By Courtney Pomeroy

LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — Anti-smoking ads that invoke responses of fear or disgust in viewers are also more likely to be effective, according to a new Centers for Disease Control study.

In 2013, a CDC lab studied 144 men and woman between the ages of 18 to 33. Eighty-four percent were nonsmokers. All of them were shown six anti-smoking TV ads that displayed possible health affects of smoking and were asked to rate both their responses of fear and disgust and the effectiveness of the advertisements.

After viewing each advertisement, each participant responded to five adjectives — “frightening,” “scary,” “sickening,” “repulsive,” and “gross.” For each adjective, participants circled a number on a five-point Likert scale that included the anchors “1 = Not at all” and “5 = Very much so.”

Participants then responded to four measures of perceived effectiveness — “This ad had a message that was important to me,” “This ad made me stop and think about my health,” “This ad is one that I will likely tell other people about,” and “Overall I thought this ad was a very good anti-smoking ad.”

For each measure, participants responded by circling a number on a 5-point Likert scale, where one means “strongly disagree” and five means “strongly agree”.

The results showed that the three ads that elicited the highest amounts of fear and disgust were also rated the most effective.

Watch the more effective ads below. (WARNING: Content may be disturbing to some viewers.)



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