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Title: What matters in healthcare product advertising effectiveness? : the influences of message framing, perceived product characteristics and consumer individual differences
Author: Chang, C.-T.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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“Framing effects” has become a generic term to represent the idea that, holding all else constant, the decision-making context (i.e., how the message is framed) can have a profound effect on choice behaviours. Important applications have been found in healthcare marketing, not least in terms of how advertising appeals may encourage changes in health related behaviours and purchase behaviours. Prospect theory (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979 and Tversky and Kahneman, 1981) and healthcare studies (Banks et al., 1995; Rothman et al., 1999) explain preference behaviour based on the way information is labelled or framed. However, past research yields contradictory and inconsistent predictions as to whether positive or negative frames are more persuasive. This study examines the most appropriate message framing to present to consumers in print advertisements for healthcare products. Two experimental studies were conducted to investigate the moderating effect of product type, perceived innovativeness and perceived risk on the processing of framed advertising messages. Individual differences in health cognition and mood were also viewed as mediators in data analysis. Study 1 tested the relative effectiveness of gain- and loss-framed messages to promote prevention and detection dental care products with different degrees of product innovativeness in a 2 (message framing: gain, loss) x 2 (product function: prevention, detection) x 2 (degree of perceived product innovativeness: familiar, new) factorial design. The findings indicate that messages for familiar products should be framed differently depending on perceived product characteristics (prevention vs. detection) but positively framed messages may be more persuasive for both new prevention and detection products. Health consciousness was found to mediate framing effects in persuasion. Study 2 was conducted with the objectives of testing the robustness of the moderating effect of perceived product characteristics found in Study 1, considering multiple types of message framing, as well as identifying more individual difference variables as mediators. Travel healthcare products were tested to increase the external validity of this research. The findings suggest that mixed (combining positive and negative) frame could enhance message effectiveness only when subjects have prior experience. Mood, perceived susceptibility and perceived severity of health threats were also found to mediate framing effects on persuasion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available