as well as visual vocabulary that is used to influence the target audience. When this common visual vocabulary is used by recruiters, they engage in what has been termed culturetypal rhetoric. Such rhetoric can be profitably analyzed by examining the strategies of associational juxtapositioning or reaffirmative depiction to reveal the ways in which the visual culture is presented. Hence, this essay explains characterizations, culturetypes, associational juxtapositioning, and reaffirmative depiction using examples of institutional recruiting to illustrate the analytical schema.

  • Beyond Reading: Visual Processing of Language in Chinese and English (PDF)
    Nader T. Tavassoli

    Reading Chinese appears to involve to a greater degree short-term memory's visuospatial buffer and conceptual store, whereas reading English involves to a greater degree the phonological loop. I review findings that show how these relative processing differences can affect memory and persuasion. Relative processing differences can affect the way in which readers integrate visual features with words in memory (e.g., words' print color or font style), in the way in which readers associate words with nonverbal information in memory (e.g., brand names with logos), in the way in which words are organized in and subsequently retrieved from memory (e.g., retrieval of product features based on semantic associations versus order of learning), and, I predict, in the nature of decision making (e.g., spatial reasoning). The processing framework I develop, suggests that language can affect cognition even if mental representations are language free.

  • Changes in Logo Designs: Chasing the Elusive Butterfly Curve (PDF)
    Ronald W. Pimentel PhD and Susan E. Heckler PhD

    Some logo designs are changed or updated on a regular basis while others remain unchanged for decades. If a two-factor model of exposure effects and the discrepancy hypothesis applied to preference for changes in logo designs, periodic incremental changes would be optimal. A series of empirical studies, however, discovered that the preference for changes in logo designs was better explained by social judgment theory, such that no change is preferred, but slight changes are well tolerated.

  • Color As A Tool for Visual Persuasion
    Lawrence L. Garber Jr and Eva M. Hyatt

    Color has long been known to be a powerful visual cue, highly arousing and memorable (Cheskin 1957, p.80). Colors in packaging and advertising in particular carry additional important symbolic and associative information about the product category and about specific brands (Hine 1996, p. 216). But as much as color is a powerful and salient promotional tool, it is also a complex, multidimensional phenomenon not well understood in general, much less for application to marketing purposes, making consumer response to color notoriously hard to predict (Sharpe 1975). Little theory, few empirical marketing studies, and not much in the way of set guidelines exist to assist the marketing manager with the color selection problem. How, then, is the manager to select effective product/package color? We address this question by reviewing the literature on color, and presenting an empirical method for the selection of effective color in a consumer context.

  • Consumer Control in Online Environments (PDF)
    Donna Hoffman Thomas P. Novak and Ann Schlosser

    This paper analyzes the uniqueness of consumer control in online environments in that it is a primary control; the consumers can screen what is presented their way. By choosing certain routes, (i.e., ignoring specific advertisements) consumers are able to display what type to marketing media is attractive.

  • Dynamic Full Spectrum Digital Lighting of Retail Displays Positively Affects Consumer Behavior (PDF)
    Matthew L Tullman

    Quantitative and qualitative analyses of 480 customers comparing a prototype storefront design of a high-end specialty retail chain to a traditional storefront design of the same chain at a different location revealed that the new design, which significantly incorporated full spectrum digital color changing luminaries manufactured by Color Kinetics of Boston, MA, effectively increased the foot traffic, salience and stopping power of the storefront area. More shoppers stopped to look at storefront displays and they spent more time in front of those displays looking at products. The customer's propensity for handling and purchasing products in the storefront area increased. Customer traffic flow into the store rose significantly compared to the same store (prior to redesign) from the same period of time a year earlier. Subjectively, increases in customer's mood, ratings of the quality of time spent in the store, the use of color within the store and overall impression of the store were found at the prototype location. In summary, from the standpoint of customer behaviors and impressions, the prototype storefront has shown to be a more effective selling space as compared to the traditional storefront design.

  • Experimental Designs for Political Communication Research: From Shopping Malls to the Internet (PDF)
    Shanto Iyengar

    Twenty years ago, the use of experimental methods was virtually unknown to the discipline of political science. In the early 1980s, scholarly interest in the interdisciplinary area of political psychology intensified and from there experimental methods began to find their way into several sub-fields of political science, including, gradually, political communication. Despite this methodological transfusion, the field of political communication is still dominated by the use of survey techniques; in the presentation that follows, I will advocate a greater role for experimentation.

    Of course, experimental control imposes tradeoffs; most notably, reduced realism and questionable generalizability. In political science, these criticisms have carried sufficient weight to retard the development of experimental research. But how significant are these criticisms today? I will argue that modern field techniques and technological advances associated with the growth of the internet go a long way toward neutralizing the traditional weaknesses of experimentation. Online experiments may prove just as realistic and generalizable as conventional sample surveys.

  • How does it feel? Reading the Emotions Displayed by Characters in Ads (PDF)
    Michael S. Mulvey and Carmen Medina

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumers' ability to read and assign meaning to the feelings and emotions displayed by characters in advertisements. Building on previous research by Deighton and Hoch (1993), we aim to enrich existing methodologies by introducing a diagnostic technique that can accommodate the more subtle meanings communicated by non-verbal means. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, this technique allows us to detect and survey these meanings with unprecedented levels of precision. Such an instrument has been sorely lacking in advertising research, and is critical for future empirical work.

  • Icons and Avatars: Cyber-Models and Hyper-Mediated Visual Persuasion (PDF)
    Natalie T. Quilty | Michael R. Solomon and Basil G. Englis

    In broadcast and print media the use of physically attractive models to endorse or demonstrate products is a common strategy. Indeed, source attractiveness is an integral component of the fundamental communications model. In addition to credibility and trustworthiness, the physical appearance of the model often conveys social value to the consumer. Attractive individuals tend to be rated more positively on a number of personality traits than less attractive individuals (Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani and Long 1991; Wheeler and Kim, 1997). This positive evaluation may in fact increase the credibility of beautiful people, thereby increasing their power as persuasive communicators. With the growth of e-commerce, attention is shifting to applications of marketing wisdom to an Internet environment. Theories and findings of previous research on the effects of physically attractive models have served us well in traditional print and broadcast media, but what role will physical attractiveness play in cyberspace?
    In order to address this question we will review the academic literature on attractiveness-related source effects in persuasion, highlight some current real-world examples of attempts to leverage these effects in cyberspace, and propose a research agenda germane to a better understanding of visual persuasion in cyberspace. Finally, we will present some preliminary data bearing on the potential influence of physical attractiveness in hyper-mediated environments.

  • Marketing in HyperMedia Computer Mediated Enviromnents: Conceptual Foundations (PDF)
    Donna Hoffman and Thomas P. Novak

    This paper analyzes the importance of marketing media in computer mediated environments (CME's)-large scale, networked forms of communication such as the Internet and World Wide Web. The authors propose some forms of structured behavior of marketers that choose to use CMEs.

  • Measuring the Customer Experience in On-Line Environments: A Structural Modeling Approach (PDF)
    Thomas P. Novak Donna L. Hoffman Yiu-Fai Yung

    Numerous statistics and various methods of consumer surveys are presented in order to test the myth that successful on-line advertising will lead to an increase in consumer satisfaction and purchases. This paper develops the framework that will be most successful for companies who are looking to give their clients a "compelling online experience."

  • Modeling the Clickstream: Implications for Web-Based Advertising Efforts (PDF)
    Patrali Chatterjee Donna L. Hoffman Thomas P. Novak

    This paper uses "clickstream data" to determine consumer attitudes and influences when being enticed by web advertisements when surfing. After examining the length of time that consumers spend examining the advertisements, the researchers were able to predict the effectiveness of this type of campaign.

  • Persuasive Form: How do Ordinary Objects Communicate about Users and Themselves? (PDF)
    Dóra Horváth

    Reconciling artistic approaches to industrial design and consumption studies present paper aims to give a proposition to assess the impact of industrial design, product form in the case of ordinary objects from two perspectives: in the context of making choices and its influence on the usage experience. Propositions are given to study relating consumer responses with respect to characteristics of product form: unity and prototypicality; and individual differences: materialism and processing preferences.
    Underlying research is being executed in an attentive and responsive environment Hungary, in the case of a product category that has become widely available recently, and holds strong practical, but also symbolic and communicative implications: mobile phones. Key findings of a preliminary qualitative study are presented.

  • Political Marketing: Lessons from Recent Presidential Elections (PDF)
    Bruce I. Newman (Professor of Marketing DePaul University)

    Reviews how political marketing is similar to and different from other forms of marketing. Discusses the processes involved in political marketing (research, segmentation, targeting, etc.). Presents lessons from the campaigns of Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and others.

  • The Effects of Imagery Instructions, Ad Modality and Ad Focus on Persuasion: A Process-Oriented Approach (PDF)
    Gayathri Mani and Deborah J. MacInnis

    This paper examines the effects of imagery instructions on imagery processing and brand attitude formation. While past research has documented the facilitative effects of imagery instructions on learning and memory, the findings regarding the impact of imagery instructions on persuasion are more mixed. We propose that the modality in which ad information is presented (auditory vs. written) and the focus of ad information (attribute vs. benefit-oriented) interact with imagery instructions to influence the generation of mental imagery. A richer conceptual framework describing the process by which imagery instructions affect brand attitudes is also presented and tested. As anticipated, the results revealed a significant three-way interaction between imagery instructions, ad modality, and ad focus on imagery generation. Further, the most effective route to persuasion is when the imagery generated revolves around consumers' use of the product and the benefits arising therefrom. Such use imagery triggers positive feelings and thereby, significantly affects brand attitudes and purchase intentions.

  • The Marriage Of Graphic Design & Research ? Experimentally Designed Packages Offer New Vistas & Opportunities (PDF)
    Richard Bernstein Ph.D. and Howard Moskowitz Ph.D.

    For many fast moving consumer goods the package is the first experience a consumer has with the product. As part of MJI's services, we apply advanced conjoint (Green & Srinivasan, 1978) methods to help our clients determine best packaging for their products. In some of our work, we help clients develop the most visually appealing package (container) for their product. In other studies, we help our clients develop the most appealing graphics to decorate the their packages. The work we do owes much to a psychophysical heritage (e.g. Moskowitz, 1981). Systematic stimulus manipulation is coupled with a simple respondent-rating task. Models relating visual appeal to packaging options are developed.

  • Visual and Linguistic Processing of Ads by Bilingual Consumers (PDF)
    David Luna and Laura A. Peracchio

    In the United States, the proportion of the total population that speaks a second language fluently is considerable and continues to increase due to migration and acculturation patterns. For example, one of the largest bilingual segments in the U.S. is the Hispanic population. Over 72% of the 31 million Hispanics in the United States speak both English and Spanish at home. If one considers that the purchasing power of the Hispanic market is estimated to be over $300 billion and that there exist many other bilingual groups in the U.S., the need to study bilingual consumers becomes evident. Particularly, understanding how bilingual consumers process ads in their first versus their second language is of crucial importance to marketers.

    In this paper we examine the effect of pictures on ad processing by bilingual consumers. We utilize a model from psycholinguistic research, the Conceptual Feature Model (CFM) to suggest that pictures can help advertisers achieve cross-language message equivalence. The CFM implies that the meaning of translation-equivalent words may not overlap completely across languages. Pictures can help bridge this lack of overlap by supplying an external objective referent.

    Additionally, we argue that pictures can help reduce the increased processing load involved in second language versus first language processing. The Revised Hierarchical Model describes how conceptual processing is less likely to occur in individuals' second language than in their first language. Previous research has found that pictures can make the links between second language words and their meanings stronger. These conclusions are extended to advertising and web site navigation.

    This paper underscores the facilitating role of visual cues in advertising targeting bilingual individuals. Considering that a large population of the world speaks more than one language, it is surprising that bilingual populations have received very little attention from advertising researchers. Further research must be conducted in order to understand whether existing models of information processing and consumer behavior need to be adapted to this important segment of the global population.

  • Visual Persuasion: Mental Imagery Processing and Emotional Experiences (PDF)
    Cees Goossens

    In a visual and persuasive advertising context researchers should explore the effect of process-generated experiential responses on judgements. Regarding this, the present paper considers an experiential processing strategy that requires elaborated cognitions. Speciffically a Mental Imagery Processing model is discussed in order to explain the relation between information processing, emotional experience, and cognitive appraisal. Research hypotheses are formulated regarding two modes of information processing (enactive versus nonenactive imagery) and two kinds of emotion information (stimulus versus response information. Predictions are made about the intensity of consumers' feelings and appraisals.

  • When Exposure-Based Web Advertising Stops Making Sense (And what CDNOW did about it) (PDF)
    Donna Hoffman and Thomas P. Novak

    With the advent of the Internet in the age of information, there are more innovative and visual ways for businesses to advertise to make their companies more attractive. This paper explores the various forms of advertising and their consequent impact on sales volume.

Ikea Shopping Experience

Capitalizing on Sweden’s reputation for beautiful furniture design, IKEA presented consumers with a new shopping experience.