Why They Buy Module #6 Attitudes and Persuasive Communications | Michael Solomon | Skillshare

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Why They Buy Module #6 Attitudes and Persuasive Communications

teacher avatar Michael Solomon, Expert on Consumer Behavior

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (51m)
    • 1. Introduction to Attitudes

    • 2. 6.1 Overview of Attitudes

    • 3. 6

    • 4. 6

    • 5. 6

    • 6. 6

    • 7. 6

    • 8. 6

    • 9. 6

    • 10. 6

    • 11. 6

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About This Class

Attitudes help to determine whom you choose to date, what music you listen to, whether you will recycle aluminum cans, or whether you choose to become a consumer researcher for a living. In this module


we’ll consider the contents of an attitude, how we form attitudes, and how we measure them. We will also review some of the surprisingly complex relationships between attitudes and behavior and then take a closer look at how marketers can change these attitudes.

Meet Your Teacher

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Michael Solomon

Expert on Consumer Behavior


Hello, I'm Michael.  Here's some background about me and what I do:

Michael “wrote the book” on understanding consumers. Literally. Hundreds of thousands of business students have learned about Marketing from his 30+ books including Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being -- the most widely used book on the subject in the world.

 Michael’s mantra: We don’t buy products because of what they do. We buy them because of what they mean. He advises global clients in leading industries such as apparel and footwear (Calvin Klein, Levi Strauss, Under Armour, Timberland), financial services and e-commerce (eBay, Progressive), CPG (Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s), retailing (H&M), sports (CrossFit, Philadelphia Eagles), manufacturing (DuPont... See full profile

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1. Introduction to Attitudes: hi there. And welcome to my next module module number six. In the course on why we buy, I'm Michael Solomon. And in this module, I'm gonna talk to you a bit about attitudes and persuasive communications. So what is more central to marketing than persuasive communications? In other words, trying to inform people or change their minds about your product or service? And so we know that based on all this information we've been talking about in prior modules , how people are organizing it and how they're acting on that basis, a lot of this results in a fixed attitude or a tendency to evaluate something positively or negatively and act on that. This is a very crucial part of the entire marketing process. And so a big part of that is how do we structure our communications, our messages about our brand in order to motivate people to take a second look at it if they chose another brand or basically to present information to them in a certain way that will allow them to make an informed decision based upon what they know about our brand versus other brands. So if you have anything to do with developing communications, advertising, sales, promotions, etcetera. You certainly need to know about attitudes. And I think you're going toe really benefit a lot from this module. Number six on attitudes and persuasive communications, so enjoy it. 2. 6.1 Overview of Attitudes: We're now at module number six, where we're going to talk about a topic that I think is of interest to just about anybody who deals with customers. And that is attitudes and persuasion. We use the word attitude a lot. People say you have a bad attitude, or happy hour might advertise that you should come in and adjust your attitude. So Attitudes air really central to the way we understand how consumers comprehend products and brands, how they think about them and how they decide what to do in relation to them, for example, buying them or not. So what do we mean by an attitude? Well, simply an attitude is a lasting general evaluation of people, including oneself, as we've seen in prior modules, objects, advertisements or issues. Consumers have attitudes toward a wide range of attitude objects from very product specific behaviors. For example, you use crest toothpaste rather than Colgate tomb or general consumption related behaviors , for example, how often you should brush your teeth 3. 6: as with a lot of things in life and certainly in marketing, the concept of an attitude is actually a lot more complicated than we usually assume. It turns out that attitudes are complex mixture of thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Let's take a look at a recent advertising campaign to understand these distinctions. Subaru of America found that even though most auto buyers had heard of the brand, very few had strong emotional connections to it. However, current Subaru owners did express strong passion and even love for the brand. Subaru and it's agency devised a new campaign that it rolled out in stages. The heart stage focused on the love that owners show for their cars and commercial shared personal stories of owners attachment to their Subaru's. The head stage ads, in contrast, presented the rational side of specific car models as they emphasize how the vehicles benefit their owners in terms of reliability, economy and other functional attributes. Finally, the wallet adds, dealt with the financial details of actually buying a Subaru, including special offers from local dealers. So, like the Subaru campaign attitude, has three components affect behavior and cognition. Affect describes how a consumer feels about an attitude object behavior refers to the actions he or she takes toward the object or in some cases at least, his or her intentions to take action. And finally, cognition is what he believes to be true about the attitude object. When we put these three components together, we come up with what is commonly called the ABC model of attitudes affect behavior and cognition. But it's not enough just to acknowledge that an attitude includes all of these components. It still leaves us with a very important question, and that is, which comes first knowing feeling or doing. And it turns out that there's been a tremendous amount of work that's been done to answer this question, and researchers have identified several what they call hierarchies of effects. That is the order in which these components appear to generate an attitude. So the short answer to which comes first, kind of like the chicken or the egg is it depends on the situation. Maybe that's not the definitive answer you were hoping for, but that's kind of the best we can do. So let's take a look at separate hierarchies that are operating under different kinds of circumstances, the first of these, and probably the most widely used and discussed, is thehyperfix involvement hierarchy. And you'll recall that we discussed the concept of involvement in an earlier module when we talked about factors that increase or decrease consumers motivation to engage with a product or a message. The high involvement hierarchy assumes that a consumer approaches a product decision as a problem solving process. First, she forms beliefs about a product as she accumulates knowledge regarding relevant attributes. Once these beliefs have been assembled, they are evaluated emotionally. That is, how do I feel about these beliefs? How important are they to my purchase decision? And after all, this complex stuff goes on and we're going to talk quite a bit more about this in the next module on decision making, then we have the final stage, which is due in other words, the person goes out and actually makes the purchase, if that's the eventual decision. In contrast, it turns out that many product decisions are characterized mawr by a low involvement hierarchy, and this assumes that the consumer initially doesn't have a strong preference for one brand over another. Instead, she acts on the basis of limited knowledge and forms an evaluation on Lee after she has bought the product. So here the attitude is more likely to come about through a process of behavioral learning , which hopefully you'll recall from our discussion in module number two on learning good or bad experiences reinforce the person's initial choice. Ironically, while marketers like to assume that consumers usually are displaying a high involvement hierarchy because that's the way they feel about their brands, it's in fact probably more common to be dealing with a low involvement situation. And finally, we have the experiential hierarchy. This assumes that people act on the basis of their emotional reactions. So first we display an emotional response to a product that's really cool or I love it or it's beautiful or I hate it. We buy it. And then we think more about the experience that we had and decide whether or not it was positive, resulting in an attitude. So the experiential hierarchy highlights the idea that intangible product attributes such as package design, advertising, brand names and even the nature of the setting in which the experience occurs can help shape our attitudes toward a brand. The take away here is that you need to think about what hierarchy characterizes the way your customers form attitudes toward your brand and in particular, don't assume that they always think first and act later. It's quite possible that you're dealing with a category where emotional responses, for example, are far more important than cognitive ones. 4. 6: we've seen that an attitude is a complex mixture of beliefs, feelings and behaviors in a prior module on the self. We also talked about the way you have attitudes toward your own self. And of course, you have attitudes towards other people. So let's take that perspective a step farther and talk about how your customers form attitudes toward your brand and toward those of your competitors, much like they do toward other people. Several years ago, I had an interesting experience. I gave a talk in Tokyo at an advertising agency, and after the talk, ah, young woman came up to me to tell me that she had enjoyed the talk and so on, and she asked me an interesting question. She said, May I ask what brand are you? And I was kind of puzzled by this, and I said, Well, I'm you know, I'm Michael. That's my brand. And she said, No, but But what brand are you? And? And I realized eventually that she meant what luxury brand like coach or Louis Vuitton and so on did I identify with? And I realized that especially in Japan, people, many of them are extremely taken with luxury products, and to the extent that they really think of them as peers, they really think of them as people and identify with them very strongly. And that experience really opened my eyes to the importance of thinking about a concept that I want to share with you now, which is the brand personality. And we described this as the set of traits that people attribute to a product as if it were a person. And we know that the brands that people use 10 to really color our perceptions of those users. We've already talked about that here. Here's a great example. Let's think about Apple users, and we know that there's a certain snobbery that comes with many Apple users when they looked down upon their poor PC brethren. So are Apple users really better than the rest of us? Do they believe that they are? Well, a lot of people seem to believe that whole story. In one survey of 20,000 people, in fact, many respondents claimed that iPad users are unkind and have little empathy. They describe these users as quote a selfish elite. Respondents were also highly likely to describe Apple users as wealthy, well educated but power hungry, overachieving, unkind and non altruistic. So that's quite a complicated attitude to have towards a group of people who have just chosen to buy one product over another. Let's look at another example of brand personality at work. An advertising agency wrote the brief that you see here to help it figure out how it should portray one of its clients. They described the client as creative, unpredictable and imp. He not only walks and talks but has the ability to sing, blush, wink and work with little devices like Pointers. He can also play musical instruments. His walking motion is characterized as a swagger. He is made of dough and has mass. Now that last sentence should be a good tip off. Can you guess? Based on this description of the client, exactly who he is, the answer is the Pillsbury Doughboy. So what you've read is the creative brief that went into the generation of this particular brand personality. Now this approach, which is widely used in advertising, is also the basis for a fairly new technique that I'm seeing a lot of nowadays in advertising agencies, and that is the approach that's come to be called brand storytelling. I think this is a really smart way to think about how you can create a brand personality and bring your brand to life. Essentially, this technique relies upon giving a product a rich backstory so that you can involve customers in its history or in its experience. And I talked a bit about this approach in the earlier module on involvement and motivation . A lot of these brands storytelling techniques are based upon reader response theory, and this is a widely accepted perspective in literature that focuses on the role of the reader in interpreting a story rather than just relying upon the authors version. So reading in this sense is very much an interactive experience. This approach recognizes that people and consumers don't necessarily just want to listen to a manufactured set of details in a very passive manner. Rather, they want to participate in the story by filling in the blanks. Some of these tactics air based upon a tendency that many people exhibit and that is known as anthropomorphism. This refers to our tendency to attribute human characteristics two objects or animals, and this tendency, of course, has come in very handy for advertising creatives over the years. And certainly you would agree that many of the great advertising where brand stories that have been told have been based upon characters. In some cases, they're talking objects or certainly talking animals or a food item like a peanut animals like a Jaguar or a cheetah, even mythical elves or jolly green giants, so many characters that have captivated our imagination and really helped to bring a brand to life. Researchers have identified some personality dimensions that are particularly potent as a way to create a brand personality, for example, old fashioned, wholesome and traditional, surprising, lively and with it serious, intelligent and efficient, glamorous, romantic and sexy and finally rugged, outdoorsy, tough or athletic. So brand marketers work very hard to develop these brand personalities and to present a picture of a brand that people want to know that people want to hang out with, because that's what's gonna make people by the brand. They also employ a variety of techniques to help them understand the brand personalities that people think about when they think about their brands, whether these were the ones they intended or not. So for example, Adidas asked kids in focus groups to imagine that the brand came to life and was at a party , and to tell them what they would expect the brand to be doing there. The kids responded that Adidas would be hanging around the keg with its pals talking about girls. Well, maybe that's not so bad until you consider that They also told the researchers that Nike would be with the girls. The take away here is you should ask yourself this question, and I know it's kind of a weird question, but indulge me for a moment. If your brand came toe life as a person, who would he or she be? If you can't give a detail response to this question, it's possible that your brand identity is too vague to be useful, especially if you are able to give a detailed response about the personalities of some of your competitors. 5. 6: we've briefly reviewed some background on just what attitudes are and the components that go into them for the rest of the module. I want to focus on some really important issues that have to do with how you change these attitudes because, after all, that's usually a key component of your advertising or communications strategy. So in this section, I'm going to review a few of the basic dimensions that researchers have discovered that make it more likely that people will be persuaded by your messages. The first is the principle of reciprocity. We are more likely to give if first we receive. That's why including money in a mail survey questionnaire. In some cases, as little as a nickel or a dime increases the response rate compared to surveys that come without any financial incentives in the envelope. Another basic is scarcity. Like people, items are more attractive when they aren't available. In one study, researchers asked people to rate the quality of chocolate chip cookies participants who only got one cookie. I liked it better than did those who evaluated mawr of the same kind of cookie. This helps to explain why we tend to value limited edition items. Another basic is authority, we believe an authoritative source much more readily than one that is less authoritative. That explains why the American public's opinion on an issue can shift by as much as 2% when The New York Times, but not the National Enquirer, runs an article about it. Yet another basic is consistency. People try not to contradict themselves in terms of what they say and do about an issue. In a study, students at an Israeli university who solicited donations to help disabled people doubled the amount they normally collected in a neighborhood if they first asked the residents to sign a petition supporting that cause two weeks before they actually asked for the donations. If you're in sales, you may recognize this as the famous foot in the door technique liking. We agree with those whom we like or admire. In a study. Good looking fundraisers raised almost twice as much as other volunteers who were not as attractive. So we talked at length in the last module about the importance of physical attractiveness. Here's a concrete example of that, and finally, consensus in general. We consider what others do before we decide what to do. So another study found that people are more likely to donate to a charity if they first see a list of the names of their neighbors who have already done so. So don't make the ask without considering factors that encourage people to comply with your request. 6. 6: Now we're going to start to get into the weeds about some of the specific changes you can make in your communications in order to get consumers to rethink their attitudes. First, in this section, I'm going to briefly review several components of persuasive messages that you can use to change the way customers feel, think and act about your product. Let's take a look at some tactical message decisions. Suppose, for example, that out he wants to create an advertising campaign for a new ragtop that it targets too young drivers. Audi has a number of tactical decisions to make. The source of a message helps to determine whether consumers will accept it. So who will drive the car in the ad? Should it be a NASCAR driver? Ah, Career woman, a reality show star. How should Audi construct the message? Should it emphasize the negative consequences of being left out when others drive cool cars and you still tool around in your old clunker? Or perhaps it should directly compare the car with others already on the market. Or maybe present a fantasy in which a tough minded female executive meets a dashing stranger while she cruises down the highway in a rowdy What media should we use to transmit the message? A magazine ad, a TV commercial, an online ad? So as we look at all these decisions, we recognize that there are in fact, many elements of persuasive communications, and each one can be quite significant. We have the source of the message. We have the message itself and how it's constructed. We have the medium that will be used to convey the message. We have to think about characteristics of the receivers that make them more or less receptive to different kinds of appeals. And finally, we have a feedback loop that gives us some information about how effective our strategies have been so that we can modify them to be even more effective in the future. The take away here is that the medium really is the message. The way you say something is as important as what you say 7. 6: Let's take a closer look at the source of the message, which can play a huge role in determining whether your customers are going to bother to pay attention to what you have to say it all. We know that several factors influence the effectiveness of a message source. When we attribute the same message to different sources and measure the degree of attitude change that occurs after listeners hear it, we can isolate which characteristics of a communicator cause attitude, change. Credibility and attractiveness are two particularly important source characteristics. So how do communications specialists decide whether to stress credibility or attractiveness when they select a message source? Generally, an attractive source is more effective for receivers, who tend to be sensitive about social acceptance and others opinions. It's better for products with high social risk. On the other hand, a credible or experts source is more powerful. When he or she speaks to internally oriented people, it's generally better for products that are high in physical or financial risk. Let's take a look at a commercial that we would never see today that illustrates the importance of credible sources. Check this out. You know, if you were to follow a busy doctor is. He makes his daily round of calls. You find yourself having a mighty busy time keeping up with him. Time out for many usually means just long enough to enjoy a cigarette because they know what a pleasure it is to smoke a mild, good tasting cigarette, their particular about the brand they choose. In a repeated national survey, doctors in all branches of medicine doctors in all parts of the country were asked, What cigarettes do you smoke, doctor? Once again, the brand named most was Camel. Yes, According to this repeated nationwide survey, more doctors smoke camels than any other cigarette. Why not change to camels for the next 30 days and see what a difference it makes in your smoking and joint? See how camels agree with your throat? See how mild and good tasting cigarette can be. I think it's safe to say that times have certainly changed, But the basic principle you saw in this commercial hasn't a credible source is particularly persuasive when the consumer has yet to learn much about a product or has not yet formed an opinion of it. Switching over to source attractiveness. This refers to the social value that recipients attribute to a communicator source. Attractiveness relates to the person's physical appearance, personality, social status or, in some cases, similarity to the receiver. As we saw in the last module, we assume that good looking people are smarter, hipper and happier than the rest of us. This is sometimes referred to as what is beautiful is good, and researchers have found strong evidence for a halo effect, which we have also discussed earlier. In other words, we assume that people who rank high on one dimension also excel on others. The take away is that the source of your messages to customers is crucial. Choose carefully and match attractiveness or expertise to the needs of the audience. 8. 6: We also know that the way you structure the message itself helps to determine how persuasive it will be. And indeed, very subtle aspects of the way a source delivers a message can influence our interpretation of what he or she says. Here's an example. Should we talk about you? We or the A study found that if a source refers to the brand as you, we or more abstract Lee, the brand that changes how people feel about the product, a more intimate reference can bolster feelings about brands with whom the customer has a positive relationship. But it can also be off putting if it's inconsistent with how the person feels about the product. So just that one little word can make a big difference. A brand that wants customers to see it as a friend by depicting a model using it is more effective when the product image appears horizontally and near the model. On the other hand, if a brand wants customers to see it as a leader, the advertiser will have better luck if it physically places the brand above the user and farther away. So what are the most important features to include in a message. An analysis of more than 1000 commercials identified the factors that determine whether a commercial message will be persuasive. The single most important feature is this. Does the communication stress a unique attributes or benefit of the product? Let's flip the question a bit and ask What is it that turns few hours off when they are exposed to commercial messages? A landmark study of irritating advertising examined more than 500 primetime network commercials that had registered negative reactions by consumers. Here are the factors that the study identified that led to the most negative responses. One. The situation is contrived or over dramatized. A person is put down in terms of appearance, knowledge or sophistication. An important relationship, such as a marriage is threatened. There is a graphic demonstration of physical discomfort. Or finally, the commercial creates uncomfortable tension because of an argument or an antagonistic character. Take away here, I guess, is don't work too hard to make your point or you'll shoot yourself in the foot 9. 6: Let's look now at how specifically you present the arguments that you want to make in a persuasive message. One question that marketers often ask is. Should you repeat the message? Repetition convey a double edged sword. We usually need multiple exposures to a stimulus before learning occurs. However, excessive exposure can cause advertising wear out, which can result in negative reactions to an ad after we see it. Too much research evidence indicates that three's the charm. When it comes to exposing an audience to a product claim, additional messages tend to trigger skepticism and actually reverse any positive impact. So the take away is first of all, that a one off message rarely works. Try to expose your customers to a minimum of three executions, but avoid the temptation to saturate them with too many messages. So how do we structure the argument? There are a lot of ways to skin a cat, and we have to make some important choices here. One approach, which we see most often is to employ supportive arguments. Most messages merely present one or more positive attributes about the product or reasons to buy it. Each of these is a supportive argument However, an alternative is to use reputational arguments or two sided messages in which the message presents both positive and negative information. Under the right circumstances, reputational arguments that first raise a negative issue and then dismiss it can be quite effective. It's very similar to sales techniques that try to anticipate customers objections and then provide ways around those objections. This reputational approach increases source credibility because it reduces reporting bias. This means that the receiver assumes the source has carefully considered both sides of the argument. Also, people who were skeptical about the product may be more receptive to a balanced argument Instead of a whitewash. We saw one example of a reputational strategy when General Motors began a messaging campaign after its meltdown during the great recession after the company declared bankruptcy and add declared, Let's be completely honest. No company wants to go through this. When experts have strong arguments on their side, they're usually more effective if they express some uncertainty rather than stating unequivocally that they're correct. Another question is, should you draw a conclusion for the customer? Consumers who make their own inferences instead of having ideas spoon fed to them will form stronger, more accessible attitudes. On the other hand, leaving the conclusion ambiguous increases the chance that the consumer will not form the desired attitude. However, if the arguments are hard to follow or consumers lack the motivation to follow them, it's safer for the message to draw conclusions. Well, it's time for a pop quiz. Let's take a look. If a customer is skeptical about your brand, it's best to use a supportive arguments. Be reputational arguments. See reciprocal arguments or d counterintuitive arguments. If you picked be reputational arguments, you've just made a good argument for continuing with this module. So good job. The take away here is that if your customer is not yet convinced, consider presenting both the pros and cons. If he or she is convinced, However, just say why your arguments are correct. Another question that comes up very often should you compare your brand to your competitors . Comparative advertising refers to a message that compares to arm or recognizable brands and weighs them in terms of one or more specific attributes like drawing conclusions. This strategy can cut both ways, especially if the sponsor depicts the competition in a nasty or negative way. Let's take a look at a well known comparative advertising execution. Large pepperoni pizza. I should think early. Come to you were bought. Now you family, but we're a civilised Bruce. I think chance toe compete here. Other comparative advertising strategies may be less effective. Although some comparative ads do result in desired attitude changes, they may also be lower in believability and stir up sourced irrigation. That is, the consumer made out the credibility of a biased presentation. And in some cultures, such as Asia, comparative advertising is rare because people find such a confrontational approach to be fairly offensive. We don't seem to have that problem here in the West, so putting your competition in a negative light can backfire unless the source is credible and can substantiate the criticism. 10. 6: We've covered a lot of material in this module, but we have one more big piece to go over, and that is the specific type of appeal you want to use as you construct your persuasive messages. One of the most commonly used techniques, for better or worse, is a so called sex appeal. And obviously there are certain benefits to this approach because, as this billboard indicates, sex appeals do tend to get consumers attention. And we know that that's one of the very biggest challenges that marketer's face today. On the other hand, there are a lot of downsides to employing this approach. One is that there are very strong cultural differences and subcultural differences in terms of how receptive consumers are to this kind of messaging strategy. So if you travel around the world, you realize pretty quickly that there are some countries like India, for example, that are much more conservative than we are here in the US But on the other hand, there are other areas of the world like Scandinavia that would make many of us blush. So you have to be pretty careful about how you're going to use this approach if at all, there are also gender differences, and it won't surprise you to learn that. For example, female nudity in print dads generates negative feelings and tension among female consumers , whereas men's reactions are more positive. Although erotic content does appear to draw attention to an ad, it's use may actually be counterproductive. I hate to sound like a prude, but according to one study, 61% of the response and said that sexual imagery in a product's ad would make them less likely to buy the advertised product. Generally speaking, sex appeals are most effective for products where the message is appropriate, such as beauty related items. But they can be counterproductive in other categories, so use them carefully. Another common approach is to incorporate humor into advertising, and this usually works a bit better than sexual appeals. Although it has its limits as well. We do find that recognition scores for humorous ads are better than average. One reason that silly ads makeshift opinions is that they provide a source of distraction. A funny ad inhibits counter arguing, in which a consumer thinks of reasons why he doesn't agree with the message. This increases the likelihood of message acceptance because the consumer doesn't come up with arguments against the product. However, as with sex appeals, there's an important caveat in order here. And that is that we find huge cultural differences in terms of what people find funny versus offensive or inappropriate. Yet another type of appeal is a fear appeal, which emphasises the negative consequences that can occur unless the consumer changes of behavior, or at least an attitude fear. Appeals are common in social marketing contexts, where organizations are trying to get consumers to stop unhealthy behaviors. For example, do you fear appeals work while the evidence is mixed. But most of it indicates that very graphic ones like the one you see in this picture probably do not work very well because they're so overwhelming that people are motivated to find ways to explain them away or to decide that they just don't apply to them. So the available evidence indicates that fear does work, but Onley in a moderate amount, don't overdo it with the fear appeal, or you'll find that it's counterproductive. So the take away is that both humor and fear will work under the right conditions. However, in both cases, this strategy can backfire if the message is inappropriate for the audience or if the imagery is too extreme. What about um, or complicated or even artistic approach to messages? The message as an art form, that is what I like to call metaphors be with you. Sorry for a little joke there. Advertising creatives rely consciously or not on well known literary devices to communicate meanings. Many ads take the form of an allegory or a story about an abstract trade or concept that advertisers tell in the context of a person, animal, vegetable or object. This approach should be familiar to you because it came up earlier in the context of our discussion of the power of anthropomorphism and the importance of creating a strong back story for your product. Resonance is a form of presentation that combines a play on words with a relevant picture. So an ad for a diet strawberry shortcake Desert, for example, might bear the copy buried treasure so that the brand conveys qualities we associate with very treasure, such as valuable and hidden. Let's finish up with a really important question. That attitude researchers have devoted a lot of thought to and that is. Do we emphasize the source or the message? Another way to think about this in sales terms is, Do we sell the steak or the sizzle? And my guess is that you'll find people who come down on both sides of this issue. So which is it the sizzle or the steak? You can probably guess the answer. I'm going to give you. It depends. Once again, we can get a lot of guidance about selling the steak versus the sizzle by looking at research that's been done on the elaboration Likelihood Model or the E L M, which is very well known in social psychology. As we saw in module number four. Ah, consumers. Level of involvement determines which cognitive processes will activate when she receives a message. In other words, her level of involvement will determine the likelihood that she will elaborate upon the message or give it a lot of thought. Like a traveler who comes to a fork in the road, she chooses one path or the other. The direction she takes determines which aspects of the market and communication will work and which will fall on deaf ears. This in turn, influences which aspects of a communication she processes. One fork in the road is known as the central route to persuasion. When we find the information in a persuasive message, relevant or interesting, we pay careful attention to it. We focus on the arguments the marketer presents and generate cognitive responses to this content, so this is a fairly high involvement situation. In contrast, we take the peripheral route to persuasion when we're not really motivated to think about the marketers arguments. Instead, we're likely to use other cues to decide how to react to the message. These cues include the products package, the attractiveness of the source or the context in which the message appears. But this leads us to what I like to call the paradox of low involvement. When we don't care as much about a product, the way it's presented, for example, who endorses it or the visuals that go with it actually increase in importance. We buy low involvement products, chiefly because the marketer designs a sexy package or chooses a popular spokesperson, or perhaps creates a stimulating shopping environment. So our final take away for this module is that the steak is more important for involving or complicated purchases. In contrast, the sizzle is more important for low involvement purchases, where the customer is more persuaded by package designs and other peripheral cues. 11. 6: well, we certainly covered a lot of ground in this module on attitudes and persuasive communications. So let's just quickly review the major topics that we discussed. First, we saw that your customers form attitudes toward your brand and those of your competitors, much like they do toward other people. So it's important for you to think of your brand as a person and be as proactive as possible in making it the kind of person you want it to be. There are several important components you need to consider when you try to change consumers attitudes toward your products and services. And keep in mind that attitudes are a pretty complex structure. They're composed of feelings, thoughts and behaviors. We saw that several factors influenced the effectiveness of a message source. The most important ones. Our credibility and attractiveness, the way you structure your message determines how persuasive it will be. And that includes not only how you word the message, but how you frame your arguments. For example, do you just provide supportive arguments, or do you anticipate negative feelings about the brand and acknowledge those in your message? And finally, we saw that the specific type of appeal a message uses influences how your customers respond to you. We reviewed several commonly used types of appeals, such as sex, fear and humor, and I stress the importance of being sure that your message is appropriate for your audience, not just what you think is good, but what your audience will perceive to be effective and appropriate. And more generally, we talked about the elaboration, likelihood, model and what I called the paradox of low involvement, which means that, ironically, the less important your product to your customers. The Maurin important it is that you focus on some of the selling features of that products , such as the design of the product and who endorses it and what you say about it, because the peripheral route to persuasion usually means that consumers are not going to focus so much on the content of the message and a lot of facts and information about the product, but rather the way the messages said who were almost to the finish line. In this course, our next module is number seven decision making