Psychological features of consumer perception of advertising...

Psychological features of consumer perception of advertising

The consumer sees a huge number of advertisements every day. Sometimes they are interesting to him, sometimes they irritate him, and sometimes he just does not notice them. There are many reasons for this or that consumer attitude to advertising messages. And not always they are related to the quality and creativity of the advertising message. The reason sometimes lies in the lack of consideration of certain psychological factors of perception, in the wrong placement of advertising, and even in ignoring the generally accepted mental behavioral norms in a particular community. Many researchers are studying the consumer and his reaction to advertising and communication. Some of them we tend to present here.

Socio-psychological attitudes of the consumer

When we do advertising, we want the consumer to pay attention to it, understand it, remember the advertising proposal and finally make an action - bought it, used this or that service. But in order to understand what precedes the real action, it is necessary to analyze the needs and motivations that prompt the consumer to operate. The concept, which to some extent explains the choice of motives, is the notion of a social setting. In Western social psychology, the term "attitude" is used to denote social attitudes. (English, French attitude ).

Since the beginning of the century, when research began in this direction, there were many discussions, sometimes contradictory statements. A great many definitions were given. For example, G. Allport in 1935 wrote a review article on the problems of the study of attitudes, in which he counted 17 definitions of this concept. Of these 17, those traits of attitudes were noted that were noted by all researchers. In the final, systematized form, they looked like this:

• a certain state of consciousness and the nervous system;

• expressing readiness for reaction;

• Organized;

• Based on previous experience;

• has a directional and dynamic effect on behavior.

Thus, the dependence of the attitudes on the previous experience was established and its important regulatory role in behavior.

In the future, the work of researchers was carried out in two main areas: the disclosure of the functions of the attitudes and analysis of its structure.

Four functions of attitudes were distinguished:

1) adaptive (sometimes called utilitarian, adaptive) - an attitude directs the subject to those objects that serve his purposes;

2) the knowledge function - an attitude gives simplified instructions on the way of behavior in relation to a particular object;

3) the expression function (sometimes called the value function, self-regulation) - attitudes are a means of freeing the subject from the inner tension of the personality, expressing oneself as an individual;

4) protection function - attitudes are conducive to resolving personal conflicts.

All these functions can be performed because it has a complex structure. In 1942, M. Smith determined the three-component structure of the attitudes, in which:

• The cognitive component (cognitive - awareness of the object of social installation);

• the affective component (the emotional evaluation of the object, the identification of a feeling of sympathy or antipathy towards it);

• behavioral (con) component - sequential behavior with respect to the object.

Based on the comprehension of these functions, the social setting was defined as awareness, assessment, willingness to act.

As part of the modern approach to advertising, attitudes, or social attitudes, are just the basic approach in analyzing and understanding the actions of consumers.

The key words for the cognitive component of attitudes are: sensations, perception, attention, thinking (including associative), memory (including memories, long-term memory). In the practice of advertising, accounting for the cognitive component occurs at the level of several significant ways. One of them is the way of advertising. This is especially often used in print media. For example, when submitting a classified advertisement, it is grouped according to topics, groups that are expected for the consumer. If all the ads are placed chaotically, then in this chaos the reader does not want to understand. His habitual perception is based on logic and the usual order of things. Therefore, it is unlikely that he will be looking for an announcement about a veterinarian for a pet dog in the advertising group, where the renting of storage facilities is proposed.

Researchers of advertising on the basis of experiments have proved that the way of advertising in print media and the perception of this advertising are interrelated.


Three different age groups were asked to look within 15 minutes of a newspaper in 24 pages, 40% of which was advertising, and then answer one question: "What advertising do you remember?" The processed variants of answers gave several similar results, on the basis of which the following conclusions were drawn:

• advertising printed on an entire page is remembered more than advertising printed on a part of the page;

• the right bar is seen better than the left one;

small areas are read more often if they go in contrast to a larger block;

• Advertising with a "picture" ( photo or any other illustration ) attracts attention and is better remembered.

The above example only confirms what has been said before: the usual behavior of each of us is to pay attention to what is familiar, easy to perceive and does not require additional efforts. In a short period of time, it's easier to see the whole strip, rather than trying to remember a lot of small messages on the exact same strip. It's easier to pay attention to advertising with an illustration, to notice a small ad next to a large block of advertising and to be curious - and what's there. And it is quite customary when looking at a newspaper, first to pay attention to the right lane, because it is stationary, and the left reader at this time inverts.

Another important point, also associated with the cognitive component of attitudes and perception of advertising, are emerging associations. A quick glance at advertising - and that's how they look at advertising until it hooks, will not be interested - and a person literally automatically draws conclusions. In carrying out experiments, this or that advertising appeal shows only 0, 8-1.5 seconds. It is believed that this time is enough for instant perception and associative understanding. It is clear that a person is able to see only those elements of advertising, which literally strike him at once. And sometimes these elements give completely wrong associations.


In one of the conducted experiments we showed ads that offered individuals to place money deposits in the bank, guaranteeing security and high profitability. But the most quickly perceived element of this advertisement was an illustration depicting a hockey player in a helmet. The bank's marketers have long proven to us that this will cause associations of reliability, dignity and other important things. Our respondents did not confirm this confidence of bank marketing specialists. They simply did not understand what was being advertised, they were sure that the advertisement was connected either with sports events or with sports goods.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of similar examples in modern advertising practice. At the same time, associations (positive or negative) can be associated with color, with specific conditions in which advertising is inscribed, causing the consumer based on his past experience and beliefs to trust or distrust.

In general, associations are an interesting thing. At the heart of them is undoubtedly the formed experience, which often lives not in one generation. One of the western companies advertised shoes on the United States market, providing the text with an explanation - free shoes. It was meant that it is comfortable, it can move freely and comfortably. Most of the polled United Statess perceived loose shoes as large in size. Most likely, the past experience of deficiency affected when buying winter boots not in size (better than the smaller one) was considered a great success.

The main mistake advertisers - the projection of their own tastes and associations, although the target group can react to the message quite differently and the associations they have will be different. Therefore, it is necessary to take into account simple rules. First, everything should be clear, not to cause discrepancies. Secondly, the advertising message should trace the connection with the past experience of the consumer. The known is always perceived better. Thirdly, it is necessary to avoid the possibility of provoking a different association, rather than conceived. The above example with an illustration in bank advertising confirms this. And finally, probably the most important thing for advertising is that it is seen. Therefore, any non-standard moves and creative solutions are welcome.

So, on the cognitive level, you can:

• attract attention;

• interest;

• give an opportunity to understand;

• make remember.

The second level of attitudes is associated with the emotional component. Two things are important here:

1) the relationship that occurs to advertising and indirectly to the product after acquaintance with the advertising message;

2) desire or unwillingness to buy, buy, use.

In this respect, the main I and my environment, I and my perception of reality. Identification I with the heroes of the commercial - the birth of a positive relationship, the way to the desire to buy and try. At the same time, at the level of many experiments, it is noticed that people in the majority are much more likely to remember advertising, which caused them positive emotions. To a certain extent this also applies to the product itself. A similar situation occurs when advertising causes distrust, doubt in reliability. And this may be due not to the characteristics of the product itself, but to the attributes of the display of the situation in which the product is presented.

At the emotional level, humor in advertising works well. But it is necessary to take into account that the humor was clear to the target group, so that it was not rude and banal. Otherwise, too, there may be rejection. It is considered quite attractive and rhyme. It is better remembered, acts on emotions.

German psychologist W. Wund characterizes emotions in three dimensions:

• pleasure - displeasure;

• Excitation - Calming;

• voltage - resolution (voltage release).

At the level of the behavioral (conative) component of the attitudes, the parameters of the conscious and unconscious behavior of the consumer, the problems of motivation and needs are considered. There are many exercises, each of which offers its own approaches.

Why do people buy goods? Because of the original needs or under the influence of advertising? Answering this question, they say that the need for specific goods is formed under the influence of advertising. Advertising is able to form a world view, aesthetic tastes, social values, lifestyle and moral principles. But nevertheless, psychologists tend to say that human needs and subsequent actions are related to motivations.

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