Research Article
 

A Comparative Study of Humour Versus Emotional Advertisements on Consumer Behavior



R.K. Srivastava
 
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ABSTRACT

Background: The success of a brand depends on the kind of response it gets from the masses. The sale of the product is directly proportional to the kind of connecting a buyer falls for it. It is a widely known fact that people enjoy a good laugh, but can really ignore the fact that where buying habits are considered, emotions play a major role as well. A comparative study of emotion and humour advertisement and their impact on dependent variables like purchase intentions; likeability and brand recall is done for the first time keeping Eastern culture in mind. Objective: The objective of the study is to understand the influence of emotional and humour based advertisements on consumer’s behaviour towards brands and their purchase behaviour of brands. Materials and Methods: It is a primary study involving 202 respondents within the age-group of 18-55 years. They are shown a combination of 6 advertisements, which consisted of 3 emotional and 3 humorous advertisements in an alternating fashion and their opinion is recorded. Results: Emotional and humorous advertisements have different liking and recall amongst consumers. Number of people who recollected brands is more for emotional ads than for funny advertisement. The purchase intention is more for products with emotional advertisements as compared to products with humorous advertisement. Emotional advertisement leads to a higher degree of purchase intentions for low involved products. Conclusion: The study concluded that an emotional advertisement compared to a humorous advertisement is more effective measured in terms of brand image, likeability, purchase intentions and brand recall as per present study. The present study gives an insight on impact of emotional and humour advertisement on likeability, brand recall and purchase intention. Managers of global brands must consider Eastern culture while, deciding the type of advertisement. High-involved and low-involved products have a role to play on brand recall and purchase intentions. Type of advertisement will have an impact on such action. Impact on the type of advertisement on a comparative study basis of brand image is another interesting study.

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  How to cite this article:

R.K. Srivastava , 2016. A Comparative Study of Humour Versus Emotional Advertisements on Consumer Behavior. Asian Journal of Marketing, 10: 8-21.

DOI: 10.3923/ajm.2016.8.21

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ajm.2016.8.21
 
Received: April 28, 2016; Accepted: May 20, 2016; Published: June 15, 2016



INTRODUCTION

How advertising works are the most important issue prized both academically and spectrally. Understanding this process will contribute much to deciphering the codes for effective advertising. The importance of a story in advertisements is essential for their recall. If only facts and figures are bombarded to consumers regarding a product, they are less likely to pay attention to it, as against introducing the product and bringing product features to the attention of the consumer in the form of a story. The main objective of advertisements is to grab attention, create likeability for the brand and create a lasting impression. Sometimes, it is observed that consumers remember the context or story of the advertisement paying no attention to the brand being advertised. Effective advertisement means the realization of the desired effects of ad communication for consumers. Such effects on consumers created by means of ads include positive feelings toward the ad, brand recall, ad recall, persuasion and buying. According to Du Plessis1, as well as Mehta and Purvis2, emotional contents in advertisement aid in the recall of the brand being advertised, whereas a study by Lee3 suggests that when an advertisement makes someone laugh, they are more likely to want to be associated with it.

The main objective of advertisements is to grab attention, create likeability for the brand and create a lasting impression. Sometimes, it is observed that consumers remember the context or story of the advertisement paying no attention to the brand being advertised. Humorous situations are said to lower a person’s defense and make one more attentive to the message. Lighter messages have lasting impressions and shared more frequently than serious messages. Humorous ads generally have a surprising twist which is unexpected by the audience. These ads are generally those which may need to be reinterpreted after the first watch? They force the audience’s mind to shift from the autopilot mode, making them think more and grabbing their attention in the process. Also, humorous ads generate positive feelings and bring about a feel good factor. Laughter releases hormones which relieve stress and gives the audience a feeling of satisfaction by activating the pleasure senses of the brains. Thus humour advertisement seem to be an effective way to promote a product to the audience. People like to watch funny things in advertisements as they. Kotler4 formulated the basic definitions of humorous advertisements by judging whether the advertisements included puns, satire, jokes, slapstick, irony and incongruities. Humour advertising is fast emerging as a new means of advertising. Nowaday’s humour has been used extensively in consumer product advertising on TV, radio and in print media as well since humour is the buzz word these days. It is the rooted belief that humour produces desirable effects in persuading consumers to adopt products5. Humour is found to influence consumer brand attitude and their brand information recall. Perceived humour appears to be affected by social setting, but unaffected by another mediating factor i.e., frequency of exposure. There are many advantages for using humour in advertising as people will tend to pay more attention to a humorous commercial, than a commercial that is a factual or serious one, opening themselves up to be influenced. They will actually look for those advertisements, which they consider as easier to remember and talk about them if they are good at humour.

Emotions have an important role in directing responses to stimuli. On the other hand, emotions are universally interpreted, it is a language of its own which does not need words and is associated with a wide variety of feelings. The most effective ads are those that strike a chord since emotions and memory are very closely linked. Emotional advertisements appeal to consumers is because consumers have a tendency to connect themselves with the advertisement protagonists and think and feel as if they are a part of the advertisement. Advertisers use emotional adverts quite often, especially in Asian countries, where greater preference is given to familial togetherness and social values. Thus, emotional advertisement try to override human logic; however, the disadvantage is that arousal of emotions pass away with time. Emotion, here a stimulating and attention-drawing factor, triggers and reinforces associations created by ads. This can also be described as a learning process1. The feeling is measurement of behaviours, thought, brand and advertisement. The brand preferences objective depends on advertisement feeling either negatives or positives6. Emotional appeals are grounded in the emotional, experiential side of consumption. They seek to make the consumer feel good about the product by creating a likeable or friendly brand, they rely on feelings for effectiveness. Both emotions as well as humorous ads are non-rational influence type of advertisements, which are not based on facts and figures, instead relying on a personal involvement with the consumer. Generally, it is found that high involvement products have emotional advertisements, whereas low involvement products are advertised in humorous ways. Also, emotional advertisements are lengthier than humorous adverts in order that the feelings or emotions are comprehended by the consumer in the way required. However, the question which remains is which of the two is more effective means to advertise? Will it lead to brand recall? Which type of advertisement will lead to better brand recall? Brand recall as a mean to measure the advertisement effectiveness. Recall is physiological factor that plays key role in human life related to everything. Recall rather than recalling knowledge from mind has more forward function as human internal process. At the same time, recall described as one of the important physiological factors of the learning process. The historical knowledge and experiences have significant impacts on current thinking, senses and behaviours7. Ads manifest their effect on the human brain by evoking emotions, connotations and recalls associated with a given brand1,8. In this sense, recall needs to be managed in brand communication as a process. Brand recall brand awareness is a dominant factor when it comes to deciding which brand the consumer will consider at the time of purchasing6. The senses of consumers for brand and advertisements play the main role for purchasing.

The success of a brand depends on the kind of response it gets from the masses. The sale of the product is directly proportional to the kind of connecting a buyer falls for it. It is a widely known fact that people enjoy a good laugh, but can really ignore the fact that where buying habits are considered, emotions play a major role as well. Companies spend huge amounts of money in understanding the behaviour of consumers and accordingly create advertisements to suit their brand as well as their audience. It is essential for companies to realize how to stand out amongst the sea of brands and alter consumer behaviour to suit their needs, in order to effectively utilize their advertising budgets. This study aims to understand what kind of advertisements makes the buyer switch. Hence, an attempt has been made to understand whether it is the humour content or the emotional aspect that makes the consumer loyalty to a particular product. The success of a brand depends on the kind of response it gets from the masses.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Testing the effectiveness of advertisement is a crucial academic and industrial effort and it is as well one of the longstanding irresolvable issues in the marketing communication domain9. According to Marshall et al.10, one of the major reasons for the complexity of examining advertising effectiveness is connected to the very complex nature of the marketing process and the multifaceted success-determinants of products and service success. Testing the relationship between advertisement content and audience’s beliefs are more realistic, logical and less controversial in literature. This is in line with definition given to the advertisement effectiveness by Marshall et al.10 as a holistic evaluation of measureable communication objectives such as audience recall, attention, brand linkage, uniqueness and persuasion. Gordon11 added that copy-testing analysis is a renowned analysis used in examining the aforementioned communication objectives and often used to reveal the communicative weaknesses and the strengths of advertisement content as well as to predict the audience responses. Advertisement effectiveness can be assessed in three different levels, which are the input level, the mental process level and the outcome level. The content of advertisement, advertisement appeals and media type represent the input level of every advertisement and the effectiveness of those different elements of advertisement can be examined with different methodology12. At the mental process level, effectiveness of advertisement is examined through cognitive, affective and co-native changes in audience as a result of advertisement exposure. Lastly, at the outcome level effectiveness is measured through some latent variables that are not directly connected to the act of advertising such as profit, purchase, revenues and financial performance. The analysis of this study will be based only on the input level of advertisement, which is by examining the effectiveness of an integrative strategy of advertisement content, as conceptualized by Leuthesser et al.13. Although the impact of advertising upon consumer behavior is understood to be cumulative, researchers have devised models to demonstrate the hierarchical effects of advertising on purchase intention14. Regardless of the type of message strategies adopted in any kind of advertisement, the basic communicative function of any advertisement message is to persuade by affecting both the emotional and rational motives of the audience towards the advertised brand15. Humour is one of the most popular techniques in modern advertisements. Although the use of humour in advertising has its origins in the early days of the business, its widespread use as advertising strategy is a more recent phenomenon. It is widely explained that humorous ads are much more effective in influencing the audience than non-humorous ads, especially when the audience already has a positive attitude toward the advertised brand16. In their study, Buijzen and Valkenburg17 also found seven humour categories or humour devices that an advertisement can contain. Those seven categories are almost the same as the seven categories of Kelly and Solomon18. Humorous advertisements and motivational values/10 devices, they used to be (a) satire/parody, (b) irony, (c) clownish humour, (d) slapstick humour, (e) surprise and (f) misunderstanding.

Table 1: Summary of selected literature review on role of humour in advertising
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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

Humour in advertising draws on extensive serious research on the use of humour from the fields of advertising and marketing, as well psychology, mass media and communications studies19. According to superiority theory, audiences are pleased by disparagement humour that reinforces their self-esteem through a downward social comparison20. The purpose of disparagement humour provides a positive psychological function to audiences21. It has shown in a meta-analysis that humour in advertisements leads to a more positive attitude towards the advertisement, a more positive attitude towards the brand and that humorous advertisements increase the purchase intention)22. Although it is found that humour in advertisement works Eisend22 only little study towards the global use of humour in advertisements has been performed23. In a study of Hatzithomas et al.23 the researchers highlighted that the use of humour within a print advertisement is different between the UK and Greece. They based their study on the taxonomy of Speck24 and found that aggressive humour is more used in the UK than in Greece and is also more. According to Eisend25, attention towards an advertisement leads to a more positive attitude towards the advertisement. If the advertisement is considered humorous, the attitude towards the advertisement will be positive. Eisend25 also states that when the attitude towards the advertisement is positive, the attitude towards the brand image is considered to be more positive and the purchase intention increases due to globalization, there is a need for cross-cultural approaches and global advertisements23. When the culture is different than the one the marketer has in his own country, the target group might have different attitudes; beliefs and motivation towards the product category of the product that the company wants to sell. A lot of effort has been spent on investigating the relationship between humour and a diverse array of response variables. Among these variables are the humour perceived by the consumer when viewing or hearing the ads, brand attitude and ad recall. It has been proposed that the effect of humorous ads passes beyond temporary amusement and influences message recall most of the time. Eventually, because of this process, consumers in the target audience form positive brand attitudes toward the product5,26. Research on humor in advertisements is something that keeps researchers busy27. Table 1 gives the selected summary.

Humorous appeal, the advertiser uses humour in the ad to attract audience. Emotional appeals have become very popular in marketing communication as marketers recognise that many purchase decisions are made on the basis of feelings and emotions since rational, functional based differentiation is often very difficult.

Lavidge and Steiner28 introduced what was probably the first advertising model to attempt to address the role of emotion. Their model advocated three components of advertising effectiveness-cognitive (the realm of thought), affective (the realm of emotions) and co-native (the realm of motives). They described a sequence of six stages-awareness (cognitive), knowledge (cognitive), liking (affective), Î preference (affective), conviction (co-native) and Î purchase (co-native) reflecting the thinking of the time, which was that cognition had primacy in processing over affect29. Nowadays the idea of conviction and motivation tends to be replaced by attitudes, so in simple terms, ‘conscious thinking’ leads to ‘feeling’ which leads to ‘attitude change’ which in due course leads to a purchase decision. Feelings are much more important and influential than in the West tend to think they are Gordon11. Emotional appeals are designed to evoke particular feelings or emotions in viewers, such as happiness, goodwill, pride, patriotism, anger and hope30. Emotional appeals are messages that try to stimulate positive or negative feelings to motivate a purchase31,32. Emotional appeals are grounded in the emotional, experiential side of consumption. Emotional appeals use stimulus that arouse emotions (e.g., warmth, friendship, joy or love) to influence attitudes and the willingness to purchase the brand33. It has been suggested that emotional appeals are more effective for service-related products34,35. An emotional-appeal may give message regarding sense of security, safety and pride. Emotional appeal as it directly evokes feelings and moods as well as or instead of evaluative reactions to the advertisement.

Table 2: Summary of selected literature review on role of emotion in advertising
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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

Consumer behaviour research emphasizes the importance of emotions for consumer’s choice32,36-38. In addition, neurological and neuropsychological study has strongly emphasized the importance of emotional processes for most kind of human behaviour39,40. Consumer research has demonstrated that emotions play an important role in decision making32,37 and marketers have long made attempts to target consumer’s emotions. Feelings play an important role in the formation of attitudes and judgments about advertisements38,41,42 and can be an important mediator in explaining the relationship between cognitive and behavioural reactions to advertising stimuli43-45. Emotional response prior study has demonstrated that advertising has the ability to elicit emotional responses from the consumer45-49. Summary of the study is given in Table 2.

Positive emotional responses from the advertisement may be related to more favourable attitudes towards the advertisement. Emotional responses to advertisements can elicit such a ‘liking’ for the product28 that individuals invoke hedonic rationalisations, where they justify succumbing to a temptation. It will vary depending upon the type of products, image and feeling. Emotion is at work all through the process of reacting to advertising: From our initial response to our feelings about the brand to the interest and faith have in the claims and appeals of the advertising. Advertisers would do well to clarify why emotion is important in their advertising. Emotional appeal as it directly evokes feelings and moods. This helps in better brand image, recall and purchase intentions. Intensity of purchase intention will depend on the type of products. Low involved products may get more purchase intentions compared to high involved products50. Both humour and emotional advertisement helps in brand recall.

Keller51 pointed out brand awareness as the strongest brand tie strength in a consumer’s memory, reflecting the confirming ability of brand differentiation, i.e., the stronger brand tie or mark in a consumer’s memory and considered brand knowledge including brand awareness and brand image. Hsieh et al.52 study suggested that brand awareness was of great significance when consumers made decisions over purchasing unfamiliar products. According to Chang and Chang53 humorous advertisements may partially influence brand awareness and has significant positive effects on the brand attitude, the purchasing intention. The humorous ad of cognitive orientation has more favorable brand recognition effects than those of the humorous ads of affective orientation and humorous advertisement of social orientation3. Humour or a celebrity endorser enhances advertisement and brand attitudes, brand recall and copy point recall by consumers without medical conditions54. The most memorable advertisements were those that evoked the most positive feelings and were better understood. However, in this study none of the commercials scored higher than three out of five for memorability55. When consumers like the advertisements that they are exposed to, they tend to recall and recognize them and develop a positive memory for the brand.

Identification of variables and developing theoretical constructs: Approach of advertisement may consist of rational, attributes based, shock, humour or emotional, etc., liked ads are better recognized and recalled.

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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior
Fig. 1: Theoretical construct

Ad likability, therefore can be said to be the positive marker of brand memory and a memory. Therefore, approach of advertisement will influence the brand recall. There is a paucity of study on comparative study of emotion or humour based advertisement on consumer behaviour. Based on the literature review and aims of the study the variables identified are brand image, type of product, low-involved product, purchase intentions, brand recall, humour advertisement, emotional advertisement and feeling of consumers. Independent variables are humour advertisement, emotional advertisement, brand image, type of product and low-involved product is taken as independent variables. Dependent variables are feeling, likeability and brand recall.

Independent variables are humour advertisement, emotional advertisement, brand image, type of product, low involved product is taken as independent variables. Dependent variables are feeling, likeability and brand recall. Keeping these variables the following theoretical construct is developed as given in Fig. 1.

The relationship between these variables is explained mathematically in the following:

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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

Thus:

Purchase intention (pi)∝brand recall (br)∝ha/ea Σ bi+tp+ lip+L

where, bi is brand image, tp is type of product, lip is low involved product, ha/ea is humour/emotional advertisement and L is likeability.

Brand recall influences purchase intention50, 56-58. Purchase intention of the customers depends on the brand awareness of a particular brand: An intention to make a purchase of a specific product or service in upcoming. Purchase intention of the customers consists on problem identification, information search, evaluating the alternatives, make a purchase and post purchase behaviour59. If an advertisement can make audiences smile, laugh or feel happy, it can thus be considered a humorous advertisement53. The response will depend upon the type of products, likeability due to the advertisement and type of involvement in product purchase. Keeping this study the following objectives are taken up for study.

Objectives: The first objective of the study is to understand the influence of emotional and humour based advertisements on consumer’s behaviour towards the brand and their purchase behaviour of brands. According to Pelsmacker and Geuens60 these advertisements leads to evoked feelings, cognitive and affective reactions, attitude towards the brand and purchase intention. The second objective is to study the impact of humour and emotional advertisement on brand image, perception due to advertisement on the type of product and how it affects likability and brand recall. They are based on the assumption that humour and emotional advertisement do creates a certain feeling towards the brand, as well as towards intentions to purchase, but this differs between product categories associated with different involvement levels61. Consumers process advertisement for the brand differently depending on their existing levels of involvement. The other objective is a comparative study of humorous and emotional advertisements to understand which has a higher impact on consumers.

Developing hypothesis: Keeping the variables brand image, type of product with respect to involvement (Independent), purchase intention, likeability and brand recall (Dependent) with moderating variables humour and emotional advertisement the following hypothesis are formulated. As Eastern culture is more about right brain dominated society, leading to people being more emotional62, emotional advertisement will have better impact on brand recall and purchase intention compared to humorous advertisement.

Table 3: Demographic profile (N = 202)
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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

Low involved product will get quick responses on purchase intentions. Therefore, the following hypothesis is studied:

H1: Emotional advertisements have different brand recall and purchase intention compared to humorous products. It will be more for low involved products

The emotional and humorous advertisement will have different effects based on the type of audience9,10,63. Therefore, effectiveness based on as audience recall, awareness, liking and brand image will vary. Therefore, our next hypothesis is given:

H2: Emotional advertisements and humorous advertisements have different degree of impact on likeability and brand image

Type of product, involvement in product purchase should help in advertisement campaigns. Consumers have selective process for advertisement depending upon their interest. Advertisements evoked feelings, cognitive and affective reactions, attitude towards the brand depending upon the products and type of advertisement60,62.

Research methodology
Research design:
It is a primary study involving 202 respondents within the age-group of 18-55 years. They are shown a combination of 6 advertisements which consisted of 3 emotional and 3 humorous advertisements in an alternating fashion. The respondents were then asked to fill a questionnaire. The premise is that different types of stimuli lead to considerably different communication effects. The study was conducted in Mumbai, a financial capital of India with diverse populations. It was conducted by MBA students between July-August, 2015.

Sample design: The study comprises of respondents of different demographic profile. They are selected on a random basis after taking appointment. They are shown advertisement films and their views are recorded in the questionnaire. Table 3 gives the detail on demographic profile.

India has more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years64. The present samples has 72% younger respondents. The sex ratio is 1.08 males/females64. This study takes more males and also more educated people in our sample size. Today’s young adult (under 35 years) audiences around the world are the main target group for product placement. They are increasingly converging in terms of lifestyle and taste remarkably, due to widely available global social media and communication technology; young adults often appear to be very similar regardless of the part of the world in which they live. The sample size is justified as Sekaran65.

Questionnaire design: The questionnaire is prepared based on independent variables-humour advertisement, emotional advertisement, brand image, type of product, low involved product and dependent variables like feeling, likeability and brand recall. Mehta and Purvis2 suggest that recall is quite suitable for measuring the effectiveness of advertising and Dubow66 states that the recall is extensively adopted for evaluating the influence of advertisement. They are measured as per study of suggested by Zhang67 and it was also used by Norris et al.68 and Srivastava50. Likeability is measured as per study of Fam69. Reliability assessment was conducted to determine the cronbach alpha for the questionnaire. Cronbach alpha is above 0.7 and indicate acceptable internal consistency (α = 0.7249). This questionnaire was then used to derive the results of the study.

Data analysis: Total 250 forms are filled in this study. However, only 202 filled up forms are taken for analysis. Data are analysed using SPSS.

RESULTS

The advertisement and other communication applications create recall networks. The interaction of brand collaboration senses is important behaviours and preferences with respect of brands70. When consumers like the ads that they are exposed to, they tend to recall and recognize them and develop a positive memory for the brand.

One of the important models of the mechanism of recall process is semantic network that explains knowledge storage in mind as collaborated nodes. Whenever a node coded in mind, it becomes potential sources of activation for the other nodes. The activation time of recall happens based upon on the node code. Brand image and brand identification occur when consumers read for brand components71. Table 4 gives response to emotional and humorous advertisement when exposed together are filled in this study.

It was found from this study that people recollected more emotional advertisement than humorous advertisement to the tune of 16% points, which is significant. Emotional advertisement in comparison to humorous advertisement had far greater effect in reaching people, as 44% of the total respondents remembered 4 or more emotional ads.

Studies show that positive emotions toward a brand have far greater influence on consumer loyalty than trust and other judgments which are based on a brand’s attributes, (i) Response-like the advertisement: Z cal = 3.2>Z tab of 1.96 shows that the response to emotional ads is more than that for funny ads, (ii) No. of people who recollected at least 4 ads: Z cal = 2.4>Z tab of 1.96 shows that the No. of people recollecting at least 4 ads is more for emotional ads than for funny ads and (iii) Percentage of responses rating brand image 6+: Z cal = 4 >Z tab of 1.96 shows that percentage of people who rate the brand image as 6+ is more for emotional advertisements than for funny advertisements. Hence, it can conclude that emotional advertisements are more effective than funny ads in terms of response, people recollecting at least 4 ads and rating the brand image 6+. This is contrary to findings of Chang and Chang53 and Lee3 who reports that humorous ad of cognitive orientation has more favourable brand recognition effects than those of the humorous ads on affective orientation and humorous ad of social orientation.

Table 4: Response to emotional and humorous advertisement (N = 202)
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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

This is possible as eastern culture is more an emotional compared to Western culture62. Collective culture tends to have more a emotional touch compared to individualistic culture. Therefore, this confirms our H1 that emotional advertisement will work better compared to the humorous products. Type of products plays a role too in the adaptation of the approach-humorous or emotional advertisement. Serious products like pharmaceutical products for cold may not get a positive feeling after humorous advertisement in Eastern context72.

Brand recall due to humour and emotional advertisements: The positive recall of consumers on the brand may be one of the factors for brand preferences of consumers. Especially being remembered by consumers as good brand creates a dominant prefer factor for the brand6. Johnson et al.73 considered that popular brand names helped consumers to mitigate their cognitive risks and to form positive appraisals. Brand recall is one of the important tool to measure the effectiveness of the advertisement5,62. Therefore, brand recall along with purchase intentions are used as parameters to measure their effectiveness while, comparing two different types of advertisement (Table 5).

Brand recall is more for products with emotional advertisements as compared to products with funny ads. The only exception for high brand recall with funny advertisement is Greenply. Greenply with Z cal = 4>Z tab of 1.96 shows that there is a significant difference between brand recall and purchase intention. Times of India with Z cal = 4.5, lux soap: Z cal = 4.6, pepsi: Z cal = 4.7, tanishq jewellery: Z cal = 5, Z cal = 4.2, eurovision: Z cal = 3.8, glycodin: Z cal = 7.1>Z tab of 1.96 shows that there is a significant difference between brand recall and purchase intention. Those products which have emotional advertisement, the brand recall is high and this has definitely resulted in high purchase intention.

Table 5: Brand recall to emotional and humorous advertisement (N = 202)
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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

Table 6: F-test two-sample for variances
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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

Table 7: t-test two-sample assuming equal variances
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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

Hence, it can be concluded that emotional advertisements have more impact than a humorous advertisement and result in more brand recall and higher purchase intention. Thus, the purchase intention is more for products with emotional advertisements as compared to products with humorous advertisement. This confirms our hypothesis that emotional advertisement will work better compared to humorous products (H1) on brand recall and the purchase intention. Purchase intentions for low involve products like glycodin (Cough syrup), pepsi (Cold drink), lux soap, lifebuoy soap, times of India (Newspaper) are low involve products where investment is low. There purchase intentions are very high as per present study. Therefore, emotional advertisement leads to a higher degree of purchase intentions for low involved products (H1). This is contrary to finding of Toncar74 which reports that humour is primarily used for low risk and low involvement products. Applying hierarchy of effects model of Lavidge and Steiner28, there are three stages of consumer behaviour, namely, cognitive, affective and co-native. Co-native (behaviour) is needed in order to transform the product knowledge, likeability and conviction in the product to actual sales figures for the organization. Thus, every advertiser through his advertisements attempts to successfully upgrade his customer through all the stages, starting with product awareness and ending with the purchase. Cognitive (thinking) is needed to ensure that the customer is aware of the product being offered and has knowledge with respect to its features, price and place of availability. In products with emotional advertisement, the percentage of people showing the purchase intention is generally more than the percentage showing brand recall. In products with funny advertisement, the percentage of brand recall is less with the exception of greenply, but the purchase intention is more than brand recall. This means that purchase intention for these products is not just dependent on humour advertisement, but on other things like features or quality of the product, the image of the brand and liking.

Likeability, brand recall and image: A close relationship exists between liking (or disliking) advertisements and buying more (less) of the advertised products75. Brand memory and advertisement memory is a kind of mental storage that consumers apply to while making decisions about brands and buying. A positive ad memory for a given brand plays an effective role for consumers to develop a positive emotion towards that brand. One of the positive factors of ad memory is advertisement likeability. Advertisement likeability is one of the most important factors that helps recall ads and improve ad memory for brands76. Recall is physiological factor that plays key role in human life related to everything. Recall rather than recalling knowledge from mind has more forward function as human internal process. Learned and remembered things use in efficiently since contemporary theorizes explain, recall as a dynamic process7. This is given in Table 6 and 7.

Table 6 indicates that the variances of the two groups are similar with F = 1.307, p = 0.2. Therefore, a two-sample t-test is performed that assumes equal variances.

In Table 7, the mean score for group 1 (M = 4.17, N = 109) is smaller than the scores for group 2 (M = 5, N = 216). Thus, using the two-sample t-test for equal variances, t (323) = -4.49, p< = 0.001. This provides evidence to say that emotional and humorous advertisements have different liking and recall amongst consumers (H2).

The brand preferences objective depends on advertisement feeling either negatives or positives6. The implication being that advertising likeability provides the potential to facilitate consumer responsiveness, if most impacting factors are held constant. Fam69 younger people, among others show a more positive reaction towards the humorous appeal3. This study is contrary to findings of Lee3 study as present study like a more emotional advertisement than humorous advertisement.

Advertisements manifest their effect in the human brain by evoking emotions, connotations and recalls associated with a given brand1. Ad-likeability may even transfer to the likeability of the brand, resulting in an increased purchase intention77.

Table 8: F-test two-sample for variances
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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

Table 9: t-test two sample assuming unequal variances
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Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

The positive recall of consumers on the brand may be one of the factors for brand preferences of consumers. Especially being remembered by consumers as good brand creates a dominant prefer factor for the brand6. Brand recall brand awareness is a dominant factor when it comes to deciding which brand the consumer will consider at the time of purchasing6. Consumers generally, tend to recall advertisements that they like or evaluate to be positive78, brand image helps to have better brand recall62. The next part of the analysis tests the impact of humorous or emotional advertisement on the image of the brand. A preliminary test for the equality of variances was done using the F-test, the results of which are given in Table 8 and 9.

Table 8 indicates that the variances of the two groups are different with F = 1.275, p = 0.0026. Therefore, a two-sample t-test is performed that assumes unequal variances.

The mean score for group 1 (M = 4.63, N = 155) is smaller than the scores for group 2 (M = 5.509, N = 216). Thus, using the two-sample t-test for unequal variances, t (288) = -5.27, p<= 0.001 (Table 9).

The above results confirm that emotional and humorous advertisements have a different brand image amo ngst consumers (H2). According to studies of Khushaba et al.79 and Laroche et al.80 humorous advertisements may partially influence brand awareness. Same study reports that popular brand names helped to decrease consumer’s cognitive risks and to yield positive appraisals. However, there was no comparison between two types of advertisements. In this present study, emotional advertisement is better on brand image, likeability and purchase intentions compared to humorous advertisement. This may be due to advertisement creativity affects cognitive (DPC) and emotion (positive affect) response. Advertising has the ability to evoke emotional responses from consumers and can be effective at appealing to consumer’s emotion regulation propensities.

DISCUSSION

Several methodological and theoretical approaches examine the effectiveness of advertisement. Some of the approaches are by testing the effect of advertisement on investment through sales stimulated by the advertisement content81. Emotional advertisements have a greater impact on customers in terms of brand image, likeability, purchase intentions and brand recall as per present study. Emotion-oriented advertisements tend to provide soothing and relaxed effect. In this way, audiences can ease their nervous emotions and have pleasant feelings and liking for a brand. The process of dealing with such advertisement can result in the effects of emotion, which is based on incongruity-resolution theory as per Yang et al.63. The measurement of emotion or humour advertisement is in line with earlier study of Kelley and Turley9 and Marshall et al.10 which studied the effectiveness based on as audience recall, awareness, liking and brand image.

Eastern culture is more of right brain dominated society leading to people being more emotional62. Emotional advertisement therefore, connects well with consumers. This could be the reasons for better likeability, brand recall, brand image and purchase intentions with emotional advertisement compared to humorous advertisement. Therefore, it can be explained through mathematical approach:

Image for - A Comparative Study of Humour Versus Emotional
Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

where, P is purchase intention, br is brand recall, bi is brand image, ea is emotional advertisement, ha is humorous advertisement and l is likeability.

Acceptance of advertisement due to advertisement creativity may affect cognitive (DPC) and emotional (positive affect) response. Eastern culture (Ec) is directly affecting cognitive and emotional response. Therefore, the role of culture in influencing the present results cannot be ruled out. Hence, the outcome is due to:

Image for - A Comparative Study of Humour Versus Emotional
Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

The consumer relies on brand memory and advertisement memory, a kind of mental storage, while making decisions75. A positive advertisement memory for a given brand plays an effective role for consumers to develop a positive emotion towards that brand. Emotional advertisement has a greater influence due to eastern culture as reflected in the present study.

CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS

The study concluded that an emotional advertisement compared to a humorous advertisement is more effective measured in terms of brand image, likeability, purchase intentions and brand recall as per present study. Emotional and humorous advertisements have different liking and recall amongst consumers. Type of products plays like low/high involved products play a role in adaptation of the approach-humorous or emotional advertisement. Number of people who recollected brands is more for emotional ads than for funny advertisement. Percentage of responses rating for brand image is more with emotional advertisement compared to humorous advertisement. The purchase intention is more for products with emotional advertisements as compared to products with humorous advertisement. Emotional advertisement leads to a higher degree of purchase intentions for low involved products compared to humorous advertisement.

Use of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) in order to gauge consumer responses to humorous and emotional advertisements by measuring brain activity at the precise moment the consumer will give better results. Due to lack of such facility this was not done. This study did not assess emotional intensity or arousal. Future investigations might examine the effect that emotional arousal has on consumption and whether the intensity of an emotion might impact consumer decision making and purchase behaviour. Moreover, positive emotions (e.g., amusement, contentment and pride) might be examined. Individuals may be inclined to engage in emotion regulation management to maintain the feelings engendered by specific positive emotions. Products purchased or consumed by individuals to regulate their emotions may be very unique to that individual and varied. Rational advertisement, shock advertisement can be added for further study.

SIGNIFICANT STATEMENTS

A comparative study of emotion and humour advertisement and their impact on dependent variables like purchase intentions; likeability and brand recall is done for the 1st time keeping Eastern culture in mind. The present study gives an insight on impact of emotional and humour advertisement on likeability, brand recall and purchase intention. Managers of global brands must consider Eastern culture while, deciding the type of advertisement. High-involved and low-involved products have a role to play on brand recall and purchase intentions. Type of advertisement will have an impact. In Asian countries, it is suggested to have a more emotional advertisement for low-involved products to get better results.

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