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Does It Pay to Shock? Reactions to Shocking and Nonshocking Advertising Content among University Students


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    Although the use of shocking content in advertising appeals has been widely adopted, the effectiveness of such communication strategies has not been empirically investigated. In two laboratory studies, conducted in the context of HIV AIDS prevention, we examine the effectiveness of shock advertising in comparison to the commonly used appeals of fear and information. Our findings suggest that shocking content in an advertisement significantly increases attention, benefits memory, and positively influences behavior among a group of university students.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Advertising Research.

    Volume (Year): 43 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 03 (September)
    Pages: 268-280

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:jadres:v:43:y:2003:i:03:p:268-280_03

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    Cited by:
    1. Sabri, Ouidade & Obermiller, Carl, 2012. "Consumer perception of taboo in ads," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 869-873.
    2. Giebelhausen, Michael & Novak, Thomas P., 2012. "Web advertising: Sexual content on eBay," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 840-842.
    3. Sabri, Ouidade, 2006. "Vers une meilleure compréhension des réactions du récepteur face aux annonces publicitaires « taboues ». Une étude exploratoire menée dans deux contextes culturels : marocain et français," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4232, Paris Dauphine University.
    4. Hartmann, Patrick & Apaolaza, Vanessa & D'Souza, Clare & Echebarria, Carmen & Barrutia, Jose M., 2013. "Nuclear power threats, public opposition and green electricity adoption: Effects of threat belief appraisal and fear arousal," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1366-1376.


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    1. Shock advertising in Wikipedia English ne '')
    2. Shock value in Wikipedia English ne '')


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