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EMAC 2022 Annual

Time for action: Implied-action does it!

Published: May 24, 2022


Gudrun Roose, IESEG School of Management; Maggie Geuens, Ghent University


Vividness is core for ad pictures and one way to go is to imply action. Take for example ad pictures of hotel rooms featuring objects such as filled glasses and foods on a side table suggesting that an aperitif is taking place. This research shows that presenting objects in ads - which imply that a certain action is going on - are effective ad appeals. More specific, this research contributes to the literature by providing evidence that implied-action objects have a positive impact on consumer attitudes, evaluations, and purchase intentions (Studies 1-3). Second, we explain the underlying process of this effect by providing evidence for self-transportation as a mediator (Study 1 & 2). Third, we show that peripheral implied-action objects are equally effective as core implied-action objects (Study 3). Lastly, we show that the mere presence of one type of implied-action is equally effective as presenting two types of implied-action (Study 3). The results of this research paper are highly relevant for practitioners since implied-action objects are not only effective and widely applicable, but also neutral, easy, and cheap cues to implement.