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Persuasive Communications. Communication Model. Encodes. Selective Exposure. Sender (source). Message. Channel (medium). Receiver (consumer). Decodes. Responds Appropriately?. Yes. No. Miscomprehends?. Yes. Feedback. No. Sender.

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communication model
Communication Model


Selective Exposure

















  • Sources encode message with symbols, pictures, words, images.
  • Formal sources:
    • Company, business, organization
  • Informal sources:
    • Family, friends
source effects
Source Effects
  • The impact a particular source has on message delivery and comprehension.
  • Source credibility
    • Perceived trustworthiness
    • Formal vs. informal
  • Source attractiveness
    • Perceived social value
    • Sleeper effect
channel medium
Channel (Medium)
  • The message is delivered via some channel:
    • Paid vs. unpaid
    • Personal vs. impersonal
    • Print
    • Broadcast
    • Electronic
  • The target audience.
  • Receivers decode message based on their own experiences and personal characteristics.
  • Affecting decoding:
    • Information processing system
    • Level of involvement
    • Mood
    • Noise
  • The message the receiver sends back to the sender.
  • Feedback may be verbal or nonverbal.
  • Measuring feedback.
designing persuasive communications
Designing Persuasive Communications
  • First, establish communications objective.
    • Create awareness
    • Promote image
    • Message retention
    • Stimulate action
designing continued
Designing, continued...
  • Second, choose media strategy.
  • Which media does your target audience listen to or read?
  • Consumer profile--specific media consumers read or watch.
  • Audience profile--descriptions of audiences that listen to/watch specific media.
designing continued10
Designing, continued...
  • Third, decide on message strategy.
  • Goal of the message strategy is to be persuasive relative to the communications objective.
  • Issues to consider:
    • Words vs. pictures
    • Vividness
    • Repetition
    • Semantics
message presentation
Message Presentation
  • Message framing
  • Level of involvement should be considered when deciding on message presentation.
one sided vs two sided messages
One-sided vs. Two-sided Messages
  • One-sided messages
    • Present positive messages, supportive arguments
    • Most effective when the audience is:
      • Friendly
      • Favors the communicator’s position
      • Unlikely to hear opposing position
Two-sided messages
    • Present both positive and negative information--supportive and refutational arguments
    • Most effective when the audience is:
      • Not already loyal to product
      • Well-educated
      • Likely to hear opposing claims
      • Already aware of negative information about the product
Inoculation Theory
    • Presenting refutational arguments to consumers before they hear it from others makes the message appear more credible.
    • Inoculates consumers from competitors’ ads that will be negative.
comparative advertising
Comparative Advertising
  • Messages that directly compare a brand to a competing brand.
  • Comparison in terms of one or more specific attributes.
  • Most effective when they help consumers differentiate between two brands.
  • Disadvantages: Consumers may not be able to differentiate; false claims.
emotional appeals
Emotional Appeals
  • Fear appeals
    • Used in over 15% of TV ads
    • Used to either encourage or discourage certain behaviors
    • The intensity of the fear appeal is related to its effectiveness--moderate levels of fear appear to be most effective.



Degree of fear

Humor Appeals
    • Danger--makes product look ridiculous
    • Most effective when:
      • Clearly identifies brand and humor does not overwhelm the product
      • Distracts attention away from counterargumentation
      • Appropriate to brand’s image
      • Used with existing products
      • Used with low-involvement products
humor continued
Humor, continued...
  • Most effective when:
    • Audience is younger, better educated, upscale, professional
    • Ads are shown in action-adventure environment rather than sitcoms (contrast effect, Gestalt)
abrasive advertising
Abrasive Advertising
  • An unpleasant ad that antagonizes listeners
  • Agony commercials that show graphic detail upsetting to consumers
sex appeals
Sex Appeals
  • Effective when sex is related to the advertised product.
  • Ineffective is used just to attract attention--may interfere with message comprehension and cognitive processing.