Current Issue Summary
September 2022 (Vol. 62, Issue 3)
Roadblock Advertising in the Digital Context: Does Paying to Limit Competing Messages Pay Off?
In roadblock advertising, companies can limit or block access to competing ads for a period of time—a useful strategy in the face of media fragmentation. But the practice can be expensive. Is it worth paying so much money to stand out from competitors when so little is known about the strategy’s effectiveness? In this article, Biswajita Parida (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi), Charles R. Taylor (Villanova University) and Abhishek (Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad) introduce roadblock advertising to the academic literature, define the practice and propose a typology of formats for this type of advertising.
In three experimental studies, the researchers compare the effectiveness of roadblock advertising with the conventional “full-load” kind. They also examine the effectiveness of two different types of roadblock advertising: within pod (or “concentrated”) versus across pod (or “distributed”). Finally, the researchers compare the effects of within-pod and across-pod roadblock advertising for new versus familiar brands.
Among the findings:
- Roadblock advertising is defined by a single advertised brand limiting access to other advertisements for a period of time in a viewing/listening frame.
- The practice can act as a buffer against media fragmentation, clutter, changing media consumption habits and the shrinking attention spans of consumers.
- Compared with advertising in a cluttered setting, roadblock advertising is more effective at improving unaided recall for brands, attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand and purchase intention toward a target brand.
- Concentrated (within-pod) roadblock advertising is more effective than distributed (across-pod) roadblock advertising.
- New brands benefit less from roadblock advertising than familiar brands do.