This investigation attempts to assess quantitatively past studies on advertising-appeal differences and scale them on a common metric. On the basis of a large and unique dataset using comparative meta-analysis, this study provides measures of the relative impact of seven types of appeals. Meta-regression was used to test whether certain moderators can explain the variability in effect sizes. Results suggest that appeals were not effective equally, and their estimated impact was used to create a hierarchy of appeals. Emotional appeals, led by sex and humor, appeared to be more effective than fear and rational appeals. The most important moderators were media type and year of publication. Among other results, emotional appeals were more effective on television, and emotional appeals were more impactful in more recent studies. The article concludes with implications and discussion, emphasizing the need for more research.
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