Advancing Advertising Strategies: Professors Unveil Research Findings at AAA National Conference

Written By: Amber Bormann (Graduate Student)

In the ever-evolving world of advertising, staying up-to-date with the latest research and insights is crucial for professionals seeking to create impactful campaigns.

Recently, two esteemed professors, Dr. Carrie La Ferle and Dr. Sid Muralidharan, from the Temerlin Advertising Institute (TAI), alongside Dr. Roth-Cohen, presented their groundbreaking research at the American Academy of Advertising’s annual National Conference in Clearwater, Florida.

Collaborating with Israeli Professor Dr. Roth-Cohen from Ariel University, their study explored the impact of religiosity and spirituality on subjective well-being (SWB) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the distance and time differences they produced a successful study titled, “Exploring the Differential Effects of Religious and Spiritual Advertising Cues on Religious Jews and the Non-Religious: A Replication Study in Israel.”

Research Importance: Exploring Religiosity, Spirituality, and SWB

The study conducted by Drs. La Ferle, Muralidharan, and Roth-Cohen aimed to understand the role of religiosity and spirituality in enhancing SWB during the challenging times of the pandemic. While previous studies have emphasized the significance of religiosity in promoting well-being, the impact of spirituality remains underexplored. The researchers sought to fill this gap by examining the mediating role of spirituality in the relationship between religiosity and SWB.

By focusing on Israel, a country where Jewish spirituality is on the rise, the study explored the unique dynamics within this specific context. The findings not only shed light on the importance of religiosity in enhancing SWB but also highlighted the critical role of spirituality, particularly among low religious Jews.

There were challenges however. Dr. La Ferle noted that, “working with religious and spiritual ideas can be difficult due to the sensitive nature of these constructs, so you need to be extra careful in your writing. This is even more true when bringing religion and spirituality together with advertising.” There were also difficulties in translating the English survey to Hebrew and gathering funding. They are grateful to Ariel University, Meadows School of the Arts, TAI, and the Marriott Family Endowment for there generosity towards this project.

Key Findings and Implications for Health Messaging

The results of the study demonstrated that religiosity played a significant role in enhancing SWB, providing individuals with a sense of certainty and happiness, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, spirituality was found to mediate the effect of religiosity on SWB, suggesting that it holds particular importance for low religious Jews.

These findings have crucial implications for health messaging in advertising, especially during global crises like the pandemic. Advertisers can leverage religious goals in their campaigns to effectively communicate with highly religious Jews, acknowledging the role of faith in providing comfort and coping mechanisms. Conversely, for individuals with low religious affiliations, focusing on spiritual goals in advertising can facilitate more effective health messaging.

Value for TAI Students and the Advertising Industry

The published research by Drs. La Ferle, Muralidharan, and Roth-Cohen holds significant value for students studying advertising at TAI. It demonstrates how theoretical knowledge is put into ‘academic’ practice and how advertising research can inform both academia and the industry while benefiting society and the marketplace. By understanding the practical applications of research findings, students can enhance their understanding of consumer behavior and develop more effective advertising strategies.

Moreover, this research keeps professors at the cutting edge of the advertising field, allowing them to bring fresh insights and excitement to their courses and students.

Additional Studies

In addition to this study, Drs. La Ferle, Muralidharan, and Roth-Cohen collaborated on a research paper on green advertising in the International Journal of Advertising that can be found here: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the greenest of them all?” the impact of green advertising cues on generational cohorts