Can Pictures in Advertisements Curb Consumption?

Contrary to the common belief that pictures in advertisements generate positive influences on consumer demand, we argue that pictures can decrease sales of the advertised products due to reduced consumption volume. Five studies demonstrate that adding pictures that increase perceived product effectiveness in advertisements reduces usage amount of the featured products at a single occasion. We show that this negative impact of pictures on consumption mainly arises from heuristic processing and is attenuated by cognitive deliberation. Further, we identify boundary conditions and provide evidence that perceived product effectiveness mediates the effect of pictures on consumption.


Meng Zhu, Darron Billeter, and J. Jeffrey Inman (2010) ,"Can Pictures in Advertisements Curb Consumption?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 49-52 .


Meng Zhu, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Darron Billeter, Brigham Young University, USA
J. Jeffrey Inman, University of Pittsburgh, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

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