Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Consumers have mixed reactions to puffery in advertising

Date:
January 23, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Consumers don't always react positively to persuasion tactics that have nothing to do with the product (what the authors refer to as "puffery").

According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers don't always react positively to persuasion tactics that have nothing to do with the product (what the authors refer to as "puffery").

"In some cases advertisements describe technical details that are only appreciated by experts in the product domain to which the ads pertain," write authors Alison Jing Xu and Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). "Other attribute descriptions, however, may be puffery. That is, they purport to be of great importance but are actually inconsequential and often meaningless."

The authors conducted a series of studies designed to elicit consumer reactions to advertising claims. They found that when descriptions are ambiguous, consumers interpret them in one of two ways: They may infer that the attributes refer to technical details that they personally don't understand but are likely to be informative to people that are more knowledgeable then they are. Or they might assume that the attribute descriptions are intended only to persuade (puffery).

The authors found that consumers' reactions depended on their perceived level of knowledge about the product and the media context in which they viewed the ads. For example, they found that when consumers perceived themselves to be less knowledgeable about the product than the intended recipients of beer or cleansing gel ads, they were more likely to assume that the descriptions were useful.

In another experiment, the authors manipulated participant perceptions of their knowledge about fabric. Afterwards, all participants read an ad about a down jacket and then evaluated the product. "The results showed that when participants perceived they had less relative knowledge than average consumers, addition of puffery increased their evaluation of the product no matter whether the ad came from a popular magazine or a professional magazine," the authors write.

"When participants perceived they had more relative knowledge than average consumers, addition of puffery increased their evaluation of the product when the ad came from a professional magazine, whereas decreased their evaluation when the ad came from a popular magazine."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alison Jing Xu and Robert S. Wyer, Jr. Puffery in Advertisements: The Effects of Media Context, Communication Norms and Consumer Knowledge. Journal of Consumer Research, August 2010

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Consumers have mixed reactions to puffery in advertising." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121432.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, January 23). Consumers have mixed reactions to puffery in advertising. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121432.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Consumers have mixed reactions to puffery in advertising." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121432.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins