Same meat, different gravy: the effect of food descriptions in advertisements on the attitude towards healthy food.
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The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of language in advertisements on the attitude towards healthy food. Although there exists a common notion that healthy food is not tasty (Raghunathan, Naylor, & Hoyer, 2006), several field experiments have showed that using indulgent language can increase consumption of vegetables (Turnwald et al., 2019; Turnwald, Boles, & Crum, 2017). This effect has, however, yet to be studied from an advertising perspective. In this experiment, participants saw six advertisements for healthy dishes with three different types of descriptions (basic, nutritional, indulgent). They were asked to evaluate the advertisements on desirability, persuasiveness, and advertising credibility. A significant effect of language on advertising credibility was found: the basic food descriptions were perceived to be more credible than the nutritional ones. No other effects were significant. In general, none of the hypotheses were supported, thereby deviating from previous research. Limitations and implications are discussed.
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