The Psychology of Advertising  book cover
3rd Edition

The Psychology of Advertising

ISBN 9780367346393
Published October 8, 2020 by Routledge
478 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Psychology of Advertising offers a comprehensive exploration of theory and research in (consumer) psychology on how advertising impacts the thoughts, emotions and actions of consumers. It links psychological theories and empirical research findings to real-life industry examples, showing how scientific research can inform marketing practice.

Advertising is a ubiquitous and powerful force, seducing us into buying wanted and sometimes unwanted products and services, donating to charitable causes, voting for political candidates and changing our health-related lifestyles for better or worse. This revised and fully updated third edition of The Psychology of Advertising offers a comprehensive and state-of-the art overview of psychological theorizing and research on the impact of online and offline advertising and discusses how the traces consumers leave on the Internet (their digital footprint) guides marketers in micro-targeting their advertisements. The new edition also includes new coverage of big data, privacy, personalization and materialism, and engages with the issue of the replication crisis in psychology, and what that means in relation to studies in the book.

Including a glossary of key concepts, updated examples and illustrations, this is a unique and invaluable resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate students and instructors. Suitable for psychology, advertising, marketing and media courses. It is also a valuable guide for professionals working in advertising, public health, public services and political communication.

Table of Contents


1. Setting the Stage
The Origins of Modern-day Advertising

Advertising in Practice: The Nuts and Bolts of the Industry 
The Functions of Advertising 
The Effects of Advertising: A Psychological Perspective 
Consumer Responses 
Source and Message Variables in Advertising 
Advertising in Context: Integrated Marketing Communications and the Promotional Mix 
Classic and Contemporary Approaches of Conceptualizing Advertising Effectiveness 
Plan of the Book
Summary and Conclusions

2. How Consumers Acquire and Process Information from Advertising
Preattentive Analysis
Focal Attention
Elaborative Reasoning
Summary and Conclusions

3. How Advertising Affects Consumer Memory
The Structure and Function of Human Memory
Implications for Advertising
Can Advertising Distort Memory?
Summary and Conclusions

4. How Consumers Form Attitudes Towards Products
What is an Attitude? A Matter of Contention
Attitude Strength
Attitude Formation
Attitude Structure
The Functions of Attitudes and Attitude Objects
Summary and Conclusions

5. How Consumers Yield to Advertising: Principles of Persuasion and Attitude Change
The Yale Reinforcement Approach
The Information Processing Model of McGuire
The Cognitive Response Model
Dual Process Theories of Persuasion

Assessing the Intensity of Processing
Simplifying Dual Process Theories: The Unimodel

Self-Validation: A New Process of Persuasion
Strategies to Attract Attention to Advertising
Strategies to Lower Resistance to Advertising
Summary and Conclusions

6. How Advertising Influences Buying Behaviour
The Attitude–Behaviour Relationship: A Brief History
Predicting Specific Behaviour: The Reasoned Action Approach
Narrowing the Intention–Behaviour Gap: Forming Implementation Intentions
Implications for Advertising
Beyond Reasons and Plans: The Automatic Instigation of Behaviour
Implications for Advertising: The Return of the Hidden Persuaders
Summary and Conclusions

7. Beyond Persuasion: Achieving Consumer Compliance Without Changing Attitudes
Social Influence and Compliance Without Pressure                        
The Principle of Reciprocity
The Principle of Commitment/Consistency
The Principle of Social Validation
The Principle of Liking
The Principle of Authority
The Principle of Scarcity
The Principle of Confusion
Mindlessness Revisited: The Limited-Resource Account
Summary and Conclusions

8. Advertising in the New Millennium: How the Internet Affects Consumer Judgement and Choice
Features of Online Advertising
When does Online Advertising Promote Persuasion?
How does Online Advertising Promote Persuasion?: The Role of Conscious versus Unconscious Processes
Supplementing Regular Online Advertising: Persuasion via Decision Support Systems
Unintended and Incidental Effects of Being Online on Consumer Cognition (and What They Mean for Online Advertising)
Beyond Online Advertising: Persuasion via Online Interpersonal Communication
Summary and Conclusions

Author Index

Subject Index

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Bob M. Fennis is Professor of Consumer Behaviour at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has published extensively on the psychology of persuasion and social influence and the role of consumer self-regulation in these processes.

Wolfgang Stroebe, Professor Emeritus of Utrecht University, is now Visiting Professor at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has (co-)authored numerous books and scientific articles on social and health psychology.


'Fennis and Stroebe wrote the essential introduction for anyone who wants to understand how advertising really works. There is no other text like this.' Luk Warlop, BI Norwegian Business School and President of the European Marketing Academy  

Praise for previous edition:

'As a comprehensive, yet readable, book of reference for academics and their students working in the areas of advertising, business studies and in more general areas such as attitude formation and attitude change, the book will be very valuable.' Dinah Bisdee, King's College London, UK, in Social Psychological Review

'The Psychology of Advertising is a rich source of ideas about methodology, theory and research that advanced undergraduate students and graduate students in areas of consumer psychology, promotional strategy, integrated marketing and advertising as well as other disciplines such as business and communication will find interesting and accessible. The book would make a useful tool for professionals working in fields such as advertising, public health, public services and political communication who are interested in responding to Dill Scott’s call for educating practitioners in psychology.' – Debra Merskin, University of Oregon, USA, in PsycCRITIQUES

'This book is extremely well-written. The authors have done an outstanding job of explaining and summarizing complex topics in a manner that advanced undergraduates and graduate students can understand and appreciate. The book is thorough, accurate and scientifically grounded and is the most sophisticated and advanced summary of the host of psychological processes that influence advertising effectiveness.' Frank R. Kardes, College of Business, University of Cincinnati, USA

'This book provides an impressive, elaborate and thoroughly researched review of the academic literature on the psychology of attitudes and attitude change, with an emphasis on advertising and consumer behaviour. It provides a well written overview of the research, I learned a lot from reading it and enjoyed it greatly!' Peeter Verlegh, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands