February 28th, 2012
Gross ads disgust consumers into action
By Bruce Horovitz
If you don’t like stories that are totally gross, stop reading right now. Did you stop reading? Of course not. And it works the same way for advertisements, marketers are discovering. That, at least, according to a five-year study to be released Tuesday by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.
Again and again, the study found, advertisements that try to simply “scare” consumers into actions — such as buying protective sunscreens or avoiding dangerous drugs — are far less effective than ads that also “disgust” consumers into taking the action. The best way to elicit disgust: Display totally gross images.