Figuratively Bleeding or Just Bleeding? Exploring Consumers’ Personal Values and Emotions within Simple and Rhetorically Constructed Violent Ad Contexts!

  • Ioannis G. Theodorakis
  • Christos Koritos


Advertising is ubiquitous in the modern world. Indeed, individuals get bombarded with myriads of ad messages on a daily basis. In order to overcome the cluttered environment, ad practitioners often employ techniques grounded on controversial topics such as violence (e.g., Manceau and Tissier-Desbordes, 2006). At the same time, ad professionals intensify the use of rhetorical devices as an additional means to persuade (e.g., Phillips and McQuarrie, 2002). Nonetheless, the psychological determinants of viewers’ responses to such ad practices are still elusive. For example, despite the relevance of fundamental cognitive and affective constructs such as values and emotions within advertising (e.g., Holbrook and Batra, 1987; Homer and Kahle, 1988), no previous study has investigated their effects on controversial ad contexts employing rhetoric as a means to persuade.


Consumer Research Significant Direct Effect Brand Attitude Advertising Research Rhetorical Device 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abelson, R. P.; Kinder, D. R. & Peters, M.D. (1982), “Affective and Semantic Components in Political Person Perception,” in: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 619-630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, C.A.; Benjamin, A.J. & Bartholow, B.D. (1998), “Does the Gun Pull the Trigger? Automatic Priming Effects of Weapon Pictures and Weapon Names,” in: Psychological Science, 9, 308-314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, C.A., Berkowitz, L., Donnerstein, E.; Huesmann, L.R., Johnson, J.D., Linz, D., Malamuth, N.M. & Wartella, E. (2003), “The Influence of Media Violence on Youth,” in: Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4, 81-110.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, C. (1997), “Violence in Television Commercials during Nonviolent Programming,” in: Journal of the American Medical Association, 278, 1045-1046.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson, C.R. (2000) “Television Commercial Violence during Nonviolent Programming: The 1998 Major Baseball Playoffs,” in: Pediatrics, 106(4), e46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Andersson, S., Hedelin, A., Nilsson, A. & Welander, C. (2004), “Violent Advertising in Fashion Marketing,” in: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 8, 96-112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Batra, R. and Ray, M.L. (1986), “Affective Responses Mediating Acceptance of Advertising,” in: Journal of Consumer Research, 13, 234-249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Batra, R. and Holbrook, M.B. (1990), “Developing a Typology of Affective Responses to Advertising,” in: Psychology & Marketing, 7, 11-25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Beatty, S.E., Kahle, L.R., Homer, P. & Misra, S. (1985), “Alternative Measurement Approaches to Consumer Value: The List of Values and the Rokeach Value Survey,” in: Psychology and Marketing, 2, 181-200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Berkowitz, L. & LePage, A. (1967), “Weapons as Aggression-Eliciting Stimuli,” in: Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 7, 202-207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burke, M.C. & J. Edell, A. (1989), “The Impact of Feelings on Ad-Based Affect and Cognition,” in: Journal of Marketing Research, 26, 69-83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bushman, B.J. (2005), “Violence and Sex in Television Programs do not Sell Products in Advertisements,” in: Psychological Science, 16, 702-708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Caprara, G.V., D’ Imperio, G., Gentilomo, A., Mammucari, A., Renzi, P. & Travaglia, G. (1987), “The Intrusive Commercial: Influence of Aggressive TV Commercials on Aggression,” in: European Journal of Social Psychology, 17, 23-31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cohen, J., Cohen, P.; West, S.G. & Aiken, L.S. (2003), “Applied Multiple Regression/Correlation Analysis for the Behavior Sciences,” 4th ed., Hillsdale.Google Scholar
  15. Corbett, E.P. J. & Connors, R.J. (1999), “Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student,” 4th ed., New York.Google Scholar
  16. De Pelsmacker, P., & Van Den Bergh, J. (1996), “The Communication Effects of Provocation in Print Advertising,” in: International Journal of Advertising, 15, 203-222.Google Scholar
  17. Edell, J. & Burke, M.C. (1987), “The Power of Feelings in Understanding Advertising Effects,” in: Journal of Consumer Research, 14, 421-433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gutman, J. (1982), “A Means-End Chain Model Based on Consumer Categorization Processes,” in: Journal of Marketing, 46(2), 60-72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Holbrook, M.B. & O’Shaughnessy, J. (1984). “The Role of Emotion in Advertising,” in: Psychology & Marketing, 1, 45-64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Holbrook, M.B. & Batra, R. (1987), “Assessing the Role of Emotions as Mediators of Consumer Response to Advertising,” in: Journal of Consumer Research, 14, 404-420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Homer, P. & Kahle, L.R. (1988), “A Structural Equation Test of the Values-Attitude-Behavior Hierarchy,” in: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 638-646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Houston, M., Childers, T.L. & Heckler, S.E. (1987), “Picture-Word Consistency and the Elaborative Processing of Advertisements,” in: Journal of Marketing Research, 24, 359-369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kahle, L.R. (1985), “Social Values in the Eighties: A Special Issue,” in: Psychology and Marketing, 2, 231-237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kassarjian, H.H. (1965), “Social Character and Differential Preference for Mass Communication,” in: Journal of Marketing Research, 2, 146-153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kennedy, P.F., Best, R.J. & Kahle, L.R. (1988), “An Alternative Method for Measuring Value-Based Segmentation and Advertisement Positioning,” in: Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 11(1), 139-155.Google Scholar
  26. Kleinginna, P.R. Jr. & Kleinginna, A.M. (1981), “A Categorized List of Emotion Definitions, with Suggestions for a Consensual Definition,” in: Motivation and Emotion, 5, 345-379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Larsen, R. J. and E. Diener (1987), “Affect Intensity as an Individual Difference Characteristic: A Review,” in: Journal of Research in Personality, 21, 1-39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Leigh, J.H. (1994), “The Use of Figures of Speech in Print Ad Headlines,” in: Journal of Advertising, 23(2), 17-33.Google Scholar
  29. Madden, T.J.; Allen, C. T. & Twible, J.L. (1988), “Attitude Toward the Ad: An Assessment of Diverse Measurement Indices Under Different Processing Sets,” in: Journal of Marketing Research, 25, 242-252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Manceau, D. & Tissier-Desbordes, E. (2006), “Are Sex and Death Taboos in Advertising? An Analysis of Taboos in Advertising and a Survey of French Consumer Perceptions,” in: International Journal of Advertising, 25, 9-33.Google Scholar
  31. McCarty, J.A. & Shrum, L.J. (1993), “The Role of Personal Values and Demographics in Predicting Television Viewing Behavior: Implications for Theory and Application,” in: Journal of Advertising, 22(4), 77-101.Google Scholar
  32. McQuarrie, E.F. & Mick, D.G. (1992), “On Resonance: A Critical Pluralistic Inquiry Into Advertising Rhetoric,” in: Journal of Consumer Research, 19, 180-197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McQuarrie, E F. & Mick, D.G. (1996), “Figures of Rhetoric in Advertising Language,” in: Journal of Consumer Research, 22, 424-438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McQuarrie, E.F. & Mick, D.G. (1999), “Visual Rhetoric in Advertising: Text-Interpretive, Experimental, and Reader-Response Analyses,” in: Journal of Consumer Research, 26, 37-54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McQuarrie, E.F. & Phillips, B.J. (2005), “Indirect Persuasion in Advertising: How Consumers Process Metaphors Presented in Picture and Words,” in: Journal of Advertising, 34(2), 7-20.Google Scholar
  36. Morris, J.D., Woo, C., Geason, J.A. & Kim, J. (2002), “The Power of Affect: Predicting Intention,” in: Journal of Advertising Research, 42(3), 7-17.Google Scholar
  37. Munson, J.M. McIntyre, S.H. (1979), “Developing Practical Procedures for the Measurement of Personal Values in Cross-Cultural Marketing,” in: Journal of Marketing Research, 16, 48-52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Munson, J.M. & McQuarrie, E.F. (1988), “Shortening the Rokeach Value Survey for Use in Consumer Research,” in: Houston M. J. (1988) (ed.), Advances in consumer research, Association for Consumer Research, Provo, 381-386.Google Scholar
  39. Nelissen, R.M. A., Dijker, A.J.M. & de Vries, N.K. (2007), “Emotions and Goals: Assessing Relations Between Values and Emotions,” in: Cognition & Emotion, 21, 902 - 911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Peterson, R.A & Kerin, R.A. (1977), “The Female Role in Advertisements: Some Experimental Evidence,” in: Journal of Marketing, 41, 59-63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Phillips, B.J. & McQuarrie, E.F. (2002), “The Development, Change, and Transformation of Rhetorical Style in Magazine Advertisements 1954-1999,” in: Journal of Advertising, 31(4), 1-13.Google Scholar
  42. Pitts, R.E., Canty, A.L. & Tsalikis, J. (1985), “Exploring the Impact of Personal Values on Socially Oriented Communications,” in: Psychology and Marketing, 2, 267-278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Poels, K. & Dewitte, S. (2006), “How to Capture the Heart? Reviewing 20 Years of Emotion Measurement in Advertising,” in: Journal of Advertising Research, 46(1), 18-37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Reid, L.N. & Soley, L.C. (1983), “Decorative Models and the Readership of Magazine Ads,” in: Journal of Advertising Research, 23(2), 27-32.Google Scholar
  45. Rokeach, M.J. (1968), “The Role of Values in Public Opinion Research,” in: Public Opinion Quarterly, 32, 547-559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Scott, L.M. (1994), “Images in Advertising: The Need for a Theory of Visual rhetoric,” in: Journal of Consumer Research, 21, 252-273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shanahan, K.J., Hermans, C.M. & Hyman, M.R. (2003), “Violent Commercials in Television Programs for Children,” in: Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 25(1), 61-69.Google Scholar
  48. Solomon, M.R. (2004), “Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being,” 6th Ed., New Jersey.Google Scholar
  49. Spears, N. & Singh, S.N. (2004), “Measuring Attitude Toward the Brand and Purchase Intentions,” in: Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 26(2), 53-66.Google Scholar
  50. Stayman, D. & Aaker, D.A. (1988), “Are all Effects of Ad-Induced Feelings Mediated by Attitude Toward the Ad?,” in: Journal of Consumer Research, 15, 368-373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Stout, P.A. and Leckenby, J.D. (1988), “The Nature of Emotional Response to Advertising: A Further Examination,” in: Journal of Advertising, 17(4), 53-57.Google Scholar
  52. Tinic, S.A. (1997), “United Colors and Untied Meanings: Benetton and the Commodification of Social Issues,” in: Journal of Communication, 47, 3-25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tom, G. & Eves, A. (1999), “The Use of Rhetorical Devices in Advertising,” in: Journal of Advertising Research, 39(4), 39-43.Google Scholar
  54. Toncar, M. & Munch, J. (2001), “Consumer Responses to Tropes in Print Advertising,” in: Journal of Advertising, 30(1), 55-65.Google Scholar
  55. Vezina, R. & Paul, O. (1997), “Provocation in Advertising: A Conceptualization and an Empirical Assessment,” in: International Journal of Research in Marketing, 14, 177-192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zajonc, R.B. (1980), “Feeling and Thinking: Preferences Need no Inferences,” in: American Psychologist, 35, 151-175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zeitlin, D.M. & Westwood, R.A. (1986), “Measuring Emotional Response,” in: Journal of Advertising Research, 26(5), 34-44.Google Scholar
  58. Zuckerman, M. & Litle, P. (1986), “Personality and Curiosity about Morbid and Sexual Events,” in: Personality and Individual Differences, 7, 49-56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Gabler Verlag | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioannis G. Theodorakis
    • 1
  • Christos Koritos
    • 2
  1. 1.Athens University of Economics and BusinessGreece
  2. 2.DEREE – The American College of GreeceGreece

Personalised recommendations