When a mismatched advertisement is more persuasive than a matched one: revisiting the functional approach

Obinna O. Obilo, Bruce L. Alford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Within the context of the functional approach to attitudes, the functional matching concept posits that messages that match the functional underpinnings of an individual’s attitude are more persuasive than messages that do not match those functions. Boundary conditions to this message match/persuasiveness relationship do exist; in a high-involvement situation, messages that mismatch the functional underpinnings of an individual’s attitude may be more persuasive due to dissonance generation. This dissonance leads the individual into more deliberative processing of the message through the central route of the elaboration likelihood model (ELM). Working within the physical fitness context, this study examines the functional matching concept in advertising communications. The findings show that individuals exposed to messages matching their functional profile do not deliberate further. Contrarily, when exposed to functionally mismatched messages, they deliberate more on the message to resolve the experienced dissonance. These findings are counter to previous research on the functional approach and provide valuable insight for practitioners looking to develop more persuasive/effective communications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-779
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
Volume26
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020

Keywords

  • ELM
  • Functional approach
  • advertising communications
  • functional matching
  • mismatched advertisements
  • persuasion

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