Advertising Principles ( &

Goal: To summarize all useful knowledge on how to persuade through advertising and to present it in an accessible manner. The knowledge is presented as principles (condition/action statements) that have been drawn primarily from experimental evidence. They are easy to understand and can be used by many groups, including: Advertising agencies; Advertisers; Government agencies; Students; and Researchers.

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Project log

J. Scott Armstrong
added 6 research items
The persuasion principles provide only one of the elements in the creative process, albeit an important one. The application of the principles requires much creativity.
The evaluation of advertising agencies and proposals rests heavily of judgments. Fortunately, much is known about how to improve judgments.
Persuasive Advertising (Armstrong, 2010) focuses on how to develop persuasive ads, but not on how to deliver those ads to customers. Here are five methods that can be used to decide a media budget as well as how to allocate that spending across various media. I start with the weakest method and work towards the strongest. Ideally, one should use all five methods, but put more weight on the findings from the stronger methods.
J. Scott Armstrong
added 7 research items
Guidance from Armstrong (1985) "Long-range-forecasting: From crystal ball to computer"
Develop alternative campaigns, nurture them, and then test them. Many firms do this, especially with TV commercials. Investments in developing TV commercials can be high, and the media costs are also high; therefore, firms should try to ensure that their ads are persuasive.
J. Scott Armstrong
added 15 research items
The checklist relates to making persuasive oral presentations for problem solving. Many of the guidelines draw upon the principles in Persuasive Advertising.
The interactive training module for the Advertising Principles Audit
Spreadsheet checklist of persuasion principles for creating advertisements - The Persuasion Principles Audit software. Supporting document: Persuasion Principles Audit Report Sample Format. Supporting document: Persuasion Principles Checklist Instructions
J. Scott Armstrong
added 3 research items
When financial columnist James Surowiecki wrote The Wisdom of Crowds, he wished to explain the successes and failures of markets (an example of a "crowd") and to understand why the average opinion of a crowd is frequently more accurate than the opinions of most of its individual members. In this expanded review of the book, Scott Armstrong asks a question of immediate relevance to forecasters: Are the traditional face-to-face meetings an effective way to elicit forecasts from forecast crowds (i.e. teams)? Armstrong doesn't believe so. Quite the contrary, he explains why he considers face-to-face meetings a detriment to good forecasting practice, and he proposes several alternatives that have been tried successfully.
The systems approach uses two basic ideas. First, one should examine objectives before considering ways of solving the problem; and second, one should begin by describing the system in general terms before proceeding to the specific. From J. Scott Armstrong. Long Range Forecasting: From Crystal Ball to Computer; 2nd Edition. New York: Wiley, pp. 13-22.
A flow chart for planning marketing starting with "1. Analyze marketing objectives" and finishing with "7. Gain acceptance and implement the marketing program".
J. Scott Armstrong
added 18 research items
We found no evidence that consumers benefit from government-mandated disclaimers in advertising. Experiments and common experience show that admonishments to change or avoid behaviors often have effects opposite to those intended. We found 18 experimental studies that provided evidence relevant to mandatory disclaimers. Mandated messages increased confusion in all, and were ineffective or harmful in the 15 studies that examined perceptions, attitudes, or decisions. We conducted an experiment on the effects of a government-mandated disclaimer for a Florida court case. Two advertisements for dentists offering implant dentistry were shown to 317 subjects. One advertiser had implant dentistry credentials. Subjects exposed to the disclaimer more often recommended the advertiser who lacked credentials. Women and less-educated subjects were particularly prone to this error. In addition, subjects drew false and damaging inferences about the credentialed dentist.
Purpose: To respond to issues posed in the four commentaries on Armstrong, Du, Green and Graefe (this issue) regarding the immediate usefulness of that paper’s test of advertisements’ compliance with persuasion principles, and regarding the need for further research. Approach: Address commentators’ concerns using logic, prior research findings, and further analyses of the data. Findings: The superiority of the index method remains when a simple, theory-based, alternative weighting-scheme is used in the index model. Combinations of three unaided experts’ forecasts were more accurate than the individual forecasts, but the gain was only one-third of the gain achieved by using the Persuasion Principles Index (PPI). Research implications: Replications and extensions using behavioral data and alternative implementations of the index method would help to better assess the effects of judging conformity with principles as a means of predicting relative advertising effectiveness. Practical implications: Advertisers can expect more accurate pretest results if they combine the predictions of three experts or, even better, if they use tests of compliance with persuasion principles, such as the PPI. The PPI software is copyrighted, but is available now and is free to use. Originality/value: New analysis and findings provide further support for the claim that advertisers who use the PPI approach proposed by Armstrong, Du, Green and Graefe (this issue) to choose among alternative advertisements will be more profitable than those who do not.
Purpose – This paper aims to test whether a structured application of persuasion principles might help improve advertising decisions. Evidence-based principles are currently used to improve decisions in other complex situations, such as those faced in engineering and medicine. Design/methodology/approach – Scores were calculated from the ratings of 17 self-trained novices who rated 96 matched pairs of print advertisements for adherence to evidence-based persuasion principles. Predictions from traditional methods – 10,809 unaided judgments from novices and 2,764 judgments from people with some expertise in advertising and 288 copy-testing predictions – provided benchmarks. Findings – A higher adherence-to-principles-score correctly predicted the more effective advertisement for 75 per cent of the pairs. Copy testing was correct for 59 per cent, and expert judgment was correct for 55 per cent. Guessing would provide 50 per cent accurate predictions. Combining judgmental predictions led to substantial improvements in accuracy. Research limitations/implications – Advertisements for high-involvement utilitarian products were tested on the assumption that persuasion principles would be more effective for such products. The measure of effectiveness that was available –day-after-recall – is a proxy for persuasion or behavioral measures. Practical/implications – Pretesting advertisements by assessing adherence to evidence-based persuasion principles in a structured way helps in deciding which advertisements would be best to run. That procedure also identifies how to make an advertisement more effective. Originality/value – This is the first study in marketing, and in advertising specifically, to test the predictive validity of evidence-based principles. In addition, the study provides the first test of the predictive validity of the index method for a marketing problem.
J. Scott Armstrong
added a project goal
To summarize all useful knowledge on how to persuade through advertising and to present it in an accessible manner. The knowledge is presented as principles (condition/action statements) that have been drawn primarily from experimental evidence. They are easy to understand and can be used by many groups, including: Advertising agencies; Advertisers; Government agencies; Students; and Researchers.