Journal of Marketing Science ›› 2022, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (3): 119-135.

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Have a "Sang Tea"?! The Influences of Advertisements with Different Emotional Appeals on Consumers' Product Preferences

Lu Yue,Lei Xi,Zheng Minxia,Yang Defeng   

  1. Lu Yue,School of Business Administration, Guangdong University of Finance & Economics Lei Xi ,School of Management, Jinan University Zheng Minxia,School of Management, Jinan University Yang Defeng,School of Management, Jinan University
  • Online:2022-07-16 Published:2023-03-21

Abstract: In real life, advertisements with emotional appeals are quite common. By expressing positive and warm emotions in advertisements, companies attract consumers' attentions and improve their love for advertisements to stimulate their willingness to purchase. Previous research has shown that advertisements with positive emotional appeals ( VS. advertisements with negative emotional appeals) can stimulate consumer's higher willingness to purchase.  However, unlike the past advertisements with positive emotional appeals, Sang Tea, UCC Coffee and some other brands, choose to spread negative emotions in advertisements, such as"negative energy in everyday life".  These kind of "negative marketing approach" has become a new form of marketing. Therefore, it is necessary for the academia to explore why advertisements with negative emotional appeals can enhance consumers’ willingness to buy products and when consumers prefer advertisements with negative emotional appeals.  Based on the trend of the Sang-marketing, this study defined "Sang" as the high level of actual-ideal self-discrepancy, and classified advertisements of "Sang" as advertisements with negative emotional appeals.  On the basis of former scholars' research results, this study further explored how actual-ideal self-discrepancy and emotional appeals affect the consumers' advertisement attitude and purchase intentions. Based on the self -discrepancy theory, three experiments were carried out.  Experiment 1 found that when perceived high ( VS. low) level of actual-ideal self-discrepancy, consumers held better attitude towards negative (VS. positive) emotional advertisements, and were more willing to buy products with negative (VS. positive) emotional advertising appeals.  Experiment 2 examined the mediating role of empathy. Perceiving the consistent emotional appeals from the advertisements, consumers turned to increase their willingness to purchase.  Experiment 3 further investigated the boundary conditions of this effect. Only when consumers' motivations of self-verification were activated, would they prefer negative emotional appeals in advertisements after experiencing actual-ideal self- discrepancy.  The results provide a reasonable explanation and theoretical support for the question why Sang-marketing is capable of inducing positive results. They also demonstrate that buying goods is able to create mental value for consumers under the influence of advertisement’s emotional appeals.

Key words: negative emotional appeals,  , actual-ideal self-discrepancy,  , empathy ,  , self-motive