When you think of a product the first thing that comes to your mind is the shape and the way it looks (packaging), Advertising plays an important role in creating that image in one’s mind. Since its beginning in the early 1800 advertisement has been the most influential and crucial element for every organization. It “dominates the media, it has vast power in the shaping of popular standards, and it is really one of the very limited groups of institutions which exercise social control” (Potter, 1954, p. 167). For most people, it is impossible to ignore the marketing of any product. Television is the major source of promoting the products. We come across thousands of the TV commercials throughout the year (Hacker, 1984). In today’s world with the invention of smartphones and internet we are being bombarded with advertisements. Media also uses the internet related technologies such as Facebook, twitter, and Pinterest to advertise the products. Media also try to use the new ways of promoting the products to get the attention of the customers. The fundamental motives in advertising are to create an image with the characteristic of the product/service in a way that influences the purchase intention of consumers.
Throughout the history advertisers and scholars have been discussing the use of advertising appeals and product categories with regards to consumer behavior, purchase intentions and cross-cultural differences. It has been argued that the media portrays the specific motivations and needs within the advertising campaigns to get more attention of the customer towards the product. Studies have given a huge in-depth understanding of how people react and interact with diverse forms of advertisements and based on which advertising itself have evolved into more customizable and more specifically targeted to consumers , but so far there has been very less research on how does the use of advertising appeals and products categories influence on the basic human evolutionary trait i.e. 1) evasion of bodily harm 2) to avoid the onset of disease 3) to make new friends 4) to attain good status 5) to acquire a mate 6) to keep a mate and 7) to care for family (Griskevicius & Kenrick, 2013).
In order to understand today’s world motives behind advertising it is very important to connect it to our ancestral traits. The way they evolved and survived over time by following the basic intrinsic survival rules. In today’s world though might not be visible but still use the very same survival techniques in our day to day life. Leaving us with a question on does advertising agencies today use the fundamental motives and “do the advertisements that use fundamental motives perform better than the non-fundamental motives”
This paper tires to explore the possibility of whether any fundamental motives gets activated after watching an advertisement and if so, they are triggered by which cues. The aim is to find out the connection between the fundamental motives and ad performance
Relevance / Importance of the topic
Addressing the aforementioned problem will help the managers and marketers around the world who seek to advertise their brands and products. Understanding the fundamental motives will give an insight onto consumer psychology as to which cues trigger the motives, enabling the marketers to advertise the brand more precisely according to the cues.
Aim of the Study
Previous research by Griskevicius, T.Kenrick (2013) has provided literature regarding how fundamental motives influence consumer behavior. This paper aims to build up on that literature by diverting the fundamental motives framework in advertising to analyze its effectiveness, for this purpose a content analysis will be conducted and with the help of coding it will determine the effects of the ads on the coders. The results of the coders will then be discussed in detail.
Chain of Arguments Constructed
The study has be divided into 6 parts:
Part 1 includes the introduction of the topic, the problem statement and its significance, the aim of the study and its assumptions have also been stated.
Part 2 build up the Conceptual framework of the research by reviewing the existing literature available on fundamental motive framework and evolutionary psychology with regard to the advertisements and then extracting the hypothesis which will be tested in the following part
Part 3 discusses the methodology of the research. It discusses what kind of content analysis we will be carrying out, how will the coding scheme be used to satisfy our question. Further taking into account data collection procedures.
Part 4 analysis the result of the tests on the hypothesis. It includes descriptive statistics of the data that was collected and tested significant and non-significant results are mentioned here.
Part 5 contains a discussion of the results which were described in the previous part. These results are analyzed and the discussion of the impact of independent variable (IV) on the dependent variable (DV) is conducted.
Part 6 concludes the study by providing a summary of the findings and the conclusion of the research conducted. It also provides the implications of the study and recommendations for marketers and managers advertising companies. We have discussed the limitations of our study and provide direction for future research implication in this chapter as well.
Evolutionary psychology. If there are two trees although by the appearance both of them look quite similar at least in terms of basic features such as the stem, branches and the leaves. Yet each tree blooms at a different time and produces different fruits, there survival might also be different according to weather conditions. To understand this one would want to know how or in what conditions/circumstances the tree evolved from a seedling to small plant and then to a tree. Similarly in today’s world every human being acts/reacts differently to certain situations based on his/her ancestral evolutionary background. Thus it is of utter importance to understand the human evolution and the evolution of the brain. This cannot be summed up any more precisely then the way (Gad Saad) mentioned in his book “Evolutionary Psychology in Business Sciences “if a scientist wants to study any animal he would never do so while disregarding the biotic and evolutionary powers that have affected its current form.
The fundamental pillars of evolutionary psychology states the way of our evaluation with the change in the organ development so that the different tasks can be performed effectively., our minds are also consisted of a specific algorithm through which we can reach to a resolution to a specific evolutionary challenge. The missing link between the study of human conduct and its biological foundation is clearly visible in business sciences. Which is quiet strange not to see the way our biology figures our actions be it as consumers, employees and/or employers. Our intrinsic preference for food, movies and desire for different products such as luxury car for males and cosmetics for females are clear signals of our ancestral biological actions of survival and to acquire a mate (Scott, 1916).
The function of our heart is to pump blood to other organs in our body, our lungs are responsible for pumping air and so on. Every part in our body is responsible for doing some specific tasks. And these parts have been responsible for these specific tasks throughout the human evolution. Till date, no scientific study has been able to negate the importance of heart as an organ that pumps blood all through the body from the time of our ancestors. In the same way our brain has been responsible for solving some tasks i.e finding solutions to problems. The basic principal of evolutionary psychology states that our minds are have been pre-equipped with some special tasks to solve the challenges faced throughout the evolution (Mohammed et al., 2014) and this is visible by the way we crave for food or the way we long to be a part of a community or the desire of owning things .
Thus behind every action there is a cue and a motive and our brain tries to connect the cue to the motive to relate it to our evolutionary trait as that is exactly how the algorithm of our brain functions be it to find a solutions to a certain problem or to take a decision in a situation each time our brain will go back to our evolutionary traits and will try to link in to one of the motives in order to reach to a solution of a decision (Mohammed et al., 2014).
Motives Framework. In our day to day life one encounters situations where you have to take a decision or have to make a choice be it whether to eat mango ice-cream or drink strawberry juice, buy apple iPhone or android Samsung or wearing matching shoes to your dress. Though these problems seems to be relevant to the present time. The approach one takes to reach to a decision/solution traces back to the human evolution. For instance why someone spends money on buying a latest apple iPhone whereas the need of using a phone can also be full filled by any other cheaper smart phone, or why matching shoes to your dress is very important whereas the mere purpose of the shoes is to protect your feet from the cold and dust (Nelissen & Meijers, 2011).
An indulgent of evolutionary needs can provide understanding to such customer behaviors and verdict processes. We scrutinize the motivational foundations of customer behavior from the viewpoint of the Fundamental Motives Framework (Kenrick, Griskevicius, Neuberg, & Schaller, 2010). The outline insists that humans have developed certain psychological versions for resolving a specific set of problems based on the challenges faced by our ancestor. These fundamental challenges include: (1) to avoid somatic harm, (2) to avoid disease, (3) to make friends, (4) to attain status, (5) to acquire a mate, (6) to keep that mate, and (7) to care for family. Such framework is very fruitful to generate the new hypothesis about the crucial fundamental motives that may influences the basic psychological process that include memory, attention and altruistic behavior (Griskevicius et al., 2007)
We will disscuss in detail the important motives agenda and its effects on the advertisements and choice. We analyse how, why and when an evolutionary motive gets activated and what might be the possible cues for its activations and how it affects the consumer needs here it is important to understand that the motives framework is based on the proximate and ultimate motives. Proximate motives deals with the current timeframe what or how the person is feeling right now it provides the shortest reasoning to the problem without depicting the whole scenario for instance before going out your friend wears a warm jacket upon enquiring he say “because it is cold” this is proximate reasoning on the other hand the ultimate motive deals with the long term ancestral cause of the action, like wearing a jacket during cold weather could be to 1) survive and 2) avoid disease as our ancestor would try to survive during cold weathers. As most of the people only recognize the proximate reasons. In fact, people are particularly poor at identifying the decisive details for their activities (Barrett & Kurzban, 2006).
For example, an individual can be motivated for buying a luxury care because the expensive use of leather and the peppy acceleration of the car make it eye catchy and make the individual to feel good even after thinking about it. In the other words, when such car would be bought, it would enhances the reproductive fitness of the individual which would the ultimate reason that would prompt the individual unconsciously towards buying that car (Griskevicius et al., 2007).
Fundamental motives, their triggers, and example behavioral tendencies
|Evolutionary Motives||Cues Triggering System||Examples of behavioral tendencies|
(Evade physical danger to remain safe)
|Possibility of physical danger:
(Avoid infections to stay healthy)
|Potential presence of pathogens:
(Form and maintain cooperative alliances)
|Friendship threat or opportunity:
(Gain and maintain respect and prestige)
|Status threat or opportunity:
(Acquire desirable romantic partner)
|Desirable members of opposite sex:
(Foster long term mating bond)
|Relationship threat or celebration:
(Invest in and care for family and kin)
|Family or vulnerable others:
Source: V. Griskevicius, D.T. Kenrick / Journal of Consumer Psychology 23, 3 (2013) 372–386
Self-Protection. Self-Protection motive is one the most basic and core fundamental motive which is present in all living beings around. This motive gets activated when there is a threat around or it can even get activated in unusual situations in which one is not sure what’s going to happen next. For example if some birds are eating some leftover breadcrumbs in a park they will fly away as soon as as see any human being/bike/dog coming close by because when any of the mentioned objects came close the situation was not usual anymore thus activating the self-protection motive in the bird making it to fly for its safety. It is the most essential for the survival of oneself (Neuberg, Kenrick, & Schaller, 2011).
Our descendants were those that endured, and to do so they trusted on a well-developed self-protection system that continues in contemporary life (Neuberg et al., 2011). With the use of cues, the self-protection system is activated that may indicate the physical danger such as the angry expression of spiders, the acts of strange men and new sports etc. (Ackerman et al., 2006). Activation of this motive in humans makes them more vigilant towards the surroundings and even the slightest of the difference can make one paranoid. For instance this motive can get activated when an unusual stranger is walking towards you in a train, although it might be his only intention is to sit on the empty seat next to you (Neuberg et al., 2011).
The self-protection strategy may motivates the people for seeking the safety choices. When these motives are activated, they lead the people for taking the less risks in daily livings (Lerner & Keltner, 2001). One example could be people with this motive activated tend to follow the majority as it seems to be the safest option. Upon giving an option to choose a phone between Samsung and an Unknown brand with exactly the same specifications on both phones people prefer Samsung, for the fact that it is known and there are lesser risks associated with it. A lot of advertiser use this motive to depict their brand as safe, strong, secure and reliable (Lerner & Keltner, 2001).
Disease Avoidance. According to WHO (World Health Organization) in 2015 alone there were almost 55 million deaths were caused by disease worldwide and these disease have remained the leading cause of deaths for the last 15 years. Even if we take a look at the history diseases have always been the biggest threat to human existence. The biologists has estimated that the infectious diseases have the most crucial selection pressures on the human beings (Gangestad & Buss, 1993). The Spanish flue was the men who had killed 40 to 100 million people in his life history during 1918 (Olson, Simonson, Edelson, & Morse, 2005).
Every human being is equipped with an internal immune system to fight the diseases and the system has evolved with the evolution of the body. The behavioral immune systems has also been evaluated as it has avoided the infection at the optimum priority through the use of behavior. (Schaller & Park, 2011). Such sort of avoidance system for the diseases was get triggered whenever there is someone sneezing, coughing or there is some unusual smell any other abnormalities (Ackerman et al., 2009). When the avoidance system of the disease was primed then people become more socially avoidant that may include the less tolerable and introvert people (Schaller & Park, 2011).
Activating this system does not necessarily mean that people would become introvert or avoiding strangers it can also act other way round. Many products seek to use this system. People tend to buy products which are being advertised to keep you away from disease such as tissues, hygiene wipes, soaps etc.
Affiliation. Human beings are social animals. It is a basic need to interact with others, socialize and form bonds that is how we have survived generations over generations. When the ancestors may form the coalitions with the presence of other people, then they have supposed to survive successfully (Hill & Hurtado, 1996; Lancaster, 1978). By having friends and coalitions around us we increase the opportunity of achieving something successfully while mitigating the risks.
The affiliation system are appreciated today, as well as we have invested largely to build and maintian our friendships (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). By inviting someone to the dinner or by going to shopping with them or by simply spending some time together, we always happen to be trying find new or to maintain our peer groups. One purpose of affiliation might be not to feel lonely whereas the second purpose is the feeling of being part of a larger group or to blend into a society.
An affiliation motive also indorsed to strengthen the prevailing friendships and spurs behaviors to make new networks (Maner, Nathan DeWall, Baumeister, & Schaller, 2007). When this motive is activated people tend to be more open towards strangers which is in contrast to disease avoidance. The people who have an affiliation motive may spend more money on the products that are enjoyed within the company of others instead to enjoy in loneliness (Mead, Baumeister, Stillman, Rawn, & Vohs, 2011).
Status. Status is the motive which come after affiliation, it is interlink between affiliation and mate acquisition. This motive fulfills the need of recognition, prestige and respect among the peer group. And gaining/achieving status brings in some benefits. The individuals who wear the branded shirts and the ones who does not wear branded shirt faces varied compliances regarding the individual requests and hiring for a new job (Nelissen & Meijers, 2011).
This system can also be triggered when people are deprived of status or power (Rucker & Galinsky, 2009). Such as people with status activated system might observe how much they are being heard in their social group. Or on which hierarchal level do they stand in case of work/organization, it might also increase the competition for dominance (Nelissen & Meijers, 2011).
However, a more mutual route human beings use to accomplish and uphold status is through prestige—freely discussed admiration (Cheng, Tracy, Foulsham, Kingstone, & Henrich, 2013). Furthermore, a status motive lead the people to pay more for comfortable and admired belongings (Rucker & Galinsky, 2008) Once status has been gained, people display behavior designed to sanctuary their status (Maner, Gailliot, Butz, & Peruche, 2007)
Status can be selfish or self-sacrificing depending on the situation the motive has been gained for if the motive is active for prestige and dominance one might act to prioritize individual motives over group motives (Maner & Mead, 2012). On the other hand if the motive is active for respect and recognition one might be self-sacrificing. This is because within a group can be maximized through self-sacrifice (Hardy & Van Vugt, 2006)
Mate Acquisition. Mating has been the core fundamental of the life on earth itself. The reason why we are here today is just because our ancestors were able to successfully acquire a mating partner. And by managing to avoid danger or disease and by forming coalitions and gaining respect. The process of acquiring a mate as has never been simple among all the animal including “social”, the process requires certain actions and steps in order to secure a mate. For instance to acquire a mate male pigeons try to dance around female pigeons while making certain sounds in order to stand out from the flock. (Lena & Stefan, 2017).
In the same way mate acquisition system is activated among humans by the occurrence of a potential mate. Both men and women want to stand out for acquiring a mate as well as often pursue to draw consideration to themselves in diverse ways. Such sort of motives may increase the willingness for spending a lot on the luxury products and services (Griskevicius et al., 2007).
Self-protections motive in which one tends to follow the majority and do what most people would do and avoid risks while By trying to stance out of the crowd Mate acquisition motive is in contrast with self-protection as it makes men to take more risks for instance. In such cases, when women are scarce then when men are involved in more securing a mate such a to save the less money and to become more willing for the use of credit cards for having the immediate purchase (Griskevicius et al., 2012).
Mate Retention. To get a successful offspring mate acquisition is the first step in the process, after successfully acquiring a mate. The second challenge is to retain a mate, this challenge is quite different then acquiring a mate as when this motive is active one tends to spend more time and money to maintain the relationship. When consumers take decisions just focusing on their conflict of interest, then their decisions can never be shaped just like their relationship partners sin the implicit and explicit manner (Simpson, Griskevicius, & Rothman, 2012).
The mate retention system includes the positive behaviors designed for maintaining the prevailing relationship bonds, as well as behaviors are designed for managing intimidations of possible romantic competitors (Campbell & Ellis, 2005). People in this system might buy expensive gifts to show their devotion towards the relationship. (Marco et al. 2016). People are interested to recall their mate just like inclining to lessen substitute probable romantic partners (Lydon, Fitzsimons, & Naidoo, 2003).
Kin care. The ultimate reason of mate acquisition and mate retention is to have a successful offspring, so that the generation can move forward. (Baum et al, 2016). Hence caring for the kin is very important since the young kin is very receptive towards diseases and threats.
The kin care system is the major area of living where family members are in the greater need or more vulnerable towards the needs and demands (Glocker et al., 2009). People spend a lot of their financial resources, energy and time to bring care within their family and to raise the children. Approximately $475,680 has been used within the United States for brining care to the children and the other family members (Lino, 2010).
The kin care system does not necessarily means to to get activated from your offspring’s only, it can also be active by living together. It is also active among siblings to motivate their readiness for sacrificing oneself to assist others, especially if those others are the person’s relatives (Burnstein, Crandall, & Kitayama, 1994).
Use of Fundamental Motives in Advertising. Since the early beginning of the advertisements fundamental motives have been used by the advertisers though unknowingly. Although in the beginning sole purpose of the advertisement was to increase the sales but in order to show the benefits of the product in an ad one must depict the characteristics in a way that it touches one of the fundamental motives. (Baum et al, 2016). The use of emotional advertising has substantially been increased since the start of the eighteenth century (Allen et al., 2005).
In today’s world companies use advertisements for numerous reasons and not only to increase the sales. Within print ads, numerous ways can be used to direct the attention of the readers. It includes various physical components such as brightness or size. It also includes various collative properties that could be novelty and complexity (Berlyne 1960). Study showed that when any sort of attention is directed towards the features of the particular product that it may also maximizes the physical prominent (Gardner 1983). The basic advertising motive is to act as a bridge between the brand and the personal motives of the consumer. Depending on how specific an ad is on a motive creates the difference in brands and their positioning. (John P. Rochon Thomas J. Reynolds (1991) the question here is what benefit or value does this motive delivers or why is the motive so important to the consumer. (Topcic et al, 2016).
Values are the characteristics attached to a certain thing in order to determine its worthiness. They are determinants of culturally approved acts and attitudes from simple purchasing acts to political and religious ideology. (Kashive and Khanna, 2017). And each of the institutions tries to transmit the values such as church, family, universities etc. the biggest value transmission mode is through advertising as it plays an important role in mass media hence giving it a universal reach (Pollay, 1983).
Most organizations try to preserve and conserve the value system, advertising acts on contrary by trying to bring change or at least change in the behavior and behavior standards. (Roulin et al, 2016). Thus, promotion works are also used to get attention for valuing the inherent of the product. It would also be realized by the purchaser via consumption of the product (Polly et al., 1991).
In today’s world we see more advertisements than anything else around us in form of banners, pamphlets, newspapers, billboards, Television, internet even on your cellphones it is impossible not to see and ad. Persuading us not only to towards consumption but also core values system based on consumption and commercial transaction. (Cascio & Graham, 2016). In fact advertising uses more or less the same methods and tools to convince its viewers as religion. It has now become evident that the persuasive capacity of advertising is due to its potential to relate to people and connect on the level of their deepest needs in ways that are apparently meaningful. (Jeanie Wills 2011)
In order to understand what value does an advertisement provides. Yet it is quiet unclear as to what triggers the mind to attach the value to a certain product or a brand. (Hansen & Schnittka, 2017). Or which cue triggers which motive? Since the fundamental motives framework tell us that all of our actions are linked to our evolutionary motives and each motive is activated by triggering certain cues, which leaves us to ponder “if advertisements that use fundamental motive perform better than non-fundamental motive advertisements” (Kyriakidou, 2017).
Coding scheme. To test the above hypothetical question a coding procedure is necessary for mass media advertisements. The coding scheme was developed based on the procedure used by Richard W. Polly for testing value manifest in advertising. Even though Polly used the scheme for print media, it is still applicable to our coding scheme as it is similar with regard to the number of coders and to the content itself (advertisements).
Coders. Apart from the author itself one university graduate students from the field of business administration was chosen due to the existing knowledge about the field of studies, was trained for the specific task in the first session
Initial Session. The basic concepts were explained and discussed in detail of why what and how to do the coding, the coders then were given 40 sample ads to test the methodology and identify if the ad activates any of the fundamental motives and if so, it was triggered by which cues. The differences were solved by mutual discussions and clarifications the challenges in the early stage were mainly misunderstandings in the coding instrument which were clarified and soon the coders seemed to be learning with each passing ad. The results of the ratings were discussed once the sample rating was complete.
Sample. Advertisements were drawn from super bowl (annual professional American football championship), since its one the largest reoccurring events. In 2017 an estimated 111.3 million viewers watched the event (Statista.com). And due to its enormous viewership the companies are keen to advertise their products during this time. A sample size of 500 ads were selected over a period of 10 years from 2008 to 2017 with an average of 50 ads per year. The sample was taken from the website USA today admeter and adland, it is one of the biggest archives of super bowl ads. The longitudinal sample was chosen due to two factors, firstly to include the diversity of the viewership and secondly to test the methodology on the most recent ads as well as on the ads which are no longer in use.
Dependent Variable. Admeter USA today is a website which conducts surveys to determine the best ad during super bowl sessions each year for the past 30 years, which makes it a huge ad library with actual conducted surveys. The surveys are conducted during an ongoing league in which participants have to vote for the best ad after the match based on different determinants such as ad performance average , ad performance female, ad performance male and ad length. Since the data for other determinants was not available for past years, thus ad performance average was selected as dependent variable to test the hypothesis
Coding Procedure. After the initial introductory session the coders started to code the actual sample size. The coders were instructed to analyze and observe each ad firstly for the fundamental motives as they are the key elements in an ad which relate the ad to the evolutionary perspective. They might be visible by the depiction of a certain object or a situation in the ad. The secondary element of the ads are cues/appeals used to support/activate the primary element they might be noticeable by listening to the advertisements dialogue. Code if there is a primary element available or not. Code the secondary element in case primary element is present in the ad. Code the dependent variable. Additionally code for product type as hedonic or utilitarian. To avoid difference in coding results and to depict a unanimous result coders were allowed to discuss the ad with each other based on their observations. All the coding were recorded on the excel form shown in exhibit xyz.
The coding was performed under the following instructions
- Watch the advertisement visual aspect for the fundamental motives
- Listen to the audio aspect of the ads in order to analyse the cue triggering the fundamental motive
- Analyze the ad thoroughly to identify the product type (hedonic / utilitarian)
- Look if the ads is using humor
- Mark the dependent variable ratings
- Cross check the result with the other coder
Co-relation coefficient. To test the similarity of the results co-relation analysis was conducted. Since the second coder coded 60% ads out of 500 for a span of ten years with 30 ads in each year. Co-relation analysis was of great importance to assume the similarity of the data for the remaining 40 %.
The above table shows the Pearson product moment coefficient was computed to analyze the relationship between the ad motives of coder 1 and coder 2 among 300 study participants. The analysis has showed that there is the significant positive relationship has been found between the coder 1 and coder (r= .86***, p<.000). It shows that these variables are highly dependent one another. It has supported the study hypothesis as well as the study results are consistent with the previous studies that gives the strengthening look to the present study.
A univariate analysis of variance was conducted to compare the effect of ad motives on ad performance average in motive 1, motive 2, motive 3, motive 4, motive 5, motive 6, motive 7 to see if these motives perform better than the motive 8 (No Motive). There was a significant effect of ad motives on ad performance average at p < 0.05 for the eight conditions [F (7, 492) = 4.29**, p = 0.01]. Post hoc comparisons using tukeys HSD indicated that the mean score for the ad motive 6
(M = 3.29, SD = 3.30) was significantly different than rest of the motives such as motive 1 mean score (M = 5.02, SD = 2.19), motive 2 (M = 4.62, SD 1.13) motive 3 (M = 5.46, SD = 1.57), motive 4 (M = 4.71, SD = 1.96), motive 5 (M = 4.89, SD = 2.10) while motive 7 was with highest mean score (M = 5.44, SD = 1.78) though motive 8 is being tested against the rest of the motives to analyze whether if performs better or not. The mean score was not significantly different (M = 4.94, SD = 2.05)
Discussion. The study aimed at identifying that the advertisements using fundamental motives perform better than the non-fundamental motives, moreover to analyze which of the motives perform better than the others. So that the advertisers around the globe could focus their marketing efforts based on the impact of those factors in order to generate engagement towards the brand and advertisements. The literature review helped us to identify important factors regarding the fundamental motives framework and their implications. The model itself was concise as well as detailed enough to cover almost all the aspects of the daily life, which was the base of our coding instruments. We conducted correlation and unvariate analysis to check the impact on ad performance. The results of these tests provide and important insight regarding advertising strategies and human psychological behavior of consumers towards advertisements and different situations. (Joonghwa Lee, Chang-Dae Ham & Mikyoung Kim (2013) mention that consumers intend to share a video ad to their peers when there is an element of pleasure, affection, inclusion, escape, relaxation and control.
The Pearson showed 0.86 correlation among the coders meaning there is an 86% chance that the answer of one coder will be similar to the other with the a sig (2 tailed) at 0.01 showing that the model is positively correlated and highly significant.
The p-value for the univariate analysis showed an impact of fundamental motives on advertisements, by conducting the test we also analyzed which of the motives are currently being used by advertisers and it turns out that there are two advertising motives that are being used most intensively namely affiliation and status. This can be seen in descriptive analysis as motive 3 (affiliation) being used 133 times and motive 4 (status) 111 times respectively in a sample size of 500 ads. This means that the advertiser put more focus on affiliation because it is common human trait to feel a part of the society or to belong to community. An affiliation motive can also promote gift-giving, particularly by leading people to purchase gifts that might run counter to their own identities to fulfill the desires of the intended recipient (Ward & Broniarczyk, 2011). Thus when a consumer sees an ad with affiliation motive in it is deemed more acceptable and influential and the second most common used motive was the status as when advertiser want to depict their product they want it to be very exclusive and different and status has been the trait which is associated with being distinct or exclusive. It also attached with power and prestige accordingly, a status motive leads people to pay more for luxurious and prestigious goods (Rucker & Galinsky, 2008), and thus making it a favored motive for the advertisers as the motivation for taking the action is higher. And once status has been obtained, people exhibit behavior designed to preserve their status (Maner, Gailliot, Butz, & Peruche, 2007)
The results shows mean score of motive 6 in was significantly different than the rest of the motives which is quiet astonishing because mate acquisition seems to be a very important element in day to day life. It is mainly due to the fact that the number of ads for motive 6 were only 19. This implies that advertiser do not use the motive mate acquisition as intensively as compared to status or affiliation. (Samuel, 2011). Mainly because as mentioned in the literature people with this ad tend to stand out but for a very specific reason i.e to acquire a mate, and everyone can have their own way of standing out. And since most of the advertisements are trying depict goods or services which could be used by masses, it might be difficult to develop ads. Secondly the mate acquisition is a process that is being considered personal in some cultures which might not be acceptable give a bad name to the brand. (Scott, 1916). The second least used motive was disease avoidance or motive 2 it was coded only 24 times from the sample size. It shows that marketers around the globe tend to avoid using this motive as to activate this motive in consumers one might have to show unhygienic things or sick people which might also act other way round i.e. people might not want see the ad due to the feeling of disgust or sympathy. (Firfiray and Mayo, 2017). Although the mean score for this motive is fairly the same as others. On contrary the standard error for motive 2 and motive 6 are 0.41 and 0.46 respectively which shows that the sample results being away from reality.
For the non-fundamental motives that is to say motive 8 the mean score was 4.34 which was slightly below average. Non fundamental motive ads are those ads which use any of the motives from the motives framework. This means that the advertisers intended to use or depict some other motive or feeling through the ad which the coders were unable to grasp. (Strong, 1925).
The results from Tuckey HSD Post Hoc tests multiple comparisons show that the mean difference is significant at p<0.05, for motive1 motive 6 is significant at 0.01, for motive 2,4,5 no other motives were significant, for motive 3 M6 and M8 were significant at 0.01 and 0.03, for motive 6 M1, M3, and M7 were significant at 0.01 each . While for motive 7, 8 M6 and M3 were significant at 0.01 and 0.03 respectively
The overall results show that the fundamental motive ads perform better then then non fundamental motive. As it is visible in the graph above the estimated marginal means where “3” and “7” are performing above 5.00 while the rest of the motives lie between 4.50 and 5.00 except “6” which lies below 3.50. Whereas “8” lies below 4.50, this graph exhibits a detailed overview upon which motives perform better than the others based on which the advertisers can plan their advertisements around the motive.
Our study focused on finding out the significant factors that impact the ad performance through the use of fundamental motives. How and why does consumers engage in ads and what are the driving forces that motivate them to act upon an ad has been long under discussion our results contribute to this discussion in a manner that enhances the understanding for the marketers to advertise their product. (Alkshatry et al, 2017).
To summarize the results of our study, we observe that consumers’ engagement on advertisements is directly related to the content being shown to them and their attachment towards the ad increases when they feel the situation is somehow related to them. Moreover the advertisements that use motive tend to be more interesting. Therefore using fundamental motive have been found significantly and positively affect the performance. While the ads with no motive or non-fundamental motives have less significance on performance. (Guerroro, 2017).
Not all the ads need to have a fundamental motive. Though these motives are similar throughout the human history and across the globe yet it each of it can be perceived and interpreted differently in different regions thus cannot give a unanimous look. On the other hand it is quite possible consumers being aware of the fundamental motives feel that by using these motives the advertisements are exploiting the consumer’s psychology and not really delivering the actual message. Which in turn can make them avoid ads altogether or they will not engage into the ad. (Kanning, 2017).
Our study helps the marketers of global brands in understanding the main factors which lead the consumers to endorse and engage with their brands through advertisements. High customer engagement of brands through advertisement leads to word of mouth which is valuable for any brand as it helps the marketers influence the consumption patterns of existing customers and generating the new customers as well. This leads to enhanced sales and profitability for the firm.
The sample size consists of only super bowl ads which depict the view of only one nation. Moreover only 2 coders coded the instruments with one coder coding only 60% of the data therefore making it difficult avoid bias results. Since our study only focused on one aspect of comparison between fundamental and non-fundamental. Further research is needed by adding more diverse data from different nations and by adding more variables into the data. These studies can then be compared to understand how motive are perceived in different regions.
- The ad activates a (self-protection) motive, in terms of that the ad motivates the viewer to (evade physical danger to remain safe).
- The ad activates a (Disease avoidance) motive, in terms of that the ad motivates the viewer to (Avoid infections to stay healthy).
- The ad activates an (Affiliation) motive, in terms of that the ad motivates the viewer to (Form and maintain cooperative alliances)
- The ad activates a (Status) motive, in terms of that the ad motivates the viewer to (Gain and maintain respect and prestige)
- The ad activates a (Mate acquisition) motive, in terms of that the ad motivates the viewer to (Acquire a desirable romantic partner)
- The ad activates a (Mate retention) motive, in terms of that the ad motivates the viewer to (Foster long-term mating bond)
- The ad activates a (Kin care) motive, in terms of that the ad motivates the viewer to (Invest in and care for family and kin)
- The ad activates (no fundamental motives).
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