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Abstract

Advertisers are constantly seeking ways to increase the persuasive power of their ads. To that end, advertisers are encouraged to match their advertising's executional elements (e.g., spokespersons, visuals, etc.) with their consumer's motivation, opportunity, and ability (MOA) to process brand information from advertising. A less-considered approach is to select executional elements that will increase consumer motivation, opportunity, and ability. Following this approach, the current study examines typography, a potentially critical but relatively underinvestigated executional element. Typography is a major executional element of word-driven advertising (e.g., print and internet), and has the potential to significantly influence motivation, opportunity, and ability to process advertising messages. Given the potential importance of typography, it is surprising how little research has been conducted to examine its effects in a persuasion context. One reason for this paucity of research may be the lack of an organizing framework delineating the macrolevel relationships between typographic dimensions, typographic outcomes, and the effects of those outcomes on consumer MOA to process advertising. Therefore, the current study develops a general model of typographic effects in advertising-based persuasion and then tests select portions of that model empirically. The findings indicate that not only is typography capable of affecting consumer ability to process ad-based brand information, but that the effects of various typographic characteristics are highly interactive. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.