Shock advertising: Not so shocking anymore. An investigation among Generation Y

Date
2014
Authors
Urwin, B
Venter, M
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Abstract
In today’s society, marketers are going to extreme measures to attract consumers’ attention in an attempt to break through advertising clutter. A widely used method is shock advertising, however, the effectiveness of this method is questionable. This study aimed to explore the effectiveness of shock advertising on Generation Y consumers in today’s society. Three variables were analyzed, namely, level of shock, norm violation and memory recall, with five different types of shock (impropriety, moral offensiveness, sexual references, disgusting images and religious taboos). The moderating effects of these relationships with gender, religion and personal identity were also explored. By means of a quantitative study, 300 university students were asked to complete questionnaires. The overall findings indicated that shock advertising has become obsolete and that marketers need to implement alternative ways of ‘breaking through the clutter’. This paper provides marketers with a better understanding of the (in)effectiveness of shock advertising and proposes the importance that marketers should alternative methods to capture the attention of consumers.
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Keywords
Shock advertising , Memory recall , Norm violation , Type of shock
Citation
Urwin, B., & Venter, M. (2014). Shock advertising: Not so shocking anymore. An investigation among Generation Y. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(21), 203-214