Current Issue Summary
Dec 2020 (Vol. 60, Issue 4):
Consumer Reactions to Animal and Human Models in Print Ads: How Animals and People in Ads Influence the Purchase-Decision Journey
Despite the widespread use of animals in advertising, there is very little empirical research on their effects on consumer reactions along the entire purchase-decision process. In this study, Rohit H. Trivedi (University of Bradford) and Thorsten Teichert (University of Hamburg) investigated the effectiveness of using animal stimuli—either solo or together with a human model—in print ads, at five different stages of the decision-making process:
- Closer ad examination intention versus no reaction,
- Information search intention versus no reaction,
- Positive attitude change versus no reaction,
- Integration into a relevant set versus no reaction,
- Purchase intention versus no reaction.
The authors gathered empirical evidence from 126,220 consumer evaluations of 302 actual print ads across 18 product categories. They found:
- Animals in ads can help steer positive attitude change, integrate the brand into the evoked set and augment purchase intention.
- Women reacted more strongly than men to animal stimuli.
- Advertisers should use animal stimuli only after careful consideration of specific advertising objectives and the gender of the target audience.
- Animal stimuli have limited effects in the early stages of decision making; they should even be avoided for creating awareness or influencing information-search intention.
- Advertisers should use animal stimuli without the presence of a human model, especially if the objective is to trigger the later stages of consumer decision making.
Read the full article here.