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The Art of Persuasion: Decoding the Perfect AI-Powered Digital Ad

AI-powered digital promotions have the potential to revolutionize business marketing by providing customers with a more personalized and engaging experience. They can deliver real-time answers and actions to queries, automate purchasing processes, and personalize customer service. But how human-like should chatbots be when promoting products and services to consumers?

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Advertising Assistant Professor Yuan Sun, Grand Valley State University Assistant Professor Jin Chen and Penn State University James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects S. Shyam Sundar explored that question by examining three chatbot variables: anthropomorphic design, human-like interactions with consumers and storytelling. They tested how the interchange between those three factors influenced people’s opinions of chatbot ads.

The findings, published in the Journal of Business Research, discovered that when chatbot ads are good at engaging in back-and-forth conversations, people tend to react more positively to both the sales pitch and the product being promoted. The results revealed that this occurs because highly interactive digital ads break through what people normally expect from a chatbot, making the experience more intriguing.

The study also affirmed that online advertisements that tell a story have a big impact. They generate a more positive response by drawing people in and making them feel a part of the narrative.

Finally, a combination of factors produced the most illuminating findings. The analysis showed that if a chatbot ad appears has a more machine-like profile but still perform high-level interactions and deliver narrative content, it hits the sweet spot. Why? The approach increases the sense of social presence – making consumers feel like they’re interacting with something more human-like – which boosts the promotion’s persuasiveness.

The study’s insights are huge for businesses that use digital adverts driven by AI. The key to effective chatbot marketing isn’t just about loading up on human-like features. Instead, it’s about finding the right mix – a bit of machine-like appearance with the right amount of interactivity and story-based messaging – to create experiences that resonate more with customers.

Understanding these dynamics should enable companies to craft AI-powered sales campaigns that better entice customers and meet advertising goals.

The original article, “Chatbot Ads With a Human Touch: A Test of Anthropomorphism, Interactivity, and Narrativity,” was published online in the February 2024 Journal of Business Research.

 Authors: Yuan Sun, Jin Chen, and S. Shyman Sundar

 This summary was written by Gisele McAuliffe.

Posted: February 2, 2024
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