Abstract thinkers respond better to ads depicting mixed emotions

Posted By: Staff
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Washington, April 20 (ANI): A new study has revealed that people who think more abstractly respond better to ads that portray mixed emotions.

The research also showed that factors such as age and culture affect people's ability to think abstractly.

In five experiments, the researchers found that "people who think more abstractly are not bothered by having mixed emotions and in turn are more persuaded by mixed emotions appeals as compared to people who think at a more concrete level."

Although people differ in their natural tendencies to think abstractly or concretely, they can also be prompted to think abstractly.

Authors Jiewen Hong (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) and Angela Y. Lee (Northwestern University) found that elderly and Asians subjects thought more abstractly, which resulted in their finding mixed emotions ads more appealing.

"The philosophy and outlook toward life of Asians and older adults are such that they can handle duality better than North Americans and younger adults," the authors said.

In one study, the researchers presented participants aged between 19 and 70 with either a mixed emotions ad or a happy ad. As age increased, so did preferences for ads featuring mixed emotions.

"This research offers practical implications for marketers planning their advertising campaigns. The findings suggest that in developing mixed emotions ads, advertisers should frame the benefits of the products more abstractly such as highlighting why one should use the product (as opposed to how to use the product) so that the viewers would like them more," the authors said.

The study has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)

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