NEWS19 January 2015

Emotional messaging ‘most impactful in wealthier nations’

News North America

US — New research indicates that consumers in less affluent nations may respond better to functional, rather than emotional, TV messaging.

A paper published in the Journal of Advertising Research, How to Advertise and Build Brand Knowledge Globally: Comparing Television Advertising Appeals across Developed and Emerging Economies, suggests that brands using TV ads to reach consumers may benefit more from using emotional appeals in affluent countries and more functional messaging in less affluent countries.

The study, based on 257 commercials for household cleaning products across 23 countries, revealed that emotional messaging was typically most impactful in wealthier nations.

More specifically, in markets with the highest levels of average wealth – including Australia, France, Germany and the UK – emotional appeal takes a specific form: the authors claim that it is related to brand attitude and brand uniqueness but not to brand awareness.

“This effect may have resulted from the fact that consumers in high-GDP countries are familiar with this type of appeal, as they have been exposed to many of such stimuli over the last decades,” said the authors.

Meanwhile nations in the middle tier in terms of wealth demonstrated a stronger relationship between emotional messaging and brand awareness.

While consumers in low-GDP nations such as Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam apparently respond best to functional messaging, the impact of functional appeals does not extend to building brand knowledge.