SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

The present research examines two main issues relevant to consumer persuasion: (1) whether automatic evaluations can change (both directly and indirectly) in response to verbal ads that engage deliberative information processing activity, and (2) whether such messages can result in spreading activation of implicit change that is consistent with balance principles. The first study showed that automatic evaluations of vegetables were more favorable after people read a health ad than a control message. The results of Study 2 showed that automatic associations toward Heineken (a brand associated with the color green) were also more favorable as a result of processing a message advocating the color green than a neutral control message. Consistent with the idea that automatic changes can be consequential not only for brands but also for consumer identity, participants of Study 3 showed more automatic self–vegetable associations after thinking about the benefits (rather than the negative consequences) of consuming vegetables. A final study revealed that false feedback increasing (vs. decreasing) self–product identity led to more favorable automatic attitudes toward the product, but only for those with relatively high scores on the implicit measure of self-esteem. Taken together, this series of studies suggests that automatic changes that result from consumer persuasion are consequential in terms of spreading activation and that they seem to respond to balance principles. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.