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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2006:8:
Visual persuasion with physically attractive models in ads: An examination of how the ad model influences product evaluations

Magnus Söderlund () and Fredrik Lange ()

Abstract: This paper examines the prevalent advertising practice of visually juxtaposing an anonymous, physically attractive ad model and a product in terms of its effects on the attitude toward the product. In this appeal, in which there are no explicit verbal claims about how the two objects are connected, we argue that the physically attractive model sets in motion a process in which emotions and the attitude toward the ad model serve as mediating variables, and that this process ultimately results in an impact on the attitude toward the product. Three empirical studies were made, with stimulus images from the fashion industry, and the findings indicate that emotions and the attitude toward the ad model indeed contributed to the product attitudes. The findings also indicate that images comprising physically attractive ad models produced higher product attitudes compared to a visual display of only the product.

Keywords: Attitude toward the ad model; attitude toward the product; physical attractiveness; emotions; appraisals; (follow links to similar papers)

53 pages, August 28, 2006

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