The Impact of Perceived Humor, Product Type, and Humor Style in Radio Advertising

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This study extends the existing humor research by exploring the connection between perceived humorousness, humor style and product type on consumer perceptions of radio ads and brands advertised. Radio ads were tested using either incongruity or incongruity- resolution (humor type) with higher and lower risk products. The results show that incongruity-resolution was seen as humorous by significantly more respondents than incongruity. However, the perceived humorousness overwhelmed the type of humor tested and product risk for important dependent measures. To gain a positive impact on attitude toward the ad and brand; the ads must be perceived as humorous. Though this result seems obvious, there have been few studies that have explicitly tested its importance. In fact, the results suggest that humor findings previously attributed to product factors may be artifacts of perception of humor. Further audience response analysis provides insight to the advertising dimensions associated with perceived humor. The research reveals the risks associated with failed humor and the need to pretest and monitor humor perceptions among varied key audiences.



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