Puffery in advertisements: The effects of media context, communication norms, and consumer knowledge

Alison Jing Xu, Robert S. Wyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ads often contain puffery-product descriptions that purport to be important but actually provide little if any meaningful information. Consumers' reactions to these descriptions depend on whether they perceive themselves to be more or less knowledgeable about the product than others whom the ad is specifically intended to influence. When an ad appears in a professional magazine that is read primarily by experts in the product domain, puffery generally increases the ad's effectiveness. This is also true when the ad appears in a popular magazine but readers perceive themselves to know less about the product than consumers at large. If readers believe they know as much as or more than general consumers, however, puffery decreases the ad's effectiveness. In addition, the media context in which an ad is encountered has a direct effect on judgments by consumers who perceive themselves to have little knowledge about the type of product being advertised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-343
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010

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