Evidenced-Based advertising

An application to persuasion
By J. Scott Armstrong

Prepared by Stephanie Koh.

What is persuasion?
the attempt to use primarily one-way communication to influence (change or maintain) attitudes and beliefs.

Advertising is affected by Conditions
• Creativity can be greatly enhanced by providing a large variety of persuasive techniques • the ability of people to evaluate ads can be greatly enhanced if they use a structured approach for evaluating the extent to which ads conform to evidence-based principles for persuasion.


'No matter how much evidence exists that seers do not exist.• practitioners do not like rules. • Seer-sucker theory . suckers will pay for the existence of seers‘ • Difficulty of finding useful papers in advertising • To understand the obtuse writing found in most papers • Lack of replications for many studies .

. they must be presented as specific operational condition/action steps.Principles as a way to summarize evidence-based knowledge In order for findings to be useful.

there are many principles. Ogilvy) • Action steps are insufficient.g. (e. (e.• Books by great advertisers played an important role in describing the action steps for persuasion. • Identify the conditions which they work.g. Hopkins) • There’s a need to consider conditions and because conditions vary widely. .

TYPES OF EVIDENCE USED Experiments can be natural or planned` .

1. Laboratory experiments • Allow for the greatest control of the conditions • Also raises the issue of the extent to which the findings are realistic .

Field experiments • Adds realism • But also may have been unobserved changes in the application of the treatments or in the conditions .2.

.3. Quasi-experimental • This study involve the testing of alternative treatments in situations where many but not all key conditions have been controlled.

Knowledge base for advertising .

• The ad pairs differed with respect to illustrations. (http://www.. mass com. . target market.• It is not easy to obtain evidence on persuasive advertising. and media.com/adgameindex. – The pairs are similar with respect to product.) • These research was scattered all over 159 journals.gallup-robinson. psychology and medicine. colors and text. we analysed quasi-experimental data on the print ads from WAPB (Which Ad Pulled Best) editions 5-9. • There was a lack of evidence for many of the principles. marketing. – The relevant papers are spread all over (such as law. headlines.html) – Each edition contains 50 pairs of ads – These ads are prepared by leading US advertisers & tested by Gallup & Robinson. • To deal with this.

.*WAPB analyses were used for 56 principles.

the findings with respect to direction of effects were compared with findings of other types of experimental evidence. 26 principles of lab experiments. reviewers helped to make the principles accurate and editors helped to make the explanations easy to understand . • Meta-analyses proved to be extremely important for the development of the persuasion principles. • For many of the principles. 7 principles of field experiments. • There are 2 primary concerns for this research – The WAPB data used day-after-recall. • Findings from quasi-experimental analyses were in agreement with respect to the directions of effects of: – 7 principles of meta-analyses.• To assess the validity of quasi-experimental data. whereas the other approaches used many different criteria of effectiveness – The WAPB samples were small.


Stimulating creativity • To enhance the creativity of any user. • Creativity can be enhanced by obtaining recommendations from a number of individuals who independently apply the checklist. • Produce advertising that differs substantially from what is currently been done .

• Checklist helps in improving decision-making process. .Evaluation & improvement of advertisements • Evaluators need to understand the principles & evaluate the extent to which an ad sticks to the principles. • Evaluation phase calls for people who are good at logical reasoning.com – essentially a principle oriented checklist to guide the evaluation process. • Training & practice are expected to lead and gain ability to make judgments. • AdPrin.


• On the other hand. evidence suggests the opposite.1. Emotional • Emotional component is important as it helps to strengthen almost any ad. Do not mix rational & emotional appeals • Rational vs. .





Volvo • To present the arguments and then let the customer decide what to do.Saab vs. .

• More appropriate when the members of the target market are intelligent. .• Allow the reader/ viewer to observe others arguing each side of an issue. • When source is regarded as biased and when the message is directed to an intelligent audience. • Most persuasive when the communicator is perceives as biased. • Attempts to restrict people’s freedom by providing direct conclusions often led them to reassert their beliefs.


• Good idea? .British airways business class ad campaign • Unsatisfied consumers gets Free coach tickets for another trip.

Usefulness of evidence-based principles .

. but also on the extent to which they lead to advertising procedures that differ from common sense and from current practice.• Value of evidence-based principles would depend not only on their validity.

Diffusion of knowledge about evidence-based principles .

• Finding principles is not accessible as other fields like engineering and natural sciences where everything is given in a textbook. .

Overcoming barriers to evidence-based advertising .

• Make them easily available to advertisers and advertising agency • Understandable • Actionable .

Overcoming barriers to publication of evidencebased papers in advertising .

1. • Cost of invited paper is low. Directed research • Papers can be invited for: – Important principles that are lack of strong evidence. • Researches could then focus on the topic without fear of being rejected. . • Reviewers would be asked how to improve each paper. – Replications of important evidence-based papers.

Alternatives to journal publication • Books can serve as useful function by reporting new findings. • The internet offers a faster alternative.2. .

Overcoming barriers to practice .

.• The use of these evidence-based principles should lead to more effective advertising. • All actions are dependent upon the conditions • Another force is that clients can now question why seemingly relevant principles have been violated in ads proposed by their agency.

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