Knowledge Transfer and Rhetoric: the Influence of Rhetorical Figures on Consumer Learning

Marjorie Delbaere, University of Manitoba, Canada
Malcolm Smith, University of Manitoba, Canada
The use of an analogy in an ad has been found to influence the way consumers learn about the products being advertised. Findings from the literature on rhetorical figures have been neglected. This research investigates the impact on consumer learning from the perspective of internal knowledge transfer and the validity of the inferences consumers draw after exposure to a persuasive communication containing a rhetorical figure. The context is prescription drugs. Initial results from an experimental study suggest that subjects exposed to analogical comparisons in an ad engaged in further elaboration of the message than subjects exposed to a declarative statement, but that the additional inferences made were not valid. Subjects falsely inferred that the advertised medication had curative properties. The inclusion of copy in the ad attenuated the curative inferences.
[ to cite ]:
Marjorie Delbaere and Malcolm Smith (2007) ,"Knowledge Transfer and Rhetoric: the Influence of Rhetorical Figures on Consumer Learning", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 436-450.