Exploratory qualitative analysis of 127 actual on-line conversations revealed the presence of humor in word-of-mouth (WOM). This use of humor seemed to weaken the impact of the WOM advice. While there is a rich history of research on the impact of humor on advertising, there is no equivalent research in the WOM
literature. Using a 2x2 experimental design, the impact of humorous WOM on behavioral intentions, WOM intentions, evaluations of source credibility and evaluations of message persuasiveness are analyzed. Humor was found to decrease the impact of positive and negative WOM messages.
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Source: Dave Bussiere, University of Windsor, Canada