Ads work better if all senses are involved

But authors Ryan S. Elder and Aradhna Krishna from the University of Michigan demonstrate that tapping into our other senses can actually increase consumers' taste perceptions.
"Because taste is generated from multiple senses (smell, texture, sight, and sound), ads mentioning these senses will have a significant impact on taste over ads mentioning taste alone," write the authors.
Krishna did her BA Honours in economics from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, and MBA in marketing from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. She did her Ph.D in marketing from New York University.
In the experiments, participants were randomly assigned to view one of two ads. One ad was designed to appeal to multiple senses (for example, a tagline for a chewing gum read "stimulate your senses"), while the other ad mentioned taste alone ("long-lasting flavour"). After sampling the gum, the participants listed thoughts they had regarding the item and then rated the overall taste.

"The multiple-sense ad led to more positive sensory thoughts, which then led to higher taste perception than the single-sense ad," the authors said. "The differences in thoughts were shown to drive the differences in taste." The results were repeated with potato chips and popcorn.
The authors believe their research can help advertisers reword ad copy to lead to significant differences in taste. "These results are of great value not only to food advertisers, but also to restaurants, as the descriptions contained within menus can actually alter the taste experience," said the researchers.
These findings were published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

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