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A Preview of the
Journal of Advertising Research

September 2015 (Vol. 55, Issue 3)

How Brand Marketing Works In Advertising


Letter from the CEO
How Advertising Works: Truth or Dare
The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF)’s “How Advertising Works Today” initiative is revealing examples “in which even in the midst of accelerating change the basic foundation—of consumer connection, emotional connectivity fueled by insight, and creativity—drives brilliant brand building,” Gayle Fuguitt, CEO & President, says. She applauds visionaries, like CBS’s David Poltrack, recipient of the 2015 Erwin Ephron Award, who are leading the industry’s path to growth.

Editor’s Desk
How Does Brand Marketing Work in Advertising?
Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Precourt highlights the special theme-section articles and introduces the new “Next” page, “a regular preview that points our readers to the theme of our upcoming issue as it takes a thoughtful look at previous JAR contributions to the literature.” The Journal’s climbing “Impact Factor”—a measure of the average number of citations to recent articles—is an indication of how much this publication is valued as trustworthy, respected source of information, Precourt notes.

Numbers, Please
How Brands Using Social Media Ignite Marketing and Drive Growth:
Measurement of Paid Social Media Appears Solid, but Are the Metrics for Organic Social Overstated?

Gian M. Fulgoni, co-founder and chairman emeritus of comScore, Inc., shares the insights he gained as a judge reviewing 33 finalist case studies submitted by firms around the world competing for the annual Warc Prize for Social Strategy. “It’s impressive to see the creative applications of social and how it can be used to amplify the impact of traditional media,” Fulgoni writes. “Specific isolation on business results—especially organic efforts—needs further development,” he notes. “It’s clear … that some of the metrics being used to evaluate organic social marketing are overstated.”

Speaker’s Box
Managing Brands in a Prickly Digital World
Columbia University’s Donald E. Sexton warns that that a wake-up call is needed for many companies that either ignore or respond inadequately to negative social media. Brand managers continue to underestimate how negative customer perceptions may affect their brands and eventually their bottom line. “Customers must be considered part of the marketing team,” Sexton says. “Companies cannot afford to be ‘tone deaf’ with respect to the possible impact of customers’ actions on their brands.”

Research Quality
Accounting for Social-Desirability Bias in Survey Sampling:
A Model for Predicting and Calibrating the Direction and Magnitude Of Social-Desirability Bias
This latest deep dive on sample quality, from the ARF’s “Foundations of Quality 2” program, explores the impact of respondents who do not provide accurate responses to questions, especially in reference to topics of a sensitive nature such as politics and actions that affect one’s health. “Understanding the magnitude of bias present in interviewer-assisted modes, and the degree of correction required for sensitive questions, can improve the accuracy of measurement in all modes of interviewing,” according to authors Steven Gittelman, (Mktg, Inc.), Victor Lange (Catalina Marketing), William A. Cook (e-Strategic Advantage), Susan M. Frede (Lightspeed GMI), independent consultant Paul J. Lavrakas, Christine Pierce (Nielsen), and Randall K. Thomas (GfK Custom Research).

ARF David Ogilvy Awards
Masters of Insight: Marketing Art Meets Marketing Science
Selected Excerpts from The David Ogilvy Awards 2015
Enjoy selected winning case studies from the 2015 David Ogilvy Awards: Grand and Gold: Procter & Gamble (Pantene –“Beautiful Hair Whatever the Weather”). Plus three Gold winners: ESPN (“Who’s In?”); Kmart (Joe Boxer – “Show Your Joe”); and Unilever (Knorr –“See a Different Side”).

Coming in December: How Cross-Platform Advertising Works
Executive Editor Jenni Romaniuk (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute) sets the stage for the Journal’s special theme section on cross-platform advertising in December. “The last 15 years provide a strong foundation of research findings in the JAR, but there is still so much to learn,” Romaniuk says.

Feature Articles

How Corporate Sponsors Can Optimize the Impact of Their Message Content:
Mastering the Message – Improving the Processability and Effectiveness of Sponsorship Activation

Sponsorship activations can differ either according to their focus (on the brand versus on the event), or their scope (promoting a product versus a corporate image). Among other findings in this study on sponsorship effectiveness, Francois A. Carrillat (University of Technology Sydney), Alain d’Astous (HEC Montréal), and Marie-Pier Charette Couture (Nikon Optical Canada) propose that sponsorship activations, that are consistent with respect to their focus and their scope, are easier for targeted audiences to process.

Special Section:
How Brand Marketing Works In Advertising

Do Price Promotions Help or Hurt Premium-Product Brands?
The Impact of Different Price-Promotion Types on Sales and Brand Perception
Scholars long have studied the effects of sales promotions on brands. Felix Zoellner (BMW Group) and Tobias Schaefers (TU Dortmund University, Germany) see a gap in this area when it comes to discussing premium-product brands. In their analysis of German premium automobile brands, they find that direct-price reduction has the strongest positive impact on sales. Brand perception, they discover, is least deteriorated by both direct-price reduction without a precondition—promotions offering free gifts, trade-in incentives, or loyalty programs—and indirect-price reduction with a precondition.

What Motivates Consumers to Re-Tweet Brand Content?
The Impact of Information, Emotion, and Traceability on Pass-Along Behavior
The University of Amsterdam’s Theo Araujo, Peter Neijens, and Rens Vliegenthart investigate how certain cues influence the re-Tweeting of brand messages among Twitter users. Analyzing nearly 20,000 global brand messages over a three-year period, they find that informational cues predict the higher levels of re-Tweeting. Emotional cues only factor in when reinforcing informational and “traceability” cues (hashtags) when combined in the same message.

The Effectiveness of Comparative versus Non-Comparative Advertising:
Do “Strictly” Comparative Ads Hurt Credibility of Non-Professional Service Brands?
Citing a long history of U.S. service-brand marketers going head to head using “strictly” comparative advertising, the University of Oklahoma‘s Fred Beard questions the effectiveness of such tactics. In his comparison of auto-maintenance brand (Ford and Chevrolet) advertisements, Beard discovers a significant interaction between age and advertisement type: Whereas younger consumers respond similarly to non-comparative and comparative treatments, older consumers less likely will purchase or recommend the service after viewing a comparative print advertisement.

Can Multiple New-Product Messages Attract Different Consumer Segments?
Gaming Advertisements’ Interaction with Targets Affects Brand Attitudes and Purchase Intentions
Frank Alpert (University of Queensland, Australia) and M. Kim Saxton (Kelley School of Business, Indiana University) question fundamental marketing principles in their assessment of whether video-game marketers should produce multiple messages for different target segments for the same product. Among their findings: Two consumer segments can be targeted with the same product as long as advertisements are created to target each segment, but there is a negative backlash when one segment sees its dedicated ad, followed by an ad for the other segment. Yet, perceptions of the product are enhanced if the segment sees the two ads as interacting to provide more information.

The Relationship Between Product Placement and the Performance of Movies:
Can Brand Promotion in Films Help or Hurt Moviegoers’ Experience?
Researchers Reo Song (California State University, Long Beach), Jeffrey Meyer (Bowling Green State University, OH), and Kyoungnam Ha (University of New Haven, CT) examine 122 movie productions to determine how much audience pleasure (or displeasure) with on-screen brands may affect box-office revenues. While they recognize that any number of factors—star power, genre, sequel and word of mouth—can influence profit or loss outcomes, when those considerations are balanced, “product placements exhibited a positive relationship with movie revenues.” But when used in excess—more than 44 placements per movie—“the relationship with revenues turned negative.”