This study aims to understand the impact of rational and emotional appeals on children’s attitude towards two public service announcements (PSAs) that promoted eating fruits and vegetables.
A mixed-methods study was conducted with children aged 8 to 11. A convergent parallel design was selected that comprised a questionnaire for the quantitative approach and a semi-structured focus group for the qualitative approach.
The results from the quantitative and qualitative phases converged, showing that both components (i.e. emotional and rational) play a significant role in children’s preference towards an advertisement, but the emotional component appeared to be the preeminent.
Future studies should use other social subjects and children of different age brackets from various countries to test whether they continue to prefer emotional appeals in advertising.
An understanding of which elements children prefer in PSAs will enable advertising campaigns and social marketing strategies with targeted approaches that respect children’s tastes to be planned.
A properly designed social advertisement could have important effects on disseminating useful information, changing or preventing unhealthy habits and adopting good practices in children.
Few studies have examined the effectiveness of PSAs, especially those targeted at children. This paper contributes to extend concepts from the commercial field of advertising directed to children to the field of social advertising. To date, this field has received little attention.
Nicolini, V., Cassia, F. and Bellotto, M. (2017), "Children perceptions of emotional and rational appeals in social advertisements", Young Consumers, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 261-277. https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-02-2017-00665Download as .RIS
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