Elements of Rational and Emotional Appeal in Magazine Advertisements: A Social Cognitive Approach
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This content analysis analyzed the use of advertising appeals—creative techniques used to communicate messages about products and services in such ways as to initiate purchase behavior—in tractor advertising appearing in Successful Farming magazine from January 2004 to December 2013. Using social cognitive theory and the consumer buying decision process model as guides, the study aimed to answer the research question: Are the appeals used in tractor advertising rational, emotional, or undeterminable? Two industry experts independently examined each advertisement in a sample of advertisements (n = 30) randomly assigned to each expert coder; the researcher examined all advertisements in the population (N = 66). All coders followed the same implicit set of coding instructions developed to determine if the predominant appeal in each advertisement in the sample/population was rational, emotional, or undeterminable. Inter-rater reliability was established using Krippendorff’s α. The results of the content analysis determined 70% of the advertisements appearing in Successful Farming magazine from January 2004 to December 2013 used predominantly rational appeals. In 30% of the advertisements, the coding team was unable to determine if the advertisement used rational or emotional appeals. None of the advertisements in the study used predominantly emotional appeals. This research lays the foundation for future study of advertising appeals used in agricultural advertising.
content analysis tractor advertising
content analysis advertising appeals
tractor advertising appeals
social cognitive theory
consumer buying decision process
rational and emotional advertising appeals in tractor advertising
advertising appeals in tractor advertising
Costello, Lori Michelle (2015). Elements of Rational and Emotional Appeal in Magazine Advertisements: A Social Cognitive Approach. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from
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