Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pair Images with Indirect Comparisons

In guiding shopper choices via comparisons, you can choose the direct format or indirect format. A direct format claim would be “Total Corn Flakes are more nutritious than Kellogg’s Corn Flakes” or “Our store has a better return policy than Walmart.” The indirect equivalents would be “Total Corn Flakes are more nutritious than other corn flakes” or “Our store has a better return policy than the Big Box stores.”
     If making the claim in an ad, you might be tempted to include a photo or illustration in order to draw attention. Researchers at Great Lakes Institute of Management and Indian Institute of Technology recommend that you yield to the temptation only if using the indirect format. With the direct format comparisons, images were more likely to lead to shoppers concluding the retailer is attempting to manipulate them. With the indirect format, images enhanced a positive feeling toward the ad and left the impression of clear differences between the alternatives being compared.
     This research adds to the advice from past studies about the use of photos and illustrations in comparison ads.
  • Include tables and charts which make differences easy to recognize. Remember that what you can figure out from looking at the comparison might be too complicated for the shopper in a hurry. 
  • Show an image of what you’re recommending. You're wanting to prime the shopper's brain to feel comfortable with the image. Familiarity—even recent familiarity—breeds comfort. 
     University of Maryland researchers had suggested that in comparative advertising, you do not show pictures of people using the product. Those studies found that such pictures lead shoppers to start thinking about using the products themselves, and when they do this, they put too much mental energy into thinking about just the recommended product. They forget to pay attention to the comparative advantages.
     Then research findings from Germany’s University of Bamberg indicated that under certain circumstances, it’s not so bad at all to springboard a shopper off the comparative ad into a daydream about using the product you’d like the shopper to buy:
  • The product you’re recommending is complex or innovative 
  • Shoppers seeing the ad want to get involved in analyzing for the best choice rather than purchasing out of habit 
  • These shoppers perceive themselves as having limited knowledge about the product category 
  • Compared to the alternatives in the comparison, the product has at least one powerful advantage for the shoppers 
Click below for more: 
Relax Caution About Comparative Imagining 
In Comparative Ads, Don't Show Users

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