How do simple versus intricate advertisements expressed via visuals and messaging affect consumer reactions?

Open Access
Major, Amy
Area of Honors:
Advertising/Public Relations
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Francis Erin Dardis, Thesis Supervisor
  • Francis Erin Dardis, Honors Advisor
  • Ken E Yednock, Faculty Reader
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Consumer Reactions
  • Simple messaging
  • complex messaging
  • advertisements
This thesis examines consumer reactions to four different advertisements by the Chupa Chups lollipop company. The first part of the study discusses the results from two different focus groups that were conducted using three Chupa Chup advertisements. The second part of the study analyzes an online questionnaire concerning two of the previous Chupa Chups advertisements as well as one new advertisement. Each advertisement differed in message complexity from simple to medium to intricate. ‘Simple’ refers to an easily interpretable image with limited copy. ‘Medium’ refers to slightly more copy and a busy visual. ‘Complex’ suggests challenging and lengthy copy accompanied by an intricate visual. The results from the focus group showed that individuals preferred the simple advertisement because it was straight forward and easy to interpret. The intended message and action was understood by all. However, the remaining two advertisements were both disliked for varying reasons. The medium advertisement was disliked due to severe controversy of the intended message, and the complex advertisement was disliked for its confusion and lack of interpretable message. The questionnaire experiment showed that there was no significant difference between advertisement type and purchase intention, that there was no significance between positive mood and purchase intent, that there was a significance between negative mood and purchase intent, that there was a significance between advertisement type and both positive and negative mood, and that there was a significance between both advertisement type and attitude towards the brand and attitude towards the specific advertisement shown.