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Cherish your loved ones – the role of the feeling of care and security in advertising

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Advertising practice makes use of emotional cues and addresses consumers' rising desire for social connection. Research has investigated emotions within advertising, but mainly focused on negative or positive emotions. Traditional academic approaches to the analysis of persuasion according to the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) tend to emphasize central processing and thus rational advertising cues. Moreover, the role of motivation within the ELM is underspecified. We introduce the Zurich Model of Social Motivation to the regulation of social distance and investigate the specific feeling of care and security. This feeling may serve as motivational component and emerge as persuasion instrument within advertising. We seek to find means to activate viewers, independent from involvement. As we initially apply the model, we match constructs from advertising research to the framework. The feeling of care and security is determined by the autobiographical fit, the amount of personal resemblance, and familiarity with the cue. Realism of the story describes the (psychological) distance, whereas emotionality of the story refers to relevancy of the objects shown. We apply a structural equation modelling approach to test our hypotheses with smart partial least squares. Autobiographical fit is the strongest driver, followed by the realism and emotionality of the story. The feeling of care and security significantly predicts attitude toward the advertisement Group comparison according to Chin by the level of involvement shows that all causal relations remain stable for both sub-groups. Our findings suggest that specific emotional cues may have a special role within information processing and that there is no need to always focus on the central route of processing.
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Keywords: Zurich Model of Social Motivation; elaboration likelihood model; emotional cues; feeling of care and security; persuasion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Lehrstuhl für ABWL und Marketing I, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Jakob-Welder Weg 9, 55128, Mainz, Germany 2: Research Center for Marketing and Consumer Science, KU Leuven, Naamsestraat 69, Leuven, 3000, Belgium

Publication date: 2014-03-15

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