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Spokesperson Fame and Vividness Effects in the Context of Issue-Relevant Thinking: The Moderating Role of Competitive Setting

Timothy B. Heath, Michael S. McCarthy and David L. Mothersbaugh
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 20, No. 4 (Mar., 1994), pp. 520-534
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2489756
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Spokesperson Fame and Vividness Effects in the Context of Issue-Relevant Thinking: The Moderating Role of Competitive Setting
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Abstract

Primarily on the basis of research from noncompetitive settings, it is generally believed that nonsubstantive advertising features are ineffective when consumers engage in issue-relevant thinking. Experiment 1 of the current study replicated prior research. Neither spokesperson fame nor the vividness of advertising copy influenced attitudes in noncompetitive settings. However, these same features proved effective in the context of balanced competition. When brands were homogenous (experiment 2) or characterized by large price-quality trade-offs (experiment 3), nonsubstantive features improved attitudes and choice probabilities despite issue-relevant thinking. When trade-offs were small, however, nonsubstantive features were again ineffective. The results suggest that balanced competition can neutralize the effects of substantive features, increase indecision, and promote perceptual contrast. These effects then empower nonsubstantive features to serve as heuristics and/or reduce the risk of postpreference regret

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