‘Advertisements are often entertaining, but they rarely affect consumer choice.’ Is this your experience?

YES: Advertisements are generally entertaining but fail to appeal to consumers, rendering them peripheral to consumer decisions.  

  1. Advertisements may entertain us through humor but the products they promote, such as luxury cars, may only appeal to consumers with particular needs or profiles, making them less effective in shaping larger consumer trends. 

  2. The more aesthetically appealing and entertaining some advertisements become, the more they may distract viewers rather than entice us into buying the products promoted, as we remember only the advertisement’s aesthetic qualities. 

  3. Advertisements that aim to influence consumer behavior, such as public service messages to reduce drink-driving, may be entertaining but many intervening factors including our values and personal lifestyles will be more central to shaping the choices we finally make.

NO: Advertisements use entertainment as an effective instrument to influence consumer choice by appealing to various consumer concerns and preoccupations.

  1. Advertisements that are targeted to a particular consumer niche, such as De Beers ‘diamonds are forever’ tagline, will be deliberately entertaining as well, with specific lines or narratives that appeal to the targeted consumers’ emotional vulnerabilities or sensibilities and unduly influence our buying decisions.

  2. The aesthetic appeal of many advertisements may reinforce the unique features or strengths of a particular product, making it more likely for consumers to buy the product.

  3. Advertisements may use entertainment to drive home messages of a desired lifestyle or values, influencing consumers to embrace them by buying the product.