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Is precise description in advertising always better than vague ones? – From an accessibility-diagnosability theoretical perspective

Minxue Huang (Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Xiu Hu (Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Shiyong Zheng (Guilin University of Electronic Technology, Guilin, China)

Journal of Contemporary Marketing Science

ISSN: 2516-7480

Article publication date: 17 August 2021

Issue publication date: 16 November 2021




There is always a matching effect in advertising persuasion – the information that matches product characteristics or target consumer characteristics is considered to be relatively more persuasive. Based on the accessibility-diagnosability theory, this paper discusses the influence of the matching degree between the information presentation (vague description and precise description) and product attribute (vertical attribute and horizontal attribute) on people's attitudes toward advertising.


Study 1 aims to explore the impact of the matching effect of different information presentation methods (precise presentation vs vague presentation) and product attribute (horizontal attribute vs vertical attribute) on consumers' attitudes toward advertising; secondary data was used to support this research. Study 2 mainly used the situational simulated experiment to examine the results of study 1, and further explored the mediating mechanism of its matching effect.


The authors found that the matching degree between the information presentation method and product attribute will positively affect the fluency of advertising information processing, that is, the use of vague description of product vertical attribute can positively affect consumers' extraction fluency; while the use of precise description of product horizontal attribute can positively affect consumers' processing fluency, and both extraction fluency and processing fluency will positively affect consumers' attitude toward the advertisement.


An essential enlightenment of the research is that it sheds light on the interaction between product attribute (vertical attribute vs horizontal attribute) with the information presentation method (vague description vs precise description) from the perspective of accessibility-diagnosability theory, which explains consumers' information processing mechanisms in dealing with different advertising information.



This article was previously published in Mandarin as [黄敏学, 胡秀, 郑仕勇. 广告中产品信息呈现越精确越好吗? ——可接近性-可诊断性视角[J]. 营销科学学报, 2018, 14(3-4合辑): 151–169]. This translation appears here with the permission of the Chinese Marketing Association of Universities.


Huang, M., Hu, X. and Zheng, S. (2021), "Is precise description in advertising always better than vague ones? – From an accessibility-diagnosability theoretical perspective", Journal of Contemporary Marketing Science, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 238-259.



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