Posted on 10th May 2011No Responses
Vivid ads can create false memories about products?

Washington, May 10 (IANS) People who read vivid print ads for fictitious products actually come to believe they’ve tried those products, say researchers.

‘Exposing consumers to imagery-evoking advertising increases the likelihood that a consumer mistakenly believes he/she has experienced the advertised product,’ write study authors Priyali Rajagopal of Southern Methodist University and Nicole Montgomery from College of William and Mary.

In one study, they showed participants different types of ads for a fictitious product: Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Fresh Microwave Popcorn.

Other participants ate what they believed to be the popcorn, even though it was another Redenbacher product, reports the Journal of Consumer Research.

A week after the study, all the participants were asked to report their attitudes toward the product and how confident they were in their attitudes.

‘Students who saw the low imagery ad that described the attributes of the popcorn were unlikely to report having tried the popcorn, and they exhibited less favourable and less confident attitudes toward the popcorn than the other students,’ say the authors.

People who had seen the high imagery ads were just as likely as participants who actually ate the popcorn to report that they had tried the product. They were also as confident in their memories of trying the product as participants who actually sampled it.

‘This suggests that viewing the vivid advertisement created a false memory of eating the popcorn, despite the fact that trying the fictitious product would have been impossible,’ the authors write.

‘Consumers need to be vigilant while processing high-imagery advertisements because vivid ads can create false memories of product experience,’ they said.