How does the presence or absence of textual argumentation affect the persuasiveness of an advertisement in durable goods?
Accounts and reasons form an important part of spoken communication. In the field of advertising, arguments is a more common term. This study investigates the effect of textual arguments in durable good advertisements on the persuasiveness of that ad. Persuasiveness consisted of three dimensions: attitude towards the advertisement, attitude towards the product and purchase intention. The three advertisements that have been created for this study advertise a laptop, car and washing machine. The choice for these durable products has been based on a research gap since durable products have been researched before, but not yet in the context of arguments in advertising. Prior research suggested that buying durable products requires more elaborate thinking, which is why an argument was expected to be effective. An experiment with a between-subjects design has been conducted among Dutch respondents (N = 175) who were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions. The first condition contained three durable good advertisements without an utilitarian argument, the second condition contained those same three durable good advertisements with an utilitarian argument. An One-way ANOVA showed that the overall persuasiveness was higher for the advertisements that contained an argument. After further analysing the three dimensions of persuasiveness on an individual level, it has been concluded that an argument in an advertisement is mostly useful to increase the attractiveness of that ad, rather than that of the product on its own. This leads to an increase in purchase intention, which is the main goal of advertising. However, it should be noticed that most respondents were not living independently and therefore are not likely to buy a car nor a washing machine, which is why future research could focus on respondents who live independently and therefore have a higher durable product involvement. Nonetheless, the advice for advertisers is to create utilitarian arguments for durable product advertisements to increase their sales.
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