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Advertising Your Company’s Products: A Reason-Why Based Approach

Updated on December 4, 2017


Several different factors and variables allow for reasoning to play the role it does in advertising. Products that meet the consumer's expectations from what they saw or heard in an advertisement are experience goods. These goods are especially relevant for a company to form their reason-why concepts around their ads (Armstrong, 2010, p.63). There is a lot of evidence out there that backs up reasoned based methods of influential advertisement that will make the consumer want to purchase a product more. J. Scott Armstrong, Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, has examined the effects of reasoned based advertisements. Armstrong's WAPB analysis reviewed 37 pairs of print advertisements in which one advertisement had given a reason to purchase the product, and the other reason did not provide a basis (2010). The ads were not all the same in the experiment; the variables were not all the same in the analysis. The overall result was that the reason given to consumers on the advertisements found a higher rate of recall than those that did not use reason. The price for recall on reason based ads was 1.29 times more impressionable. High-involvement and low-involvement products are essential for a product to sell. If the product has reason to back it up, then high-involvement products are more likely to eliminate uncertainty when a consumer is purchasing a product. The ideas for high-involvement products should be relevant and logical. Small and seemingly illogical reasons to most can still be a reason that backs up products for consumers to want to buy the product. Low-involvement products have very little or no reason at all.


A study performed by researchers Langer, Blank and Chanowitz in a field experiment dealt with low-involvement situations (1988). Three questions were posed to the participants in which a person who just needed to print out a page from a copy machine. The questions ranged from no reason stating "may I use the Xerox Machine?" as question one, "may I use the Xerox Machine, because I am in a rush" for question two, and "may I use the Xerox Machine because I have to make copies?" for question three. Out of the participants that were in line, 60% agreed to let the person go ahead for problem one. The reason for being in a rush for question two showed that 94% of people said go ahead. The silly reason for question three explained that 93% of participants asked said go ahead of me. For the previous results, this reiterates the point that low-involvement decision-making with students show that these participants did not think very carefully about the actual reason behind the questions and it worked in favor for the person who wanted to use the copy maker.


In another experiment, Researchers Simonsson, Carom, and O'Curry conducted a study on subjects that had to decide to make on two different televisions. Simonsson, Carom, and O'Curry priced the first tv at $229 and the second tv at $129. The second tv appeared as the bargain between the two priced at $129. There was no reason given for the price difference between the two. Skeptical, only 24% bought the bargain-priced television because of the amount of uncertainty the second tv had. However, in the second group of participants, a reason was given in which the second tv claimed that there was a scratch on the side of the television, so that is why the price is marked down. The evidence showed that 53% of the participants bought the second tv. The results indicated that giving a reason-why approach to advertising a product to consumers made the product sell more successfully. Both the low-involvement and high-involvement factors of advertising play its own role to the consumer so choosing which correct advertising approach when thinking of influences on the consumer, consideration of reason and how it correlates to the benefits of the advertisement is something a company must not overlook.





Armstrong, S. J. (2010). Persuasive Advertising: Evidence-based Principles. Palgrave Macmillan.


Langer, E., Blank, A., & Chanowitz, B. (1988). The mindlessness of ostensibility thoughtful action: The role of "placebic" information in interpersonal interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 36(6), pp. 635-642.


Simonsson, I., Carom, Z., & O'Curry, S. (1994). Experimental evidence on the negative effect of product features and sales promotions on the brand choice. Marketing Science. Vol 24(3), pp. 57-65.


© 2017 Miles Boan

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