A clear, snappy advertisement doesn't necessarily guarantee a sale.

woman in a cafe shopping online with credit card
Credit: Getty / Lyndon Stratford

A buzzy product with flashy social media posts and clear descriptions may seem like the best way to market your product and get consumers to invest it in. However, a new study has found that advertisements with confusing language and a more chaotic layout can actually lead to consumers conducting more research on that product and ultimately making a more informed buying decision.

"Most of the time, marketing communicators try to make their message clear. What we learned, however, is that there are certain times, especially when people need to make choices, when we should actually use disfluent stimuli so that whatever people are choosing, they will like it once time has passed," explains co-author Gaurav Jain, an assistant professor of marketing in the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Researchers found that consumers believed the time they spent trying to understand an advertisement was part of a diligent, research-based decision. Ultimately, they were happier with the decision they made to choose a product because they believed they spent an adequate amount of time understanding a particular product.

"When people are making decisions, be it choosing between insurance products, retirement funds, or even when choosing an elected official, marketers and designers need to remember that if we can make an individual spend some time in that choosing process, it's more likely people will stick with the option they chose over time," says Jain.

Ultimately, even a product isn't advertised well, if consumer reviews are positive and the product is popular, the brand will succeed.


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