The moderating role of construal level on the evaluation of emotional appeal vs. cognitive appeal advertisements

Abstract

This article proposes that construal level moderates consumer evaluation of different appeals (emotional vs. cognitive appeals) in advertisements. Low-level construal is associated with close psychological distance; this condition implies that people with low-level construal can feel an emotion more intensely than those with high-level construal. Consequently, consumers with low-level construal could positively relate with the emotional appeal ad, and they would evaluate an ad with emotional appeal more favorably than an ad with cognitive appeal. However, this effect does not occur among consumers who construe information at high-level, due to the fact that they are able to focus on the central and positive features of different appeals.

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support from Ansley Burns and Charmant Sengabira Ndereyimana for the participation of their students in this research. The authors are also thankful to Joshua Littleton and Lilian Florian for their assistance to proofread this article. Finally, the authors acknowledge the constructive feedback from the editor and two anonymous reviewers.

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Correspondence to Felix Septianto.

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Septianto, F., Pratiwi, L. The moderating role of construal level on the evaluation of emotional appeal vs. cognitive appeal advertisements. Mark Lett 27, 171–181 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11002-014-9324-z

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Keywords

  • Construal level
  • Emotional appeal
  • Cognitive appeal
  • Persuasion
  • Advertising