Case Study-Humor Essay
Copyright C 2013, American Academy of Advertising
ISSN: 0091-3367 print / 1557-7805 online
Humorous Threat Persuasion in Advertising: The Effects of Humor, Threat Intensity, and Issue Involvement
Hye Jin Yoon
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA
Spencer F. Tinkham
University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA
2010) or ads that ridicule nonusers of the brand (Voss 2009), but these studies researched “humor types” and should be distinguished from humor effects studies in threat persuasion ads.
By looking into both the humor and threat persuasion literature, we set out to understand how humorous threat persuasion works in advertising and for …show more content…
1 varied humor levels of threat persuasion ads and observed responses between low- and high-issue-involvement individuals. Public service advertisements (PSAs) that dealt with an environmental issue were used as stimuli. In Study 2, threat intensities were varied in addition to humor levels to test the different combinations of threat and humor on low- and highissue-involvement individuals. Threat intensity has implications for the level of perceived negativity of the threat and the substantive value of the information. Depending on how the recipients
Using humor to communicate threatening information in advertising can often be observed in practice, but scholars have seldom investigated its effects. Drawing from dual processing models, the current study proposed that response to humor in threat persuasion would depend on the individual’s level of issue involvement.
This proposition was tested in two experiments. In Study 1, a signiﬁcant humor and issue involvement interaction effect emerged for threat persuasion ads; low-involvement individuals rated the humor ad more positively than the nonhumor ad, and the opposite was true for high-involvement individuals. With threat intensities varied in Study 2, the results indicated that the