"Seeing is believing?" : a persuasion knowledge model on attitudinal evaluations in advertisements

  • Yan WU

Student thesis: MPhil Thesis (Lingnan)


This study examines the effects of individuals' beliefs about persuasion tactics (i.e., persuasion knowledge) evoked in an advertisement on their attitudes toward the advertisement and the advertised brand. Drawing on persuasion knowledge theory, this thesis develops a conceptual model that argues how ad image incongruence, defined as an inappropriate match-up between model type (western versus local) and advertised product category (western product category versus local product category) featured in advertisements, leads to the use of persuasion knowledge, which in turn affects attitudinal evaluations. A series of experimental studies were conducted. The results suggest that individual’s use of persuasion knowledge mediates the effect of ad image incongruence on ad attitude.

This research contributes to a better understanding of the effectiveness of advertisements in a globalized marketing communication context. First, it empirically investigates how people react to different ad appeals by using persuasion knowledge. Second, it tests the moderating role of ad skepticism which then offers implications to the extension of persuasion knowledge theory. Further, it has managerial implications by identifying conditions when and why local vs. western culture ad positioning strategies tend to be more effective. Convenience students sample was used in two experimental search studies. Additional survey was conducted to test the conceptual model directly and to complement the results of experimental studies. Limitations will be discussed.
Date of Award2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Marketing and International Business
SupervisorLianxi ZHOU (Supervisor) & Shing Chung Patrick POON (Supervisor)

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