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

nachricht Tile Based DASH Streaming for Virtual Reality with HEVC from Fraunhofer HHI
03.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Heinrich-Hertz-Institut

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>