Don't try to tell a die-hard skeptic that your low-E windows, energy-efficient HVAC, or Energy Star appliances will save him 35 percent a year on his utility bills. He's not going to believe it. Chances are, he won't even look at the ad because as soon as he sees it, he'll turn the page or flip the channel. However, you can get his attention with images of little girls dancing on their daddy's feet in the living room or smiling kids in a tub full of bubbles.

That's what researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle University, and Washington State have found in a study of ad skepticism. Coauthor of the study Doug MacLachlan, professor of marketing and international business at the University of Washington School of Business, says the study indicates that “it doesn't make sense to lay out a series of facts” to highly skeptical people because they don't pay attention to factual information.

“But it is persuasive to have emotional appeals,” he says. “They don't think they're being persuaded, but they are. Advertisers have known this for years. This quantified it academically.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE STUDY, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT WWW.BUILDERONLINE.COM, CLICK ON “THE MAGAZINE” TAB, AND THEN CLICK ON “BUILDER ARTICLE LINKS.”