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Taboo advertising: can humor help to attract attention and enhance recall?

Abstract : "Taboo advertising" is often seen as an effective way to attract attention and enhance recall. Drawing on arousal theory and the "taboo-superiority effect," this study questions the nature of the relationship between the level of tabooness and the achievement of those aims. Purpose-designed print advertisements manipulated levels of taboo and humor. Analysis of data collected from 180 respondents in France finds a curvilinear relationship, in which an optimum level of taboo-arousal achieves maximum attention and recall. It also finds that humor decreases perceived tabooness of objectively high-taboo advertisements. Implications for marketing communications strategy are discussed, and future research directions are suggested.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 10:18:55 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 3:23:37 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01123550, version 1



Ouidade Sabri. Taboo advertising: can humor help to attract attention and enhance recall?. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, The Association of Marketing Theory and Practice,, 2012, 20 (4), pp.407-422. ⟨hal-01123550⟩



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