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Exploring the art of persuasion : an analysis of the appeal methods used in television advertising for children's food and beverage

English Abstract

Television advertising can be both an art of persuasion and a mirror to society. In recent years, childhood obesity has increased rapidly, which has led many to question the role that food and beverage advertising plays in this trend. Some previous studies have analyzed the techniques used in commercials and examined children’s ability to understand the techniques which marketers used to appeal to them. However, little has been known about how these techniques are utilized in Mainland China. This study is a content analysis of the appeal methods used in television advertising of China for children’s food and beverage. 489 samples in total were analyzed for audio-visual techniques, the presence of rewards for purchasing the product, product attribute themes and narrative themes. Obviously, 54.6% of sample commercials mentioned taste/flavor/smell/texture, 57.1% showed peers togetherness, 61.6% presented a general happy mood, 75.2% contained humor, and 92.8% contained a textual catchphrase or mentioned verbally. The study shows that the advertising techniques that advertisers use are those they believe to be the most effective. It also suggests that the techniques that children see the most often have the most potential impact on them. Therefore, advice on future research is made in order to assess the strength and type of this impact based on the appeal methods most frequently used.

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Ren, Zhi Jie


Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities


Department of Communication




Advertising and children -- China

Television and children -- China

Television advertising and children -- China

Advertising -- Food -- China

Advertising -- Beverages -- China


Chang, Wen Yu

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