Purpose This study aims to examine the different effects that the fear and humor appeals in anti-smoking advertisements for children have on their affective reactions to the advertisements, on their beliefs about smoking and on their behavioral intentions to smoke. Design/methodology/approach This paper presents the findings of a qualitative research study conducted in Italy with children aged from 8 to 11 years. Findings The results indicated that the humor appeal is a useful method for conveying a social theme in a pleasant way and creating a likable character that becomes an example for children to imitate; however, it is necessary to employ the fear appeal to make children reflect carefully about the negative consequences of smoking. Research limitations/implications This study examined only children's behavioral intentions derived from anti-smoking advertisements, but future research should also examine their real behaviors after a period following repeated viewing of public service announcements about smoking prevention or other social issues. Practical implications Understanding how different types of appeals can influence children represents an important result for the prevention of youth smoking and the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits during childhood. Social implications Understanding how different types of appeals can influence children represents an important result for the prevention of youth smoking and the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits during childhood. Originality/value Few studies have examined the impact of social advertisements on children, and particularly little is known about the effectiveness of fear appeals on this group.

Fear vs humor appeals: a comparative study of children's responses to anti-smoking advertisements

Valentina Nicolini;Fabio Cassia
2021

Abstract

Purpose This study aims to examine the different effects that the fear and humor appeals in anti-smoking advertisements for children have on their affective reactions to the advertisements, on their beliefs about smoking and on their behavioral intentions to smoke. Design/methodology/approach This paper presents the findings of a qualitative research study conducted in Italy with children aged from 8 to 11 years. Findings The results indicated that the humor appeal is a useful method for conveying a social theme in a pleasant way and creating a likable character that becomes an example for children to imitate; however, it is necessary to employ the fear appeal to make children reflect carefully about the negative consequences of smoking. Research limitations/implications This study examined only children's behavioral intentions derived from anti-smoking advertisements, but future research should also examine their real behaviors after a period following repeated viewing of public service announcements about smoking prevention or other social issues. Practical implications Understanding how different types of appeals can influence children represents an important result for the prevention of youth smoking and the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits during childhood. Social implications Understanding how different types of appeals can influence children represents an important result for the prevention of youth smoking and the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits during childhood. Originality/value Few studies have examined the impact of social advertisements on children, and particularly little is known about the effectiveness of fear appeals on this group.
Fear appeals, Humor appeals, Children, Anti-smoking advertisements, Public service announcements, Social advertising
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1053543
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