Persuasiveness of Nationalistic Advertisements


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A series of three experiments aimed to test persuasiveness of corporate image advertisements that appeal to nationalistic Australian symbols. In Experiment 1, 59 Psychology 1 students were shown two nationalistic advertisements and 32 students were shown two nonnationalistic advertisements from the same corporations. Only one nationalistic advertisement proved more persuasive than its non-nationalistic counterpart, and this effect was unrelated to the patriotism of subjects. In Experiment 2, the persuasive nationalistic advertisement from Experiment 1 proved more persuasive than its nonnationalistic counterpart but only for subjects that felt‘Australian' (n= 50), not for those who felt‘Un-Australian' (n= 50). To generalize beyond a single advertisement and beyond a college sample, Experiment 3 exposed a group low on Australian nationalism (n= 32) and a group high on nationalism (n= 32) to 15 advertisements varying in nationalistic content. “High nationalism” subjects judged highly nationalistic advertisements as most convincing in persuading them to‘like the company and cosmopolitan advertisements as least convincing. The opposite was true for‘low nationalism” subjects. Nationalistic corporate image advertisements are therefore only effective with highly nationalistic subjects.