Julie V. Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an Associate Professor of Marketing at The Pennsylvania State University and Deirdre T. Guion (email@example.com) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at North Carolina Central University.
Taking Advantage of a Vulnerable Group? Emotional Cues in Ads Targeting Parents
Article first published online: 4 OCT 2013
Copyright 2013 by The American Council on Consumer Interests
Journal of Consumer Affairs
Volume 47, Issue 3, pages 485–517, Fall 2013
How to Cite
STANTON, J. V. and GUION, D. T. (2013), Taking Advantage of a Vulnerable Group? Emotional Cues in Ads Targeting Parents. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 47: 485–517. doi: 10.1111/joca.12018
- Issue published online: 18 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 4 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 5 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 17 MAR 2013
Parents of small children regularly face challenges that are new to them, creating uncertainties and stress that complicate their decision-making processes. In this vulnerable state, parents may be susceptible to emotional appeals in advertisements in ways that influence their knowledge formation, food choices, and perceptions of self. In this study, we use a combination of content analysis and interviews to examine the use of emotional appeals, particularly guilt and fear, in food ads and how parents respond to them. We find that guilt is more frequently used in ads that target parents than has been shown for other audiences, and that parents often express negative self-images and coping strategies when viewing them.