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Anthropomorphization & advertising

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday November 16, 2007 )

Anthropomorphization – try saying that quickly after a few beers; or even stone cold sober. So what is anthromorph.. anthrorph.. that word; and what the the heck does it have to do with advertising?

To anthropomorphize something is to ascribe human characteristics to it. The smiling car you see in some ads isn’t the result of an advertising executive’s crack habit (well, not always) or just “cute”; it’s actually based in some pretty solid psychology.

An upcoming study from the Journal of Consumer Research examines how consumers anthropomorphize products and will provide some pointers to the advertising industry as to how to best utilize this tendency in their approach. It’s actually quite involved – for example, the researchers discovered people are more likely to positively accept the idea of a “family” of products if all the products are differently sized, representative of roles within a family. So it seems a family of dancing toothbrushes that are all the same size just would just have no street cred :).

The researchers also found that products with positive attributes were more accepted than products with rebellious or negative traits. The “Is That Car Smiling at Me” report will be accessible in the Journal of Consumer Research in December 2007. Mark your calendar while you remember ;). Unfortunately it’s a premium publication, but there’s sure to be abstracts floating around online once it’s published.

(via ScienceDaily)



 

 
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