The Use of Humor in Threat-Related Advertising: an Experiential Processing Perspective

ABSTRACT - We report the results of an experiment designed to identify how humor operates in threat-related advertising (e.g., ads relating to AIDS prevention, drunk driving, life-insurance, car safety), in both experiential and rational modes of processing. Further, we investigate the effects of humor in different processing modes using a full portfolio of explicit and implicit measures of persuasion. 175 subjects were randomly assigned to a 2 (Humor) x 2 (Processing Style) between-subjects factorial design. Under rational processing, results show that humor had no effect on either explicit or implicit measures of attitudes and memory. Under experiential processing, humor had a positive effect on implicit attitudes and implicit memory, but no effect on explicit measures. These results are interpreted in the light of recent theorizing on the experiential mode of processing, and suggestions for future research are offered.



Citation:

Ashesh Mukherjee and Laurette Dube (2001) ,"The Use of Humor in Threat-Related Advertising: an Experiential Processing Perspective", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, eds. Andrea Groeppel-Klien and Frank-Rudolf Esch, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 335.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, 2001      Page 335

THE USE OF HUMOR IN THREAT-RELATED ADVERTISING: AN EXPERIENTIAL PROCESSING PERSPECTIVE

Ashesh Mukherjee, McGill University, Canada

Laurette Dube, McGill University, Canada

ABSTRACT -

We report the results of an experiment designed to identify how humor operates in threat-related advertising (e.g., ads relating to AIDS prevention, drunk driving, life-insurance, car safety), in both experiential and rational modes of processing. Further, we investigate the effects of humor in different processing modes using a full portfolio of explicit and implicit measures of persuasion. 175 subjects were randomly assigned to a 2 (Humor) x 2 (Processing Style) between-subjects factorial design. Under rational processing, results show that humor had no effect on either explicit or implicit measures of attitudes and memory. Under experiential processing, humor had a positive effect on implicit attitudes and implicit memory, but no effect on explicit measures. These results are interpreted in the light of recent theorizing on the experiential mode of processing, and suggestions for future research are offered.

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Authors

Ashesh Mukherjee, McGill University, Canada
Laurette Dube, McGill University, Canada



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5 | 2001



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