Current Issue Summary
Sept 2021 (Vol. 61, Issue 3)
The Effects of Context Congruity on Ad Persuasiveness in e-Magazines: It Serves My Motive, and I Distinguish the Advertisement
Research has grappled with understanding how important context is in advertising effectiveness on digital platforms. But a new study connects the dots between viewers’ motives, how users process ads and the persuasiveness of those ads, given the context of surrounding media. The findings—by Achyut Telang and Debajani Sahoo (ICFAI Business School, [IBS], Hyderabad, India), Sreejesh S. (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode [IIMK], Kerala, India) and Justin Paul (University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Business)—offer fresh insight into how to implement digital advertising, specifically on e-magazine platforms.
Their three-part study on how context influences persuasion of e-magazine ads addresses two principal questions:
- How do viewers’ underlying motives condition the advertisement-context congruence, and, in turn, shape users’ processing of an advertisement presented in an e-magazine? (Motives in this sense refer to goals of digital users—i.e., having serious intentions, like search/shopping versus being more playful, for entertainment, experiential settings).
- Does the strength of the argument presented in an e-magazine advertisement affect reader persuasion?
One other intervening factor—a consumer’s “felt involvement”—is key to an ad’s persuasiveness. This refers to the extent to which the consumer feels personal involvement with the message
Study 1 examined the causal role of ad-context congruence on advertisement persuasion and the conditional role of consumer motive as a chronic characteristic. Study 2 analyzed the consumer motive as the situational aspect and the mediating role of “felt involvement.” Both studies used two magazine settings as study contexts: one about automobiles, the other about healthcare, with fictitious ads for autos and healthcare used interchangeably for congruent/incongruent contexts. Study 3 tested the generalizability of the findings.
Among the practical implications:
- Digital advertising design should consider the target audience and their underlying motives.
- If targeting experientially oriented people, providing information or ads that are incongruent with the context will be more effective. This is because, for these consumers, an incongruent ad creates heightened levels of “felt involvement” and—in turn, develops high ad persuasion—when exposed to a strong message argument.
- If targeting people who search with a goal in mind, select a platform that is highly harmonious or congruent.
- Exposing goal-directed consumers to a congruent ad “creates heightened levels of felt involvement and, in turn develops high advertisement persuasion when they are exposed to a strong message argument.”
Read the full article here.