Towards a deeper understanding of human emotions in marketing communication: the‘Slogan Validator’and self-reported measurement contrasted.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Advertising has long been regarded as providing reasons for consumers to buy. However, in academic research, the significant role of emotion has generally been neglected. Neuroscience research has made considerable advances in the study of emotion and has resulted in a reconsideration of the rational view of decision-making behaviour. In addition, a review of the marketing literature reveals that there is a missing link between repetitive emotions, mixed emotions, continuous measures of emotions and the dominant emotion. This thesis provides this link and proposes a new theoretical research construct: the consumer’s emotional corridor
Self-reported measurements have been widely used to measure consumers’ emotional responses to advertising stimuli or consumption-related experiences and have been a consistently popular method for practitioners and researchers. There is, however, a problem known as “cognitive bias” which often arises from self-reported measurements. Several researchers have highlighted the demand for the measurement of emotion to go beyond self-reported measurements and have called for collaboration with other research fields to advance consumer behaviour research in the study of emotion. This research collaborates with researchers in the field of human-computer interaction and suggests an alternative method: the Slogan Validator.
This research adopts a multi-strategy approach in combining qualitative research (semi-structured interviews) and quantitative research (survey and experiment). The purpose of the first stage of the research is to assist in defining criteria of cognitive appraisals that consumers use for advertising slogans and on validating the research model. The second stage involves conducting a survey research, which is called study one in this thesis. The main purpose of study one is to test the proposed research model. The third stage of the research methodology involves the Slogan Validator and self-reported measurements (which is called study two in this research). The main purpose of study two is to compare the results of self-reported measurements and the Slogan Validator in measuring emotions.
For study one, this research notes that there exist some differences in the types of determinants and their levels of influence on the attitude towards the advertisement, the attitude towards the brand and the purchase intention across four slogan cases. Nonetheless, the cognitive appraisal-outcome of desirability appears to be significant in all fourteen out of the sixteen models. In general, this factor plays the critical role in the advertising effectiveness. Moreover, the results of study one reveal that affective-related factors play the significant role in the advertising process in both the low and high involvement groups. For study two, the findings show that the results of the self-reported questionnaires and the Slogan Validator are almost completely different, except for the ‘happy’ emotion in the cases of McDonald’s and Kentucky.
Implications, limitations and further research are discussed. The major contributions of this research are twofold. In terms of theoretical perspective, this research models consumers’ emotional responses to advertising slogans integrated with the new theoretical research construct, the consumer’s emotional corridor, and uncovers the determinants of advertising effectiveness from the consumers’ emotional responses to the advertising slogan standpoint. In terms of methodological perspective, this research initiates the employment of a novel method, namely, the Slogan Validator, which is the voice recognition study, in advertising literature.
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