Show Me the Product, Show Me the Model: Effect of Picture Type on Attitudes Toward Advertising
Journal of Consumer Psychology 24, 4 (2014) 506–519
14 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2014 Last revised: 7 Jan 2016
Date Written: April 13, 2014
We suggest that a consideration of consumer self-evaluations is fundamental to understanding the conditions under which it is more advantageous to present person or product pictures in print advertisements. We build on the basic human motives of self-enhancement and self-verification to propose that the specific self-esteem level of consumers, in the domain relevant for the category, differentially affects their responses to picture type. Specifically, for consumers with low (high) domain-specific self-esteem, depicting a product (person) in the advertisement enhances attitudes toward the advertisement more than depicting a person (product). In two studies, we demonstrate the proposed matching relationships using two different domains of consumer self-evaluation: appearance self-esteem and academic self-esteem. We also show that increased and more fluent generation of self-related mental imagery drives the observed improvement in attitudes toward the advertisement. Our findings suggest direct implications for advertising design.
Keywords: Advertising, Pictures, Self-esteem, Mental imagery
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