|Title||Consumers’ Perceptions of and Responses to Creative Advertising|
This study examined the way consumers perceive and respond to creative advertising, advertising that is judged by experts (usually senior practitioners) to be creative, to see if consumers reacted in the way that could reasonably be expected of them. It offers a conceptualisation of creative ads, from the perspective of consumers, with their perceptions as antecedents and responses as outcomes.
It starts with a review of the literature on creativity and advertising, the various definitions and dimensions of advertising creativity, and the approaches to measuring it. Consumer responses to advertising are discussed with definitions, importance, and measurements of each response. A research framework is developed, using a structural model that specifies the hypothesised relationships between the advertising creativity dimensions and responses. A quantitative research methodology was employed with an online survey of approximately 300 consumers, to explore whether practitioners’ perceptions of creative ads were congruent with those of consumers.
Structural equation modelling was employed for data analysis and it was found that there was incongruency between the perceptions of practitioners and those of consumers. The results showed that ads that were judged to be creative by practitioners were not perceived as such by consumers. Consumers did, however, perceive particular individual dimensions of advertising creativity. Through their perceptions of these dimensions consumers responded to this creative advertising by paying attention to, liking, and, ultimately, engaging with the ads, even though they did not recognise them as creative. The results indicated that creativity as judged by practitioners is of no significance in consumers’ creativity perceptions - it is the particular dimensions of advertising creativity that consumers perceived that gave rise to their responses and engaged them.
Unlike practitioners who praise creativity, consumers are neutral towards it whilst at the same time being able to perceive divergent and clever advertisement elements. Practitioners should emphasise these elements in their designs rather than concentrate on what they think might be ‘creative’.