For instance, studies in fear appeal have mainly focused on the effects of fear appeal ads on consumers’ perception towards message and the product or service (Layout & Sahara, 1988; Tanner, Hunt & Upright, 1991). Similarly, studies in moor appeal and sex appeal have focused on exploring the effects of these appeals on consumer attitude towards the ad and attitude towards the brand. Sex and humor appeal studies have also focused on the use of these appeals in different media and for different products. The presentation of ads in the context of the medium is an interesting study from a framing perspective. Framing as a theoretical concept has largely been used in the context of news and political communication. Social scientists use framing to understand the presentation of events and issues by journalists.
Framing study of advertising content has en rare and has mostly focused on the effects of framing ad messages on consumer processing the information in the ad, when the message was framed either negatively or positively. Smith (1996) found that educated consumers react favorably to ads that are consistent with a positive effect they generally feel or associate with the product category. Less educated consumers, on the other hand, show a significant propensity to rely on negatively framed advertising. Framing has been defined as an organizing principle that is socially shared and persistent over time, which works symbolically to meaningfully structure the world. Frames are relatively comprehensive structures of meaning made up of a number of concepts and the relation among these concepts (Hereto & McLeod, 2003; Reese, 2003).
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The concept of framing can be applied to advertising, as like news and political communication, advertising is a comprehensive structure made up of a number of concepts and the relation among these concepts. For example, humor appeal, sex appeal, and fear appeal are the different concepts that create structure for an advertisement. The various elements of these appeals relate to the overall concept of the ad and the advertising appeal itself, thus reading a frame for the advertisement and the 2 product/brand. A perfume ad that aims to convey sexual attractiveness uses the frame of sex appeal to relate the perfume with the element of sexual attractiveness.
Similarly, a fear appeal ad may be framed either as physical harm to the self or social disapproval. An insurance ad can be framed in terms of loss, where the lack of fire or flood insurance could lead to financial loss; the same ad could also be framed in terms of gain, where having a fire or flood insurance prevents financial loss to the audience. In a similar manner, ads that disparage a rival product or brand use the frame of sarcasm. Framing study of advertising appeals might help in better understanding of the way in which advertisers frame a particular product/ brand message and the consumer’s reaction to the message and its comprehensibility.
Proposed Study To better understand the different frames an advertisement uses in presenting its product or brand message and in which magazines these message occur, the study uses Tankard (2003) list of frames approach to classify the frames in an advertisement. Tankard (2003) suggested the following: 1. Make a range of possible frames explicit. 2. Put the various possible frames in a manifest list. 3. Developing key words, catchphrases, symbols to help detect each frame. 4. Coding of content into categories. 3 The purpose of the research is to study the use of advertising appeals in magazines. Magazines have been chosen because they provide a wide range of choice for the study.
The sample is composed of the top ten magazines based on advertising revenues for the year 2007. This sample allows a better understanding of which magazines in the top ten list use which appeal more often and for which products. Magazines were also chosen for logistical reasons as they are readily available at the San Jose State University library. This approach classifies the different advertising appeal according to the frames present in each appeal. Further, each product can be classified according to the advertising appeal and the frame present in the product advertisement. Research questions 1 . Which appeals are used most in magazine ads? 2. Which products use which appeals the most? CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Framing refers to the way events and issues are organized and made sense of especially by media, media professionals, and heir audiences (Hereto & McLeod, 2003; Reese, 2003). Antenna (1993) referred to framing as a fractured paradigm, but like the communication field, its interdisciplinary nature makes it attractive. Reese (2003) defined frames as organizing principles that are socially shared and persistent over time, that work symbolically to meaningfully structure the social world. According to Hereto & McLeod (2003) “frames are a relatively comprehensive structures of meaning made up of a number of concepts and the relations among those concepts” (p. 140).
Framing Samson and Modeling (1989) defined framing as central organizing idea for making sense of relevant events, suggesting what is at issue; the core of which is the media package that offers a number of condensing symbols which suggests the core frames and positions in shorthand, making it possible to display the package as whole with deft metaphor, catchphrases or other symbolic devices. According to Maier (2003), “framing implies relationship among elements in a message, because those elements have been organized by the communicator (rather than by a communication researcher)” (p. 86). According to Reese (2003), framing “when viewed as the interplay of media 5 raciest, culture, audiences, and producers, guards against unduly compartmentalizing components of communication (sender, content, audience) (p. 8)”. According to Maier (2003), framing theorists have consistently postulated between the microcosmic elements in a given message and the microcosmic worldview of the communicator.
Antenna (1993) noted that frames highly eight some bits of information about an item that is subject to communication, thereby elevating them in salience. He, also, noted that communicators make conscious or unconscious framing judgments in deciding what to say, guided by frames that organ size their belief yester. Texts, according to Antenna (1993) contain frames, which are manifested by the presence or absence of certain key words, stock phrases, stereotyped images…. That provide thematically reinforcing clusters of facts or judgments. According to Samson and Modeling (1989), there are five framing devices; metaphors, exemplars (historical examples from which lessons are drawn), catchphrases, depictions, and visual images (icons).
Frames have their own content as well as a set of rules for the processing of new content. A core set of concepts determines much of the meaning assigned to the frame as whole and, by extension, to all content in relation to the frame. Frames, further, provide the widely understood context for understanding new phenomena, for instance when a topic is framed its context is determined (Hereto & McLeod, 2003). Tankard (2003) noted the three ways that framing has been used in looking at media content; two of the ways that framing has been used is related to the metaphor of a picture frame. One of the functions of a picture frame is to isolate certain material and 6 draw attention to it.
Another function of a picture frame can be to suggest a one for viewing the picture; the third way relates to Samson and Medallion’s (1989) suggestion of frame as a central organizing idea for making sense of relevant events and suggesting what is at issue. Frame Analysis According to Hereto and McLeod (2003), the first step in a frame analysis is to identify the central concepts that make up varied frames. The second step in frame analysis is to identify the master narrative. Tankard (2003) noted three different kinds of frame analysis; the first one is based on Samson and Modeling (1989) “media package” concept as it presents the keywords and moon language that would help identify a particular frame.
The second one is a multidimensional concept which sees framing as involving various elements or dimensions of stories; this concept combines the traditional story-presentation variables. The third one is the list of frames approach in which the vital step would be to identify a list of frames for a particular domain under discussion. The list of frames approach suggests the following framework: 1. Make a range of possible frames explicit. 2. Put the various possible frames in a manifest list. 3. Developing key words, catchphrases, humbly to help detect each frame. 4. Coding of content into categories. The list of frames approach uncovers terms through an examination of media content. Framing and Advertising According to Berger and Smith (1 998), there are three tactics that are employed in advertising: “frames of reference that act as an ‘anchor point’ to influence attributes considered for examination and provide a benchmark for comparison of alternatives. Frames of references are sub divided into three types; attribute frame of reference that refers to presentation of specific attributes other than price (in addition to, or as opposed to, others); price frame that specifically focus on the aspect of price since it is a potentially dominant attribute; outcome frame focuses on outcomes or benefits as opposed to a focus on product attributes” (p. 594). “Frame valence is used to influence potential buyers evaluate alternatives relative to anchor point in positive or negative terms (e. G. Ambushers described as 75% lean or described as 25% fat)” (Berger & Smith, 1 998, p. 594). Frame perspective is used to influence how potential buyers temporally evaluate alternatives relative to the anchor point. Berger and Smith, further, doted that frame perspective referred to whether the frame is presented in prospective terms in the present or future tense or in retrospective terms in the past participle. Dell and Stalin (1983) described framing in print ads as either framed’ or ‘unframed’ advertisements. According to Lutz and Lutz (1977, 1978), in a framed pictorial advertisement the picture and the verbal message are mutually reinforcing and thereby facilitate interactive imagery.
The picture functions more like an illustration of the verbal message than as a potential source of distraction. A framed picture is processed more like the rebel material in the absence of the picture, than the picture is in the absence of the verbal label (Dell & Stalin, 1983). The picture demonstrates the 8 verbal message, typically through a display of the advertised product or through a demonstration of the uses(s) of the product. Likewise the verbal message relates the picture to the product/brand being advertised. The verbal message reinforces and is reinforced by the picture, thereby driving home the advertiser’s message and reducing distraction (Shims, Urbana & Caiman, 1988).
An unframed advertisement precludes the interactive imagery cause the picture does not offer a demonstration of the verbal message. The use of unframed picture reduces the probability that consumers will retrieve from memory any stored information about the product class or brand being advertised (Dell & Stalin, 1983). Earthman and Salvoes (1997) noted that message framing refers specifically to the emphasis in the message on the positive or negative consequences of adopting or failing to adopt a particular behavior. They noted two kinds of message framing gain framed message that usually presents the benefits accrued through adopting he behavior and loss framed message that generally conveys the costs of not adopting the requested behavior (Earthman & Salvoes, 1997).
Loss framed persuasive messages encourage people to consider the negative consequences of their choices. By contrast, exposure to gain framed messages may cause people to feel less endangered, making them less likely to perform a behavior with uncertain outcomes (Salvoes, Schneider & Appointing, 2002). Message framing has been personalized either by focusing on positive product attributes or benefits gained through product use, or by focusing on the negative product attributes or benefits lost by not sing the product (Mannishness & Meyers-Levy, 1990). Though these concepts have been used to study audience attitude and behavior changes 9 with regard to health related issues, they can be applied to study the framing of advertisements.
Theoretical Overview Framing concept has been used in the context of news and political communication, Framing is a central organizing idea that makes sense of relevant events. It provides a media package that offers a number of condensing symbols that suggests the core frame and positions in shorthand, making it possible to display the package s whole with deft metaphor, catchphrases or other symbolic devices. Framing implies a relationship among elements in a message, because those elements have been organized by the communicator (rather than by a communication researcher) (Samson & Modeling, 1989; Maier, 2003). In advertising, framing is used in the context frames of reference such as price frame, attribute frame, outcome frame, frame perspective, and frame valence.
Framing in advertising is also described as either framed or unframed advertisements. Message framing is a key concept of framing in advertising. Messages, in advertisements, can be framed in terms of ‘loss’ or ‘gain’. The different appeals, sex, humor and fear appeal may be viewed as condensed symbols that suggest the core of an advertisement. The different appeals imply a relationship among the elements in a message as these elements have been organized by the advertiser (communicator). 10 HUMOR APPEAL “Humor is operationally defined in terms of heightened arousal, smile and laughter exhibited by an audience in response to a particular message.
A second approach to humor definition entails examination of the responses elicited to an identifiable stimulus” (Stendhal & Craig, 1973, p. 13). “Humor is a rubric most accepted as the stimulus evoking an intended or unintended pleasurable effect resulting in a form Of subdued or exuberant laughter “(Gulags & Weinberg, 2006, p. 22). “Humor may be defined as painless incongruity” (Tells, 2004, p. 157). Humor is all encompassing and a generally accepted definition of humor does not exist (Weinberg & Gulags, 1992). In humor, the world of play and serious overlap and humor serves as an ironic overlay, a commentary, on the details of life. Humor takes meaning from and gives meaning to the normal world.
The essence of humor lies in its ironic dualism, serious and playful, involved and detached, in this world and out of it at the same time (Speck, 1991). According to Raisin (1985), “the individual occurrence of a funny stimulus is a humor act” (p. 3). Humor in Advertising Humor is often used in print and television media to sell products (Castanets & Tom, 2001). Humor has long played a role in advertising. The growth of humor has been fueled by many factors such as, television fueled spending resulting in a creative advertising revolution, that gave ad agencies a new platform and set of tools to express moor. Many advertisers have turned towards humor as a way to break through the media clutter and to reach increasingly jaded consumers (Gulags & Weinberg, 2006). 1 Humor has the ability to enhance the credibility of comparative advertising and to distract the development of counter arguments (Stendhal & Craig 1973; Madden & Weinberg, 1982) A survey by Madden and Weinberg (1984) of advertising executives showed that most ad executives agreed on humor being effective at gaining attention, particularly for new products. Further, ad executives agreed on humor being an effective means of gaining name registration, registering simple copy points and gaining retention. Ad executives also agreed that humor aids in persuading consumers to switch brands by creating a positive mood that enhances persuasion.