Feelings of uncertainty and powerlessness from Covid-19: Implications for advertising appeals in the restaurant industry

Yoo Hee Hwang, Yang Bi, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Are rational (emotional) advertising appeals more congruent with healthy (indulgent) products? Prior research shows inconsistent results on the congruency effect between appeal type and product category. This study sheds
light on this topic by examining the moderating effect of two psychological states (i.e., feelings of uncertainty and powerlessness) caused by Covid-19 on the relative effectiveness of rational vs. emotional appeals in the context of food advertisements. The results suggest that people with low levels of uncertainty respond more favorably to rational (vs. emotional) appeals of a healthy food item, and this effect is attenuated among people with high levels of uncertainty. On the other hand, powerful people find emotional (vs. rational) appeals of an
indulgent food item more attractive, and this effect is attenuated among powerless people. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103017
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Advertising appeals
  • Covid-19
  • Pandemic
  • Power
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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