Dr. Hye Jin Yoon’s “Humorous Threat Persuasion in Advertising: The Effects of Humor, Threat Intensity, and Issue Involvement” has made the “top downloaded article collection” list of the Journal of Advertising. The article can be accessed for free until December 31st, 2015 on the journal’s website.
Her research was born out of the necessity to understand how using humor to communicate threatening information (e.g., deforestation can lead to animal extinctions and climate change) in advertising could have an impact on the effectiveness of the advertisements and for whom it may be most effective. The studies predicted and found that responses to humor use in threat persuasion would depend on how much the individual was involved with the particular issue. Overall, low-involvement individuals found humor ads to be more effective than non-humor ads, while high-involvement individuals preferred non-humor ads. When threat intensities were varied in the ads, low involvement individuals needed humor when there was high threat intensity, while high involvement individuals preferred non-humor ads under high threat intensity. The findings gave practical implications for design and targeting for campaign planners looking to utilize humor to communicate threatening information.
The Journal of Advertising is the premier academic publication covering significant intellectual development pertaining to advertising theories and their relationship with practice. The journal has an acceptance rate of 9% and all papers published in the journal go through a rigorous, double-blind, peer-review process.