Unhealthy Food

5851 Words24 Pages
Journal of Health Communication, 12:173–185, 2007
Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 1081-0730 print/1087-0415 online
DOI: 10.1080/10810730601152755

Healthy or Unhealthy Slogans:
That’s the Question. . .
LEEN ADAMS
Department of Marketing, Ghent University, Belgium

MAGGIE GEUENS
Ghent University and Vlerick Leuven Ghent Management School,
Belgium
An experiment was conducted to examine the effect on adolescents of different health appeals (healthy versus unhealthy) in ads for healthy and unhealthy perceived foods. The results did not reveal a main effect of product or slogan, but indicated a significant interaction effect between slogan and product. The healthy slogan only led to significantly more positive
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In this case, consumers’ intuitive theories about persuasive tactics in advertising will be evoked, leading to a negative instead of a positive impact of the health claim
(Wright, 1986). With respect to adolescents, previous research shows that although adolescents are aware of these tactics, they do not always take them into account when forming an attitude (Boush, Friestad, & Rose, 1994; Linn, de Benedictus, &
Delucchi, 1982; Roedder, 1981). Irrespective of the fact that adolescents may be less likely to discount a healthy claim because of its potential manipulative intent, however, it is not certain that a healthy promotional strategy also will be more effective in adolescents. Because of the health consciousness trend in society, one could assume that adolescents, too, generally will respond more positively to healthy food products and to healthy slogans. On the other hand, when looking at their current food preferences, the opposite result is also feasible (Birch, 1999; Birch & Fisher,
1998; Donkin, Naele, & Tilston, 1993; Skinner, Carruth, Bounds, & Ziegler, 2002).
Product Category Characteristics. Advertisements are most likely to be processed in a top-down fashion, which means that consumers tend to classify products first into categories and then rely on their prior product category knowledge to evaluate the advertised brand (Meyers-Levy & Tybout,
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