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evaluating the effectiveness of humor appeal in printed advertisements for HIV/AIDS prevention in Italy.

Non Castigat Ridendo Mores: evaluating the effectiveness of humor appeal in printed advertisements for HIV/AIDS prevention in Italy.

Soscia I1Turrini ATanzi E.

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Abstract

This article investigates the effects of different emotional appeals in HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns using printed advertisements. More specifically, it examines the effectiveness of humor appeal compared with shock and fear appeals. The authors experimentally test the level of attention drawn and the spontaneous recall arising when young Italian adults are shown different HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns. Findings show that humor appeals are less effective than fear and shock appeals, evidencing the failures in HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns in Italy, a country where the former communication strategy has been used in substantive ways. The results also indicate the higher effectiveness of fear appeals (over shock and humor) in printed HIV/AIDS advertising campaigns. The implications of these results for further studies and for improving the design, implementation, and evaluation of HIV/AIDS campaign efforts are also discussed.