This study seeks to examine which types of message appeals are more effective in reducing unrealistic optimism (a tendency for people to believe that they are less susceptible than others to encounter negative outcomes) and inducing purchase intentions of preemptive products in collectivist and individualist cultures.
An experiment is conducted with 131 US, 111 Singaporean, and 127 Thai undergraduates.
The findings confirm the existence of unrealistic optimism in the marketing setting and show that: lower levels of optimism are associated with higher purchase intentions for the product; hazard‐related behavior‐priming ad appeals lead to higher purchase intentions than ads without priming; Singaporeans show higher purchase intentions than Americans for both the risk‐priming and the expert ad appeals, and they also show higher purchase intentions than Thais for expert ad appeals.
The samples, while well matched, consist of undergraduate students who are not necessarily representative of the populations as a whole. The samples also come from only three countries. Finally, only one product is employed.
The study suggests that: external‐control/collectivist cultures may be more influenced by advertising, regardless of the appeal employed; different types of cultures may require different amounts of advertising to achieve equal levels of effectiveness; unrealistic optimism needs to be addressed by marketers of preemptive products; marketers should use ads that prime risky behaviors when promoting products for reducing/preventing undesirable outcomes/hazards.
The study has re‐affirmed that unrealistic optimism exists, and that this phenomenon exists internationally with respect to a relatively lower‐involvement risk product category than had previously been studied. It has unveiled relationships between optimism and purchase intentions. Finally, the study has identified both similarities and differences in terms of the existence of unrealistic optimism and the relative effectiveness of different message types across cultures.
Pornpitakpan, C. and Green, R.T. (2007), "The effect of message appeals countering unrealistic optimism on purchase intentions: A cross‐national study", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 207-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/13555850710772905Download as .RIS
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