Positive uncertainty: the benefit of the doubt in advertising

So after reading the abstract on this article.

‘Positive uncertainty refers to uncertainty surrounding an anticipated positive outcome. It provides consumers with the opportunity to imagine and speculate on a product’s or experience’s potentially positive characteristics. Research has shown that when uncertainty is associated with something positive, consumers may prefer uncertainty to certainty. In a between-subjects experimental design with a large US (n = 446) and Japanese sample (n = 453), the present study demonstrates that positive uncertainty increases consumers’ positive feelings when they evaluate a product, particularly for high-involvement products that allow consumers to imagine and speculate about potentially positive product benefits. Unexpectedly, the study findings are consistent across the two different markets, which vary substantially in terms of consumers’ level of uncertainty avoidance. Specifically, results show that future-framed advertisements are effective in generating positive uncertainty and that positive uncertainty generates positive attitudes, both in countries scoring high (Japan) and low (USA) on uncertainty avoidance.’

For when I write the abstract for the evaluation for this project and project 5 I will follow these guidelines.

What was I trying to do?

How did I go about doing it?


What I got from this was that Positive uncertainly means to anticipate something that might be exciting, fun, humorous etc. You don’t know what to expect but you feel it will be something good. For example. Receiving a gift that is wrapped up or watching a film trailer and thinking that the film will be exciting from the snippet you have seen. In relation to this project, the video I create for the Thirsty Planet company could have an element of humor or a twist that the viewer might not expect.

This could work really well for my portfolio and working in the industry. If I can create something that will surprise the viewer, my work will have value.


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