A Cross-Cultural Study of the Persuasive Effects of Sexual and Fear Appealing Messages: a Comparison Between France, Denmark, Thailand and Mexico

ABSTRACT - This exploratory study investigates the moderating influence of culture on the persuasiveness of fear appeal versus sexual appeal in advertising. An experiment was conducted on a sample of 392 subjects (160 from France, 60 from Denmark, 100 from Thailand and 72 from Mexico). A univariate analysis of variance was performed with two main effects (country and type of ad) and one interaction effect. The findings revealed that all effects are statistically significant and that both the type of ad and the country where the data have been collected do have an effect on the attitude toward the brand (Ab). Globally, sexual appealing ads generate higher Ab than fear appealing messages. The highest Ab scores have been found in Mexico and Thailand whereas the lowest Ab scores have been measured with French subjects. Finally, limitations of this study are underlined and issues for further research are discussed.



Citation:

Virginie De Barnier, Virginie Maille, Pierre Valette-Florence, and Karine Gallopel (2005) ,"A Cross-Cultural Study of the Persuasive Effects of Sexual and Fear Appealing Messages: a Comparison Between France, Denmark, Thailand and Mexico", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, eds. Yong-Uon Ha and Youjae Yi, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 140-150.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, 2005      Pages 140-150

A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF THE PERSUASIVE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL AND FEAR APPEALING MESSAGES: A COMPARISON BETWEEN FRANCE, DENMARK, THAILAND AND MEXICO

Virginie De Barnier, EDHEC Business School, France

Virginie Maille, CERAM, France

Pierre Valette-Florence, Universite Pierre Mendes-France, France

Karine Gallopel, Maitre de Conferences, France

[The authors thank Brice Bernard, CERAM=s Student, for his help in the elaboration of this paper.]

ABSTRACT -

This exploratory study investigates the moderating influence of culture on the persuasiveness of fear appeal versus sexual appeal in advertising. An experiment was conducted on a sample of 392 subjects (160 from France, 60 from Denmark, 100 from Thailand and 72 from Mexico). A univariate analysis of variance was performed with two main effects (country and type of ad) and one interaction effect. The findings revealed that all effects are statistically significant and that both the type of ad and the country where the data have been collected do have an effect on the attitude toward the brand (Ab). Globally, sexual appealing ads generate higher Ab than fear appealing messages. The highest Ab scores have been found in Mexico and Thailand whereas the lowest Ab scores have been measured with French subjects. Finally, limitations of this study are underlined and issues for further research are discussed.

1. INTRODUCTION

As advertisers search for a way to break through clutter and draw attention to their messages, the use of sexually attractive persons in advertising as well as shocking advertisement seems to be widespread. Such illustrations are found for instance in ads for luxury products which are supposed to be sold on a worldwide level. Authors define shock advertising appeal as one that deliberately, rather than inadvertently startles and offends its audience (Gustafson and Yssel, 1994; Venkat and Abi-Hanna, 1995). One recent research has shown that shocking content in an advertisement significantly increases its impact, that is to say it increases attention, benefits memory, and positively influences behaviour (Dahl D.W., Frankenberger K.D. and Manchanda R.V., 2003).

However, most French practitioners consider that shocking tactics used in many Anglo-Saxon countries do not "fit" the "Latin culture" which responds better to softer advertisement using implicit references to nudity or fear. Practitioners also advocate that shocking messages are used to draw attention to an advertisement, expecting further processing if the advertisement is noticed and, as a consequence, better advertising effectiveness. Combining those two approaches, the purpose of this study is to examine the communication effectiveness of visually explicit sexual or fear stimuli, and to analyse the impact of culture on the advertisement perception. Is there a country effect on the way advertisements are perceived? Are softer appealing advertisements more adapted to Latin culture?

In order to answer these questions, we divide this article into three parts. The first part is a literature review about the use of sex appeal and fear appeal in advertising and their effects on advertising effectiveness. The second part describes the methodology and data collection procedures. The last part focuses on results and discussion with both theoretical and managerial implications.

2. BACKGROUND

2.1 The use of sex appeal in advertising

Sex appeal ads is defined as the presentation of a product in a straightforward sexual presentation, an expression of the sexual motives, or the exploitation of the female or male body (Richmond and Hartman, 1982). Even though the use of sex appeal in advertising has been criticized by consumers and practitioners, for its social and ethical implications, it is a widespread practice. Previous research has focused on studying the trend: is there an increasing use of sex appeal in advertising or not? For Hoyer and MacInnis (1997) its use has become more and more popular even for products that are not congruent with nudity. Sciglimpaglia, Belch and Cain (1978) assert that "a trend toward an increasing use of sex in advertising can hardly be disputed". For Soley and Kurzbard (1986) many factors are to be studied in order to understand the trend. They have, therefore, performed a content analysis of sexual portrayals in magazine [The magazines studied were Time, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Playboy and Esquire.] advertisements between 1964 and 1984 in the United States and found that the percentage of ads with sexual content did not increase over the twenty-year period, but that the types of sexual portrayal did, sexual illustration became more overt and there was a greater reliance on visual rather than verbal sex in 1984 than in 1964. Lambiase, Morgan, Carstarphen and Zavoina (1999) have replicated the study over the years 1983 to 1993 and concluded that there has been an increasing use of sex appeal in advertising over this decade.

Although the use of sex appeal in advertising is worldwide but especially used in Europe, few studies have been undertaken in other countries. Herbig (1998) states that sexual appeals are more often used in French advertisements than in US ones. Piron and Young (1996) replicated the Soley and Kurzbard (1986) study in order to compare the States with Germany. They found that there are more sex appealing ads in the States than in Germany.

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of two widespread appeals in advertising on its effectiveness: sex appeal and fear appeal. More specifically, we will examine the impact of different levels of nudity and levels of fear on emotions felt by the viewer and on attitude toward the brand.

2.2. The effects of sex appeal on advertising effectiveness

Research on the effects of sex appeal in advertising has first focused on its effects on information processing. Findings indicate that sexual illustrations may increase attention and that sex as an element in ads will arouse the immediate interest of both men and women (Baker, 1961).

However Belch, Belch and Villareal (1987) performed an extensive review of the literature on advertising communication and concluded that the effectiveness of sex appeal in advertising seems to vary depending upon the dependent measures used, the product advertised, and the gender of the receiver. As a consequence, the use of sex appeal in advertising may have positive or negative effects on advertising effectiveness according to those factors.

For instance, Steadman (1969) showed that although sex appeal is effective in attention getting, advertisements featuring sex are less effective than nonsexual ads on brand recall. The author suggested that the attention paid to the sexual illustration detracted from attending to the brand name. He also related his findings to the attitude of the viewer toward the use of sex appeal in advertising and found that those holding a favorable attitude toward the use of sex in advertising recalled more correct brand names than did respondents who had unfavorable attitudes toward such use. Peterson and Kerin (1977) also highlighted some negative effects of sex appeal on advertising effectiveness. They found that the ad using sex appeal was evaluated as least appealing, the product lowest in quality, and the company least reputable. Similar findings were reported by Alexander and Judd (1978) and Sciglimpaglia, Belch and Cain (1978).

Another research trend focuses on the use of "decorative models" in advertising and gender effects. Decorative models are defined as "functionless model whose primary activity is to adorn the product as a sexual or attractive stimulus" (Chestnut, LaChance and Lubitz, 1977). Baker and Churchill (1977) manipulated the degree of model attractiveness and found that males and females evaluated reacted more favorably to the ads with a model of the opposite sex than to those with models of the same sex. Recent research confirms the existence of an "opposite gender effect of decorative models". Males tend to have positive attitudes toward advertisement featuring attractive female models and neutral or negative attitudes toward ads with male models. The opposite effect has been found for females (Simpson, Horton and Brown, 1996; Jones, Stanaland and Gelb, 1998).

The congruity between the product and sexual appeal has also been considered as a variable having an influence on advertising effectiveness. Richmond and Hartman (1982) showed that sexual appeals are considered as functional when they are congruent with the nature or the use of the product. The authors found that functional sexual appeals generated the highest advertisement recall and incongruent use of sexual appeal resulted in the lowest recall. Tinkham and Reid (1988) replicated the study and found similar results.

Courtney and Whipple (1983) made an extensive research on sex appeal and advertising effectiveness and concluded that three main effects are found. The use of attractive models does attract attention. The use of overt sexual stimuli has negative effects on ad effectiveness: the recall level of the ad is lower, the appeal evaluations are poor and the perceptions of the product and the manufacturer are negative. The use of sexual appeals for products which are not sexually related is not effective.

"Embarrassment" may be one of the reasons explaining poor results of sexual appeal in advertising on its effectiveness. Embarrassment is defined as an emotional reaction to unintended and unwanted social predicaments or transgressions (Edelman, 1981; Goffman, 1956 ; Higuchi and Fukada, 2002). According to Goffman (1956), embarrassment is a short emotional response that appears in social interactions when an undesired event intervenes disturbing someone’s self image. Embarrassment results in poor consciousness and low level of attention (Miller, 1996). As sexual appeals in advertising may disturb someone’s values or habits, they may cause embarrassment and therefore result in lower consciousness and attention, provoking as a consequence a lower advertising effectiveness. Embarrassability is the tendency someone has to feel embarrassed (Modigliani, 1968). Sharkey and Singelis (1995) showed that there is a cultural impact on embarrassability: Asian-Americans tend to have a higher embarrassability level than European-Americans.

Our objective is to assess whether there is a cultural impact of nudity on advertising perception. As a consequence, in order to clarify the effect of nudity on advertising perception, we suggest studying the influence of nudity on attitude toward the brand (Ab), according to the country where data were collected. Therefore, consistent with the literature, we expect that:

H1: Advertising appealing to nudity has a different impact on receivers according to their culture.

H2: Asian subjects tend to have a lower attitude toward the brand (Ab) than European subjects when viewing sexual appealing ads.

2.3 The use of fear appeal in advertising

Fear is a powerful human emotion that can affect buyer behavior (Engel, Blackwell and Miniard, 1986). The principle of using fear in advertising is to associate a practice (like smoking or not using a specific brand of soap.) with threatening negative consequences (like lung cancer or a body odor) in order to arouse fear. Fear can be defined as a negative emotion * experienced as apprehension, uncertainty and the feeling of danger + (Izard and Buechler, 1989). Witte (1998) explains that two conditions are necessary for the receiver to feel fear. The first one is the perceived probability that the threat will occur, which is the degree to which people feel at risk. The second one is the perceived severity of the threat, which is the magnitude of warning derived from the threat. When both probability and severity are perceived as high, fear is felt by the receiver.

Research on fear appeals in advertising has investigated both physical and social threats to the receiver. Physical fear includes harm to the body whereas social threat is fear of being disapproved by others (e.g. bad breath or ring around the collar). Advertisements recommend using a specific product or behaving in a certain way in order to reduce physical or social threats.

Past research has focused on the effects of fear-arousing content and resulting attitude and behavior, but most of the literature was dealing with social marketing issues rather than commercial ones. More than 100 articles have been written on fear appeal in advertising and a thorough review of literature may be found in the works of Sternthal and Craig, 1974, Boster and Mongeau, 1984, Mongeau, 1998, Sutton, 1982 Witte and Allen, 2000.

2.4 The effects of fear appeal on advertising effectiveness

In a recent meta-analysis (Witte and Allen, 2000), fear was described as a facilitating variable that has a positive impact on persuasion and message acceptance. Indeed, in most experimental studies, fear-arousing advertisement has a positive effect on attention, awareness, memory, attitude toward the recommended behavior, and intentions to buy (Niles, 1964, Janis and Mann, 1965, Tanner, Hunt and Eppright, 1991, King and Reid, 1990, Latour, Snipes and Bliss, 1996, LaTour and Rotfeld, 1997, Manchanda, 2001, LaTour and Tanner, 2003). However, other studies have found contradictory results (Janis and Terwilliger, 1962, Leventhal and Niles, 1964, Leventhal and Watts, 1966, Marchand and Filiatrault, 2002).

Several theoretical models were proposed to explain this lack of convergence in findings. Leventhal (1970) claims that the "parallel process model" is a step toward the integration of previous findings. He states that two reactions can occur when viewing a fear appealing message: a cognitive process ("danger control process") and an emotional process ("fear control process"). The cognitive process happens when the receiver focuses on existing ways to avert the threat, whereas the affective process is when individuals develop denying and avoiding strategies to reduce their fear (Stuteville, 1970). If the cognitive route is superior to the affective one, researchers assume acceptance of the recommendation, whereas a superior affective route will result in poor persuasion.

Later, the * Protection Motivation Model + has focused on cognitive responses that influence message acceptance (the * danger control process +) (Rogers, 1975). Most recent research has demonstrated that the link between fear and persuasion is not straightforward and that other variables combined with fear do influence persuasion. To improve the persuasion process, research has been suggested to bring about two processes in the receiver: the * efficacy + of the recommended response (i.e., * this brand of soap will significantly reduce body odor + ) and its * self-efficacy + (i.e., the receiver’s ability to perform the recommended action successfully) (Bandura, 1977). These two processes combine to create the perceived threat control (i.e., the receiver’s perception of success in controlling the threat). Thus, high levels in severity of the threat and its probability to occur, combined with high levels in efficacy and self-efficacy of the recommended response will result in message acceptance (Rogers and Deckner, 1975, Maddux and Rogers, 1983, Tanner, Hunt and Eppright, 1991, Floyd and Prentice-Dunn, 2000, Gallopel and Valette-Florence, 2002).

Lastly, the "Extended Parallel Process Model" (Witte, 1998) states that when perceived efficacy and self-efficacy are superior to perceived severity and probability of the threat to occur, receivers engage in the "danger process control". In contrast, when perceived efficacy and self-efficacy are inferior to perceived threat, receivers feel unable to avoid the threat and try to reduce dissonance through a "fear process control". Therefore, there is a threshold that could explain failure or success of shock advertising.

Moreover, some individual variables have been identified to moderate the effect of fear-appealing ads: trait of anxiety (Witte and Morisson, 2000), self-esteem (Highbee, 1969), defensive/resistant responses (Keller, 1999), past experiences with the threat (Tanner, Day and Crask, 1989) As far as cultural effects are concerned, very little research has been done outside Anglo-Saxon countries (Lavack, 1997, LaTour and Pitts, 1989, Ramirez and Lasater, 1977). Laroche and ali. (2001) implemented a cross-cultural study between Asiatic and Western cultures (China / Canada) dealing with the persuasive effect of fear appeal messages in cigarette advertising. Their research has shown that physical and social threat ads had a much greater effect on attitudinal measures for Anglo-Saxon than for Chinese subjects. This study confirms Hofstede’s work (1991) that has shown an influence of culture on individual reactions.

Another variable that has been neglected in fear literature is gender. However, Zuckerman (1989), Kellaris and Rice (1993), Dillon, Wolf and Katz (1985), Brody and Hall (1993) have shown a significant effect of sex on positive or negative affective reactions with women being more emotional and more emotionally expressive than men.

As for sex appeal ads, our objective is to assess whether there is a cultural impact of fear appeal on advertising perception. As a consequence, we suggest studying the influence of fear appeal on attitude toward the brand (Ab), according to the country where data were collected. Therefore, consistent with the literature, we expect that:

H3: Advertisement appealing to fear has a different impact on receivers according to their culture.

H4: The effect on attitude toward the brand (Ab) will be the lowest for Asian subjects.

Finally two global hypotheses were added to our research in order to determine whether there could be a "country effect" or a "type of ad" effect:

H5: The type of ad, with fear appeal versus sexual appeal has an effect on attitude toward the brand (Ab).

H6: The country where data were collected, France, Denmark, Thailand or Mexico, has an effect on attitude toward the brand (Ab).

3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

As explained above, our objective is to highlight the impact of sexual or fear appeal on emotions and attitude toward the brand (Ab) in an advertising context. Therefore, we selected an experimental approach which took place in three steps as described below.

3.1 Stimuli Development

The first step of the procedure was the selection of the advertisements. As the aim of the experiment was to compare the effectiveness of sex appeal and fear appeal, we needed to select at least two advertisements: one with sex appeal and one with fear appeal. In order to improve the external validity of our experiment, we chose to test two different ads for each appeal.

Firstly, a set of several photographs was chosen by the researchers based on two criteria: the pictures had to be unfamiliar and to include sex or fear. Secondly, 36 students from an introductory marketing course were asked to rate on a 10-point scale whether each photograph as perceived as sex appealing or fear appealing. Lastly, among the most appealing photographs, four experts selected the four pictures that were considered as highly sexual or fear appealing. None of these photographs highlighted a specific product so that the subjects didn=t know anything about the product advertised (totally fictitious). We added on the picture a fictitious brand name that was chosen so that no product link could be seen: Arthemys (See appendixes 1 to 4).

3.2. Dependent and moderating variables

The second step of the procedure was to select the dependent and moderating variables in order to test our primary hypotheses.

Two basic categories of dependent variables were chosen: emotions felt when watching the ads and attitude toward the brand (Ab). Emotional measures were developed using a scale of de Barnier (2002) adapted from Holbrook & Batra (SEPB1987). Participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they felt each emotion suggested on a five-point staple scale (1 for words that respondents think are very far from what they felt, all the way to 5 for words that are very close to their feelings). Five items measured the "pleasure" dimension of emotions (loving, affectionate, friendly, grateful, thankful), five other items assessed the "control" dimension (sad, distressed, sorrowful, fearful, afraid), and three items measured the "domination" dimension (attentive, curious, interested).

In addition, attitude toward the brand (Ab) was measured with a scale developed by de Barnier (2002). Participants indicated the extent to which each phrase described their point of view about the brand on a four-point Likert scale. Finally, it is expected that the impact of shocking advertisement will have a different effect on the receiver according to his culture. Culture was considered according to the country where questionnaires were administrated. Four countries were selected: France, Denmark, Thailand and Mexico. Those four countries were selected for comparison, on the assumption that these countries differ with respect to their cultural background (different religion, Western vs. Asian background ). Questionnaires were translated into English for the 3 other countries. They were pre-tested on four individuals in each country in order to validate the comprehension of every question.

TABLE 1

SAMPLE OF RESPONDENTS

3.3. Subjects

The final step was the selection of the sample. The aim of this experiment was to highlight the different answers according to different advertisements, not to predict any effect. As a consequence, a representative sample was not necessary (Cousineau and Bastin, 1975) and we chose to test the ads on a convenience sample in Universities and Business Schools. Most of the subjects were students following English taught marketing programs, and, in order to vary ages, we also asked a few lecturers and administrative staff to participate to the study. In the end, a total of 392 subjects from 18 to 40 participated to the study. Each advertisement was shown to a total of 98 subjects, according to Table 1.

The subjects were assigned to a single treatment condition according to a randomly procedure.

3.4. Experimental procedure

Each advertisement was shown once approximately 20 seconds to the subjects. Immediately afterwards, the subjects had to indicate their emotional responses and attitude toward the brand (Ab). The respondents were given about five minutes to respond to the advertisement. No one had difficulty filling out the items in that time.

4. RESULTS

In order to test our hypotheses we followed a two-step procedure: we first tested the validity of our scales and, second performed analysis of variances. The results of each step are presented below.

4.1 Scale validations procedure

We performed a principal component analysis on the Holbrook and Batra (1987) scale. We found 5 factors that account for 67.738 % of the variance. Referring to the sub-dimensions of the SEP scale, the five factors found were labeled fear/sadness, activation/surgency, skepticism, interest and affection. This factor analysis confirmed the three factors of the SEP: Pleasure, Arousal, and Domination. However our results show those factors as split into five: fear/sadness and skepticism belonging to the Domination dimension, activation/surgency and interest belonging to the Aroual dimension and Affection being the Pleasure dimension. We then computed the factor scores used subsequently as dependent variables for the anovas.

The same procedure was followed for the attitude toward the brand (Ab) scale. We also performed a principal component analysis that led as expected to only one factor that accounted for 61.430% of the variance. Again, we computed factors scores used as dependent variables for the anovas.

4.2 Analysis of variances

In order to test the aforementioned hypotheses we performed a univariate analysis of variance with two main effects (country and type of ad) and one interaction effect. All effects are statistically significant with an interaction effect clearly lower than the two main principal effects (respectively F=24.627,p=0.000 for the type of ad; F=21.122 , p=0.000 for the country effect and F=2.718,p=.044 for the interaction effect). This result shows that both the type of ad and the country where the data have been collected do have an effect on the attitude toward the brand (Ab).

Hypothesis 5 suggested that the type of ad, with fear appeal versus sexual appeal has an effect on attitude toward the brand (Ab). The results show that the type of ad does have an effect on Ab, and that sexually appealing messages generate more positive brand attitude than fear appeal messages. As a consequence, hypothesis H5 is validated. The following chart 1 shows the mean profiles for Ab relative to the differences between the ads.

Hypothesis 6 suggested that the country where data were collected (France, Denmark, Thailand and Mexico) has an influence on attitude toward the brand (Ab). The results show that this is the case, and that Mexico and Thailand are the countries which scored the highest on attitude toward the brand after viewing the ads and that France subjects had the lowest Ab scores. Hypothesis H6 is therefore validated. The following chart 2 shows the mean profiles for Ab relative to the differences between the countries.

Hypotheses H1 and H3 suggested that the type of ad, with fear appeal versus sexual appeal had a different impact on receivers according to their culture. Results show that there is a country effect (F=21.122 and p=0.000). Globally sexual appealing ads have generated higher Ab that fear appeal ads. However results differ according to countries. Hypotheses H1 and H3 are validated.

Consistent with the work of Sharkey and Singelis (1995) that showed that Asian-Americans tend to have a higher embarrassability level than European-Americans we expected Asian subjects tend to have a lower attitude toward the brand (Ab) than European subjects when viewing sexual appealing ads (hypothesis H2). However results do not confirm this hypothesis since Mexico, Denmark and Thailand are the three countries with the highest Ab when exposed to the sexual appealing ads and France is the country with lowest Ab scores. As a consequence, hypothesis H2 is not validated.

CHART 1

TYPE OF AD EFFECT ON ATTITUDE TOWARD THE BRAND (Ab)

CHART 2

COUNTRY EFFECT ON ATTITUDE TOWARD THE BRAND (Ab)

The same effect has been studied for fear appealing messages. Consistent with the study of Laroche and ali. (2001), we expected the effects on attitude toward the brand (Ab) to be the lowest on Asian subjects (Hypothesis H4). Results do not confirm this hypothesis since Mexico and Thailand are the two countries with the highest Ab when exposed to the sexual appealing ads. As a consequence, hypothesis H4 is not validated.

The following chart 3 shows the mean profiles for Ab relative to the differences between the countries.

4.3 Discussion

These results suggest that the type of appeal (sexual versus fear) matter in assessing the effectiveness of advertising, since they have a different impact on Ab. The specific wy in which appeals contribute, has not been found uniform: sexual appeals having more impact on Ab than fear appeal. As a consequence, if practitioners want to build strong brands sexual appeal has proven to be a good choice. However, countries where the advertisement is shown may be a moderating variable. French respondents were the least influenced by both appeals, supporting the French practitioners’ argument considering that shocking tactics used in many Anglo-Saxon countries do not "fit" the "Latin culture".

CHART 3

COUNTRY EFFECT AND TYPE OF AD EFFECT ON ATTITUDE TOWARD THE BRAND (Ab)

It has been found that there is a country effect on the way advertisements are perceived: Mexico is the country with the highest Ab means scores, followed by Thailand, Denmark and France. These results are non consistent with research on embarrassability stating that Asian-Americans tend to have a higher embarrasability level than European-Americans (Sharkey and Singelis, 1995).

These results may be of interest for the practitioner who is interested in creating commercials that elicit emotional responses in order to generate positive attitudes toward the ad and the brand. Many commercials elicit "Domination" emotions, like fear. In the car industry, for instance, commercials may appeal to the fear of having an accident or the anxiety about the car breaking down. Our results suggest that such commercials are not as effective as they should be since they generate low Ab scores. On the contrary, commercials appealing to "Pleasure" or "Arousal" dimensions, with sexually attractive characters do have a positive effect on attitude toward the brand. Moreover, it has been found that sexual appealing advertisements are well accepted across the four countries studied: France, Thailand, Mexico and Denmark. These results may explain why a lot of luxury brands recently have chosen strong sexual appeal for their worldwide campaign (Dior, Armani, Ungaro, Versace). However, the use of such practices may have some limits especially as far as how explicit sexual appeals are perceived.

Future research may focus on several issues in order to better understand the effects of sexual or fear appeal in advertisements. Is there a gender effects over the four countries studied? Is this effect homogenous over the four countries? Research may also focus on each emotional dimension aroused by the ads: pleasure, domination or arousal (Holbrook and Batra, 1987). Are the three dimensions felt the same way across countries? If not which dimension is the most effective on Ab? Finally which dimension is mostly perceived when exposed to a sexually or fear appealing advertisement?

4.4 Limitations

Although this study supports previous research, the findings must be qualified by a few limitations. First of all, mostly students were included in our research sample which may have constrained the extrapolation of the present results and the possibility to generalize them. Secondly, the ads used in this study all promoted products that were unknown and not specified, with a new unknown brand: Arthemis. For well-known products or brands additional research is needed since the congruence between former Ab and the advertisement may interfere. Thirdly, only press ads were studied. Future research is therefore needed across products, media and different and more representative populations, to establish whether these findings could be generalized.

APPENDIX 1

SEXUAL APPEALING ADVERTISEMENT No1

APPENDIX 2

SEXUAL APPEALING ADVERTISEMENT No2

APPENDIX 3

FEAR APPEALING ADVERTISEMENT No1

APPENDIX 4

FEAR APPEALING ADVERTISEMENT No2

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Authors

Virginie De Barnier, EDHEC Business School, France
Virginie Maille, CERAM, France
Pierre Valette-Florence, Universite Pierre Mendes-France, France
Karine Gallopel, Maitre de Conferences, France,



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AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6 | 2005



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