What's the Latest Development?

New research suggests that messages which appeal to an individual's personality traits are better received than ones which focus on age or demographics, the conventional metrics used by advertisers. Based on five personality traits (agreeableness, extraversion, emotional stability, openness to experience and conscientiousness), researchers found that "each trait is associated with certain attitudes, for example the open individual tends to value intellectual pursuits, while the agreeable person values a sense of belonging." In the experiment, individuals were asked to rate the effectiveness of a series of advertisements. 

What's the Big Idea?

Researchers found that the effectiveness of every advertisement increased when the message was tailored to the sympathies of different personality types rather than to demographic categories. Galen Bodenhausen of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, pointed out that the research has wider implications: "Personality-based message design may be useful not only for advertisers, but also for fostering any number of outcomes, from health promotion to civic engagement, to environmental responsibility."

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