Advertising Messages and Creative Approaches
• Whether advertising converts people into becoming brand-loyal customers or acts as a defensive shield to reassure current buyers, and whether central or peripheral cues are required, there still remains the decision about the nature and form of the message to be conveyed: the creative strategy. • In practice, the generation of suitable messages is derived from the creative brief. For the sake of discussion and analysis, four elements will be considered. These concern the balance, the structure, the perceived source and the presentation o f the message to the target audience • The Balance of the Message
• With high-involvement decisions, where persuasion occurs through a central processing route, the emphasis o f the message should be on the information content, in particular, the key attributes and the associated benefits. • It is evident from previous discussions that the effectiveness of any single message is dependent upon a variety of issues. From a receiver's perspective, two elements appear to be significant: first, the amount and quality of the information that is communicated, and, second, the overall judgement that each individual makes about the way a message is communicated. • The Balance of the Message
• This suggests that the style of a message should reflect a balance between the need for information and the need for pleasure or enjoyment in consuming the message. It is clear that when dealing with high-involvement decisions, where persuasion occurs through a central processing route, the emphasis of the message should be on the information content, in particular, the key attributes and the associated benefits. This style is often factual and product orientated. If the product evokes low-involvement decision-making, then the message should concentrate upon the images that are created within the mind of the message recipient. This style seeks to elicit an emotional response from receivers. There are, of course, many situations where both rational and emotional messages are needed by buyers in order to make purchasing decisions. • Likeability
• Likeability is important, because learning and attitude change may be positively correlated with the degree to which consumption o f the message is enjoyed. • An issue that has been gaining increasing attention since the beginning of the 1990s concerns the level of likeability that an advertisement generates. Likeability is important, because learning and attitude change may be positively correlated with the degree to which consumption of the message is enjoyed. This means that the greater the enjoyment, the greater the exposure to the message and the lower the probability that the message will be perceptually zapped. • Biel (1990) found that changes in product preferences were considerably improved when receivers had `liked the commercial a lot'. This compares with those who were less enthusiastic or neutral towards the advertisement. Haley (1990) reported that advertisements that create a belief that the product is excellent and where messages that are liked are commercially more successful. In other words, a message that is well liked will sell more product than a message that fails to generate interest and liking. • This begs the question, `what makes a message liked?' Obviously, the receiver must be stimulated to become interested in the message. Having become emotionally engaged, interest can only be sustained if the credibility of the advertisement can also be maintained. The style of the message should be continued, in order that the context of the message does not require the target audience to readjust their perception. This is particularly important for low-involvement messages, where receivers have little or no interest. If the weak theory is adopted, then `liked' advertisements will tend to be those for whom the receiver has prior experience or exposure....
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