Peripheral Cues and Personality Politics

Authors: Lilleker, D.G.

Pages: 80-99

DOI: 10.1057/9781137313430_5


The amount of persuasive communication any individual is exposed to on a daily basis is beyond quantification. Persuasion is said to be endemic (Perloff, 2012: 16), yet much persuasion must be ineffective. If every piece of persuasive communication were successful, every individual would be constantly stopping, thinking, processing and forming attitudes. Rather, communication that is not immediately important and irrelevant, and/ or is too complex, is likely to be ignored. But not totally ignored. Small images, snapshots of the world around us, are stored constantly, neatly filed in our mental filing cabinet. These snapshots, when linked by a brand name perhaps, can be collected together, put within the same file so to speak. As a result schema can be formed out of myriad simplistic pieces of information, but the information in a schema, however simplistic, can be drawn upon when a relevant decision is required. If someone is not in the market to buy a car, but is constantly seeing television and poster advertisements for car manufacturers, they may have some idea of what each brand represents. When that individual decides to purchase a car the images stored in their schema for each brand may help in deciding the right car for them. The key selling points could be safety, so appealing to a mother or father; cute city cars appeal to young females; the match of the message to the individual may influence a purchase decision. Message construction is a core part of the science that underpins advertising; it is largely about conditioning consumers to retain a simple positive association with a product or brand.

Source: Scopus