Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fine art in advertising can backfire

24.08.2011
Throughout the ages, fine art has been accorded a special significance and recognized as a powerful communication tool. Art has been used to sell everything from products to politics to religion.

But art can be stripped of its special status if used carelessly by advertisers, according to a new study by researchers from Boston College and the University of Houston.

If the artwork is viewed as a product-relevant illustration, then consumers no longer view it as art. Suddenly, they can take a critical view of its message, according to the new study, which will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

"Art is valued for its own sake," said Henrik Hagtvedt, a marketing professor in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. "If brands are associated with art in a tasteful way, consumers will accept and even appreciate it. But as soon as the artwork is viewed as a mere product-relevant illustration, it is demoted to the status of any other ordinary image."

Art may thus lose its unique powers of communication, Hagtvedt and colleague Vanessa M. Patrick, a professor of marketing of the University of Houston, found in three experiments in which art was presented on product labels and in advertisements.

One study conducted by Hagtvedt and Patrick involved a wine tasting at a bar. While tasting, the patrons also inspected the wine labels, which featured paintings by the French artist Renoir. For some customers, the bartender had been coached to comment that the bottle labels featured paintings. People who tasted these wines judged them all favorably.

For others, the bartender casually mentioned that the same wine label paintings depicted people. The patrons still judged the wine favorably if the label featured what seemed like an appropriate image, such as guests at a luncheon. But the same wine in a bottle labeled with an out-of-place image, such as a woman and child playing with toys, was received less favorably.

The findings reveal not only that wine labels can influence how wine tastes to consumers, but also that it matters how those consumers perceive the labels. Art causes wine to taste good, but only as long as it retains its status as art. This demonstrates some of the limits marketers face when using fine art to pitch their products.

"When people view an image as an artwork, it communicates as art and it doesn't matter whether the content fits," said Hagtvedt. "But when they start to focus on the content of the image, such as the people or their activities, then it becomes a product illustration and consumers begin to weigh whether it fits or not."

Two other experiments, in the context of advertising for soap or nail salons, replicated the pattern of results. Different images caused different product evaluations, but if the images were viewed as artworks rather than illustrations, then the products tended to be viewed in an equally favorable light.

The researchers suggest the responses reflect how humans have evolved to recognize and appreciate art as a special category of expression.

"People have evolved to care about art," said Hagtvedt. "It is something we have appreciated in all societies known to man, throughout history and pre-history. It is also a magnificent tool for marketers who rely on its communicative power in a thoughtful and honest manner, but those who use it thoughtlessly are not likely to impress anyone."

Ed Hayward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bc.edu

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>