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Abstract

Combining prior theories on innovation newness with information processing style (imagery vs. analytical), this study presents a theoretical framework; develops hypotheses; and makes predictions on how analytical versus imagery ads influence consumers differently depending on the newness level of products. The study shows that consumers are more likely to evaluate RNPs (radicallyinnovative new products) positively when they are advertised with imagery cues. Compared with analytical advertisements, imagery advertisements increased advertising effectiveness, product evaluation, and purchase intention of RNPs. These effects were demonstrated by using stimuli from two product categories consisting of washing machines and cars.
In particular, in advertisement for RNPs, verbal description that induced imagery processing, such as “picture yourself using this product,” was more effective in generating favorable responses, compared to verbal description that induced analytical processing, such as explanation of product attributes. This difference was present for RNPs, but not for INPs (incrementally-innovative new products).
INPs are continuous innovations that are easier to understand, thus imagery ads do not provide additional advantage for consumers in understanding the innovation, compared to analytical ads. In RNPs, imagery ads can highlight new benefits that may have been neglected or undervalued by consumers, leading to greater message persuasiveness. Implications for marketing of RNPs are discussed.

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