A recent paper published in the Journal of Advertising (JAR) analyses the impacts of abstract and concrete language and brand shapes in ads.
According to the study, luxury brands that use more concrete forms of print advertising as opposed to abstract language see higher purchase willingness among consumers. Abstract language was more relevant in lifestyle ads. Product-centred ads are consistent with concrete language.
However, “construal” levels must be considered in ads wherein how consumers evaluate the distance between the product and themselves, to measure interest levels. Products at a greater distance in ads had higher construal levels, thereby seen as more abstract.
Objects at closer distances, however seemed to be more “concrete” or were lower construal. This increases perceived differentiation and consumer willingness to pay. Gauging construal levels in ads can help luxury brands effectively measure their consumers' interest levels.
[2 minute read]