Persuasion and Advertising paper

Persuasion and Advertising

The social psychologists define attitude as a positive and negative evaluation of people’s ideas. Attitude consists of effect, cognition, and behavior of the people. Attitudes can be categorized into cognitively based attitudes as well as, effectively based attitudes. The cognitively based attitudes are primarily based on the beliefs of an individual regarding the properties of the object attitude. Conversely, effectively based attitudes are primarily based more on the feelings of the people and their values as opposed to cognitively based attitudes which are based on the people’s beliefs. Effectively based attitudes do not result from a rational examination of the issues. Given that they are not governed by the logic, but tend to be linked to the values of the people (Williamer, 2007).

In some cases, attitudes may change as a result of cognitive dissonance hence resulting from behavior which appears to have insufficient internal jurisdiction. Therefore, changing the attitudes of people to correspond with the behavior provides internal justification. Persuasive communication examines various conditions under which people can change their attitude responding to the persuasive messages. The elaboration of the likelihood model states that persuasive communication changes an individual’s attitudes only in two ways. Persuasive communication is able to change the audience attitude by affecting their fears. For example, when certain messages are too scary, it will definitely fail (Dunergy, 2009).

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There are many advertisements, which have been given from the reading as examples of persuasion techniques. The advertisement I have selected in this case is actor Jackie Chan’s advertisement. Chan is the spokesperson for anti-smoking campaign in Taiwan and for many years, he has been giving a number of interventions that were designed to prevent smoking in adolescents. From his interventions with people, it can be noted that the advertisement is a central route to persuasion. Therefore, in the case where an individual has the ability to elaborate on persuasive communication and thinking about the argument of the effects such as smoking causes lung cancer, other people will have more interest in the topic of discussion hence they will ensure that they listen carefully as well as thinking about the arguments (Williamer, 2007).

The information passed in this case will only occur when people have both the ability to listen carefully to a communication. In order to persuade people more, most individual would use graphics to elaborate further on the topic of argument. For example, consider a scenario in which a group of smokers watches a graphic film that depicts lung cancer compared to another person only reading the message on the causes of smoking on pamphlets. The individual watching the film will be better off because he/she will be motivated to analyze the message carefully hence will change their attitudes through the central route as opposed to reading and getting information from the pamphlets which would look as more imaginary rather than real (Lechter& Winstanley, 2001).

In peripheral route, the persuasion only results when an individual has been influenced by the attractiveness of the speaker. For example, after reading a political debate one may decide on whether to vote for the candidate or not maybe because he/she likes the sound or voice of the person.

The examples of persuasion using emotional appeals include; the use of humor, fear, rational as well as sex. For example; in the below advertisement, it shows the Gender Display: masculinity versus femininity. However, the most audience would view the advertisement in a different way.


Persuasion and advertisement/marketing can be said to go hand-in-hand with each other. However, advertisement influences more than just the consumers’ attitudes by transmitting cultural stereotypes in their words as well as, images. Therefore, persuasive communication through advertisements only advocate the side of an issue, and when the attitudes of the people persuaded changes, they often do as a result of responding to the social influence because it may be very difficult to change the attitudes and behavior of people.


Dunergy, S. L. (2009). Changing attitudes by changing the behavior of people: Cognitive Dissonance Theory. New York: Warner Business;.

Lechter, B., & Winstanley, I. (2001). The power of Advertisement. Cambridge: Director of Books.

Williamer, J. S. (2007). Advertising, cultural stereotypes and social behavior. New York: Principles of marketing: American Management Association.





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