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Consumer Attitudes

Find the latest and most impactful research on consumer attitudes and behavior, including drivers and trends, here. All the research listed comes from the ARF or one of its subsidiaries: The Journal of Advertising Research (JAR), the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) or the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM). Feel free to bookmark this page, as it will be updated periodically.

How Will GDPR Impact Market Concentration

  • MSI

What are the effects of the 2018 EU General Data Protection Regulation? According to this analysis, the nuanced effects include reduced data sharing online and increased market concentration of the top four web technology categories. These together represent 94% of website-vendor ties. They are advertising, hosting, audience measurement, and social media.

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Does Privacy Regulation Affect Online Consumer Behavior?

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) dictates how firms are to collect, store and employ personal information online. Given the importance of such data, the GDPR has a direct impact on the bottom line of millions of online firms. Researchers in this study wanted to understand the consequences of this regulation for website traffic and ecommerce. They found that at least initially, GDPR reduces online activity and economic results somewhat, especially from personalized marketing channels (display ads & emails). With greater enforcement and compliance long-term, however, the impact may be even greater.

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Why Ad Expenditures Impact Perceived Quality in Some Cases But Not Others

  • JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

There is a ton of research on the signaling effects of ad spending. But new work tackles lingering questions: Why do advertising expenditures have a stronger impact on perceived quality for some brands and in some product categories but not as much for others? And how do increases in expenditures across different media channels affect quality perceptions?

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Explainable AI (XAI) Helps Minimize the Impact of Errors

  • MSI

The use of AI-based voice assistants is becoming ubiquitous, and this technology continues to develop at a rapid pace. Now, Explainable AI (XAI) can help customers understand things better and help mitigate certain kinds of errors. This research discovered that XAI can help consumers forgive minor social faux pas (violations of social norms) but not minor technical errors (failures of the algorithm interface). The series of studies also found that XAI helps consumers overcome their reluctance to use such AI-assisted technologies.

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Negative Outcomes from Multiple Influencer Exposures Fade Over Time

  • JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

A single persuasive message by a social media influencer can positively drive consumer behaviors and attitudes, but what are the potential effects from multiple exposures over time? With an eye on consumer skepticism in today's dynamic media environments, this article explores both short-term and long-term effects in this area. Hint: Time heals.

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Does Anthropomorphism Help or Hurt Brands Entering Foreign Markets?

  • JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

Talking M&Ms, Mr. Peanut, the Michelin Man and the Pillsbury Doughboy are among the most popular anthropomorphic product characters, many of which we remember since childhood. A new study asks: How can a brand that uses this popular communication strategy avoid the negative impact of consumer ethnocentrism—the belief that buying foreign products is wrong—when entering foreign markets?

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Taste-testing the Brand Premium

Even in instances where consumers face lots of options, they routinely pay a premium for national brands over private labels, research shows. This is true even when they believe that the quality of a private label is comparable. However, one thing that can shift consumer preferences toward private label brands is blind taste tests—at least in the short-term.

Key Elements of Long-Term Market Leadership

While market share leadership is a strategic imperative for many leading companies, surprisingly little is known about market leaders. To rectify this, researchers in this MSI working paper looked into four key issues: (1) the frequency of market leaders maintaining their leadership over periods ranging from 5 to 89 years; (2) whether leading brands that lose their leadership are able to regain it or if loss of leadership tends to be permanent; (3) whether market leadership persistence varies as a function of economic conditions (i.e., GDP growth rate, inflation, unemployment); and (4) whether market leadership persistence varies by category type.