Being healthy or looking good? The effectiveness of health versus appearance focused arguments in two-sided messages.

Publication Date: Thursday 16 May 2013
Author(s): Cornelis, E.; Cauberghe, V. & De Pelsmacker, P.
Appeared in: Journal of Health Psychology


Two experimental studies test the effectiveness of health versus appearance related arguments in two-sided messages. The first study shows that two-sided messages to discourage sun tanning are more effective when using appearance focused instead of health focused arguments. Study 2 elaborates on the underlying mechanism and extends the generalization of the results of the first study, by investigating two-sided messages to promote physical exercise. The results show that for health motivated consumers, a health focused message is more effective, whereas for appearance motivated consumers, an appearance is more effective. This matching effect is mediated by argument relevance.

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