Adolescents are especially vulnerable to image-based messages, which place them directly in line with the lifestyle messages presented in numerous alcohol advertisements. Research has shown that teenagers encounter alcohol advertisements from a variety of sources, prompting concern over the consequences of exposure and the risks associated with teen drinking. Warning messages contained within these alcohol advertisements are often vague in their wording and targeted to promote responsible drinking among adults, making them wholly inadequate for teen deterrence. This thesis explores the problems with current alcohol responsibility messages when dealing with teens, and proposes the development of new, modified messages, that are more direct and consequence-based. The Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion was used to describe teen processing of alcohol warning messages, and eye-tracking technology was used to determine how this processing can be examined visually. The purpose of this research was to aid in the development of new messages that have been modified by type size, type contrast, and message content (a 2x2x2 factorial design). Results indicated that modifying message content to include direct language and a consequence enhances visibility and attention to alcohol responsibility messages. Larger type and higher contrast can be applied to the message to further enhance visibility, but the change in attention for these factors was shown to be minimal and nonsignificant. Overall, the greatest power lies in changing the message itself, irrespective of all other variables.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Communications



Date Submitted


Document Type





eye-tracking, eye, tracking, eye tracking, masked recall, aided recall, elaboration likelihood model, elm, persuasion, alcohol, responsibility message, warning message, message, drink responsibly, teen, teens, adolescent, advertising, advertisements, anova, factorial design, 2x2x2, 2 x 2 x 2, corona, becks, amstel, heineken



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Communication Commons