While an earlier blog post focused on emotional advertising and its positive effect on advertising success, this post summarizes a study which extents this research by including sequentially improving advertisements, i.e. spots that start with a negative emotion but move towards a positive emotion in the end. The study concentrated on a sustainable product relevant for Generation Z presented on the social media platform Instagram via videographic stimuli (see also our blog post series about sustainable consumption).
Current market conditions and today’s information overload require advertisers to drastically change their strategies. In fact, informative advertising is increasingly losing its effectiveness. An alternative approach is emotional marketing (O’Shaughnessy & O’Shaughnessy, 2002), which aims at influencing consumers’ buying decisions by advertising on an emotional level. Emotions have the ability to impact thoughts, behaviours, and other fundamental processes (Levenson, 2011). In addition to the arousing effect, emotions also have other positive effects, such as improved reception of the advertising message or generally an increase in consumers’ advertising acceptance. Viral marketing takes this advertising approach one step further, as it relates to consumers voluntarily forwarding advertisements on social media. This post summarizes two studies which explored the effect of emotions on the likability and ultimately virality of online advertisements.
In one of our earlier blog posts, we have reported on the power of digital recommendations in the form of electronic word-of-mouth product reviews. So we know that recommendations of other users in form of product reviews are relevant for consumers when making purchase decisions. In addition to that, social media channels have become an indispensable part of everyday life and are, first of all, a valuable communication tool. In fact, social networks accumulate approximately 4.2 billion active users worldwide (DataReportal, 2021). Even more important for consumer research is, that these networks are also increasingly used as a source of information for purchase decisions, as consumers believe the recommendations of other users more than advertising (Tokarski, Schellinger & Berchtold, 2017). A study (Bundesverband für Digitale Wirtschaft e.V., 2019) found, that one in five social media users has already been inspired to buy a product by an influencer, meaning opinion leaders who help companies raise awareness about their products or services. Hence, companies are increasingly integrating influencers into their marketing strategies to ultimately influence social media users. However, the challenge for companies is to select credible influencers from the high number of potential cooperation partners, as credibility is an essential aspect for the influencers’ persuasive power.
The modern world of consumption is characterized by the steadily growing e-commerce sector and a large variety of shops, brands and providers. According to figures from the Federal Statistical Office (2019), 84% of Germans have already ordered something online and almost a third of users make at least one online purchase per week (Statista, 2019). These numbers have grown since the pandemic, as 36% of Germans indicate that they now purchase more products online (Bitkom, 2020). In order to make the right purchase decision in this unmanageable variety of offers, consumers are increasingly orienting themselves towards recommendations from other customers who have already bought a product and who share their experiences with other users (Lis & Korchmar, 2013). While in the past buyers were mainly influenced by advertising and personal sales advice, studies have shown that today many consumers not only proactively seek digital recommendations, but also prefer them over traditional information sources (Bickart & Schindler, 2001; Heckathorne, 2010; Mourali et al., 2005). This digital communication between consumers is known as electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) and the most relevant form are online product reviews (Lis & Korchmar, 2013).