You are on page 1of 10

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad

The Effect of Appeal Type and Gender on the Effectiveness of

Scotch Tape Advertising

James Duong

Chapman University

13 May 2015

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad


Commercial advertisements are intended to influence an audience to purchase a product. Many

strategies have been applied in order to increase products awareness and the two most common

ones are emotional and rational appeals. This study investigates the effectiveness of rational and

emotional appeal in both male and female in order to observe if one gender is more biased

toward either appeal type. We hypothesized that females will draw more attention to a scotch

tape ad containing an emotional appeal message, while males will favor the rational appeal ad.

An online survey with 2 random images of either rational or emotional appeal were given to

participants then multiple likert scales were used to evaluate the participants' responses and

attitude toward either the emotional or rational image of scotch tape. The results contradicted our

hypothesis and showed no significance; both men and women are equally likely to choose the

emotional appeal ad over the rational.

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad

Advertising is ironically known as the art of convincing the audience to spend money

they do not have on something they do not need. People do not like to think that they are easily

influenced so each individual subconsciously have a distinct attitude toward what is presented to

them. Successful advertisers use multiple tricks and techniques to influence consumers by

evoking emotions that persuade them to make a decision. Advertisement of products have been

strategically manipulated through multiple type of appeals. Emotional and logical appeals appear

to be the most powerful techniques in advertising products in the media conveyed through verbal

or nonverbal messages. (Dubé, 2013)

Emotional and Rational Appeal

An emotional advertising appeal differs from a rational one in components, such as

attention grabbing image, positive emotional stimulation and eye-catching visual text or graphic.

Rational appeals are generally more effective in selling products or services that might

significantly contribute to the success of a business. (Fisher, 2003) On the other hand, humans

respond to emotional appeals when they feel connected with the product or message shown.

(Brody, Leslie, 2000)

In a previous study, Zhang (2014) examined the use of emotional and rational advertising

appeal regarding service options that differ in terms of their experience and credibility properties.

Participants were shown two advertisement in the field of healthcare, one having a rational and

the other a emotional set up. Surveys were given in order to test how likely participants were

purchase a toothbrush based on an emotional dental ad versus a rational ad. The rational poster

showed an image of a toothbrush and how efficient it removes plaque. The emotional poster

displayed a picture with a person with teeth erosion. They found that the emotional advertising

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad

appeal led to a higher purchase intentions than the rationale ad and one possible explanation is

that fear was induced in the graphic image showing a dental erosion. (Zhang, 2014)

Roozen (2013) investigated the impact of emotions, both ad and context-evoked, on the

effectiveness of commercials for non-profit vs. for-profit brands. A commercial was shown to

participants based on a for-profit company such as IKEA versus a non-profit one such as

Pedigree-puppies. Effectiveness of the rational ad measured recall and recognition while the

emotional ad measured likeability and how much understanding of the ad. The method used was

a 2×2 between subjects design where the context (warm vs. sad film fragment) and the type of

commercial (warm vs. sad) were manipulated for not-for-profit and for-profit brands. A

following questionnaire were given to participants to evaluate their attitude toward the two

commercial shown. The results indicated that the for the not-for-profit brands (IKEA), the

emotional measures have significantly higher scores. Roozen (2013) concluded that emotional

measures work better for commercial use while rational measures are more effective in for-profit

brands marketing.


One previous study by Hsul et al. (2013) did a ANOVA in-between subject experiment to

investigate the effect of gender and appeal type on the effectiveness of an online banner. They

found that men favored the rational ad while women favored the emotional ad. (Hsul et al., 2013)

Another research by Kim (2008) noted that females primarily rely on left-hemisphere to process

information which is associated to emotion, whereas males rely more on right-hemisphere that

use more reasoning and less likely to activate their emotional decisions. As a result, females are

more likely to be receptive to emotional messages while males are more receptive to rational

ones. Kim (2008) study concluded that as a result of the above findings, gender moderates

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad

receptivity to advertising messages. In support to Kim (2008) study, another research by Fisher

(2003) found that masculine individuals are taught to make sure their emotional displays are

consistent with social expectations, while feminine individuals are taught to nurture their



Based on some several researches finding that most females are more persuaded by

emotional stimuli then males, we predict that females are more likely to respond to emotional

images while males are more likely to respond to rational advertising image of scotch tape. We

hypothesize that the effectiveness of ad on emotional appeal will increase for females and

decrease for males while the effectiveness of the ad on rationale appeal will decrease for females

and increase for males. Our the results of our experiment could potentially support Hsul (2013)

findings if females respondents favor the emotional ad while males prefer the rational ad, but

could also contradict their conclusion if the results were reversed. This hypothesis will be a

further study to the one by Hsul (2013) that investigated the effectiveness of emotional and

rational internet banner on gender.



A total of 211 respondents were recruited through social media and emails. Most of the

participants were age 18 to 25 and the data collection yielded more females (153) than males


Research Design

Our experiment was manipulated through an in-between subject design study where all

participants were randomly assigned to one image (emotional or rational). Gender is our

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad

independent variable meaning that male participants might receive a different picture than female

respondents. Once they clicked on the survey linked, they have a 50% chance of getting one of

the two scotch tape image. Demographics such as gender and age were asked at the beginning

followed by on of the two image. The two images have the same picture and background, but

differs in the message conveyed. The emotional appeal image had "Holds up your life

memories", while the rational image displayed "Holds up to 15lbs".


Participants were asked to take a survey that was generated on and answer a

couple of questions targeting whether their emotional or rational logic. The survey was sent to

random participants through email and social media. The first question was randomly distributed

between an emotional and rational image. Respondents were shown a picture of scotch tape and

asked to rate on a 1-7 likert scale from 1 (more likely to buy) to 7 (less likely to buy). The

following page ask participants to answer two questions. One question was made to focus on

rational logic which asked to rate on a likert scale with the same format as the previous question.

The question states: "How much research do you do before purchasing a product?". In addition

to the rational question, an emotional question was also presented stating:" Do you tend to make

impulse purchases?"


We used a two- way between subjects (ANOVA) to test the main effect of gender, the main effect

of the type of appeal, and the interaction between these two independent variables on the

effectiveness of the ad. The tests revealed that there was no main effect of appeal type on the

effectiveness of the scotch ad (F (1, 206) = 2.209, p = 0.139). The mean effectiveness in the

emotional appeal condition was 3.55 (SD = 1.18) and the mean effectiveness of the ad on in the

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad

rational condition was 3.27 (SD = 1.30). Tests showed that there was no significant main effect

of gender on effectiveness of the ad (F(1,206) = 0.651, p = 0.421). Men's rating on the

effectiveness of the ad (M = 3.49, SD = 1.30) were higher on the emotional appeal then women's

rating (M = 3.34, SD = 1.18). There was no significant interaction between gender and the type

of appeal on gender (F(1,206) = 0.008, p = 0.929). Men also showed a small difference in the

effectiveness in the emotional condition (M = 3.62, SD = 1.21) as well as the rational condition

(M = 3.36, SD = 1.39). Women also showed the same trend in the emotional appeal condition (M

= 3.49, SD = 1.152) and the rationale appeal condition (M = 3.19, SD = 1.20).

Figure 1 represents the bar graph of the type of appeal and gender on ad effectiveness.

Figure 2 shows the mean and standard deviation of each condition.

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad


The purpose of our study was to compare the which appeal type is more effective based

on gender. In addition to our experiment, we attempted to support Hsul (2013) research which

found that emotional appeal is more common in women, by hypothesizing that women will have

a higher emotional appeal rating while men will have a higher rational appeal rating.

Even though our study did not support our hypothesis as well as Hsul (2013), there were

some limitations that could affect the significance of our results. One limitation is collecting data

through a small sample size (n = 211). A total of 211 respondents does not give us conclusive

results that could be generalized in external settings. In addition, respondents were in majority in

the 18-25 years old category which could be more biased in choosing the emotional ad. If the

number of respondents were evenly distributed among all age range, our results might yield more

significance. Another limitation was that we had a higher ration of female respondents (n = 153)

than male respondents (n = 58). The design of the ad could be an additional limitation to this

study since the graphic presentation of each image was as capturing, therefore it did not fully

evoke an strong emotional or rational intent. The wording was too short and vague which could

make participant turn toward a more neutral view. Additionally, the choice of words in the

emotional ad might have been more attractive (Holds your life memories) than the rational one

(Holds up to 15lbs) which only had numerical data, thus males' responses could be more biased.

The rational ad could be lacking in details since participants might have been confused on how to

approximate 15lbs which could affect internal validity.

Based on our results, males overall rated the emotional ad higher than females, but both

males and females responded to the emotional ad more than the rationale ad. One possible

explanation could be that due the advancement of technologies, males rely less on rational

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad

thinking compared to the primordial times where they had use logic and reason for survival

purposes. For example, during the ancient times, the rational part of men's brain are more

stimulated because they had to constantly think about hunting, building, and competing against

others. In the modern day where everything is available to purchase, men's rational thinking

decreased and not as persistent as the ancient times. As a result, males' brain could rewired itself

to a more emotional approach in perception. Another potential reasoning is the item shown in the

ad. Scotch tape is not a something that we always need to live therefore males did not care about

logical reasoning behind it. For example, if another product such as a tooth brush was shown,

males could be more likely to choose the rational ad since it is critical for hygiene. In this case

they would pay more attention to how efficient and durable is the each brand of toothbrush.

Our findings did not support our hypothesis that predicted that females' rating will be

higher in the emotional image while males rating will be higher in the rational image. As a result,

gender differences and appeal type does not seem to have any effect on the effectiveness of our

scotch tape image. This experiment cannot conclude that females favors emotional more than

males. Our data also contradicted a previous research by Hsul (2013) since both males and

females rated the emotional ad more than the rational one. A further study should investigate the

same hypothesis in a larger sample in a higher age range and improve the design of the ad

shown. The color of ad could also be changed to a lighter one in order to test participants

perception on the ad.

The Effect of Appeal type Gender on the Effectiveness of Scotch Tape Ad


Brody, Leslie (2000), "The Socialization of Gender Differences in Emotional Expression:

Display Rules, Infant Temperament, and Differentiation," in Agneta H. Fischer (Eds.),

Gender and emotion: Social Psychological Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, pp. 24-47.

Dubé, L., Chattopadhyay, A., & Letarte, A. (1996). Should advertising appeals match the basis

of consumers' attitudes?. Journal Of Advertising Research, 36(6), 82-89.

Fisher, Robert (2003) ,"Gender Differences in Responses to Emotional Advertising: the Effect of

the Presence of Others", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 30, eds.

Punam Anand Keller and Dennis W. Rook, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer

Research, Pages: 15-17.

Hsu1, Huei Chen, Chung Ya Li, Chen, Jen Tseng (2013). Genders’ Differences in Evaluation of

Web Advertisement. (2013).

Kim, Hye-Young, and Youn-Kyung Kim (2008). “Receptivity to advertising messages and

desired shopping values.” Journal of Marketing Communications 14.5 (2008): 367-385.

PsycINFO. EBSCO. Web. 30 Mar. 2010.

Roozen, I. (2013). The impact of emotional appeal and the media context on the effectiveness of

commercials for not-for-profit and for-profit brands. Journal Of Marketing

Communications, 19(3), 198-214. doi:10.1080/13527266.2011.619555

Zhang, H. (2014). Be rational or be emotional: advertising appeals, service types and consumer

responses. European Journal Of Marketing, 48(11/12), 2105-2126. doi:10.1108/EJM-10-