It is pleasant and heavy: convergence of visual contents in tobacco, alcohol and food marketing in Brazil

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Abstract

The tactical use of visuoperceptual content in marketing may encourage impulsive consumption of unhealthy products. In this study, the application of visuoperceptual content was compared in advertisements used by industries of tobacco, alcohol and food. The aim was to ascertain whether similarities exist in the strategies used as variables for the selection of commercial stimuli, such as color, position and size. Scion Image and Corel Draw Graphics Suite software were used to analyze the content of a non-probabilistic sample of advertising images (N = 150). Differences were identified in the use of the colors green (p = 0.04) and red (p = 0.01), but not in the use of the color blue (p = 0.64), suggesting that induction of feelings of pleasantness resulting from the use of the color blue may be associated with the advertising in the alcohol and tobacco industries. Regarding the position of the commercial stimuli, a predominance of the use of quadrants ‘C' (p = 0.00) and ‘D' (p = 0.01) was found in all three industries, indicating a similar use of areas perceived as being ‘heavier'. As to the size, 78% of advertisements placed the commercial stimuli within a range of 0-25% of the total image. The results showed some similarities in the use of visuoperceptual content in advertisements for tobacco, alcohol and food, especially between tobacco and alcohol. The article offers a convergence analysis of these three industries altogether, providing additional subsidies for the formulation of protection policies.

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