You thought:The question in an ad ("This car is for you?") influences your customer more than a statement ("This car is for you.") because it invites him to think about something and reach his own conclusion, hence, he gets more involved in the whole "process" and perhaps more likely to buy.
Remember the success of "Got Milk?", "Did somebody say McDonald’s?“ or "Where’s the beef?”? It’s a question, again.
New facts:If the stimuli around the consumer are dreary and dull (ordinary visuals, boring music, etc.), they stimulate low arousal, and unaroused consumers respond favorably to questions.
If stimuli around the consumer are exciting and flashy (thrilling visuals, dramatic music, etc), they stimulate high arousal and aroused consumers respond more favorably to statements.
What Marketing Doctor ordered:Use your logic for when to ask questions and when to give statements. Aroused consumers want clarity, they want simple information so they can act on it. Calm, relaxed consumers want stimuli that peak their curiosity.
Simple statement will probably be more persuasive in your ad if it is demonstrated in an exciting event, during energetic speeches, during an intermission of an action movie, in some stimulating, visually attractive website, near a thrilling story in the magazine, during supermarket‘s holiday sale and so on. As the author of the research says, "If the ad itself or the material in which it is embedded involves topics of a sexual, competitive, dangerous, or thrilling nature, the current research suggests that a statement style is likely to be more effective, even if a question style could appeal to consumers' curiosity under other circumstances..".
Under normal circumstances your promotional phrase might be more persuasive as a question, especially during slow-moving speeches, relaxing TV programmes, typical shopping days..well, you get the idea.
Source: Henrik Hagtvedt. Promotional phrases as questions versus statements: An influence of phrase style on product evaluation.Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2015.
P.S. When you’re done reading, I’d love for you to share your experience with promotional phrases in your marketing? Leave a comment or Tweet me, let's chat!