Inclusivity in Communication: TAI Alumna, Kayla Griffis, and Professor, Dr. Alice Kendrick, publish The URICA! DE&I Model

In the field of marketing and communications, integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is extremely important. Recognizing this, TAI alumna, Kayla Griffis, a senior strategist at Saatchi & Saatchi, and Dr. Alice Kendrick, Professor of Advertising at Temerlin,  worked together to publish a new content creation model that emphasizes the importance of inclusivity. Dr. Kendrick was honored to present the URICA! Model in Oxford, England last summer at the Oxford Roundtable Symposium.

Left: Dr. Alice Kendrick, Right: Kayla Griffis

Published in the Forum on Public Policy, this study titled, Integrating DE&I into content creation: The URICA! Model, stands out as a versatile tool for embedding DE&I principles into the fabric of academic and corporate environments. The URICA! Model was originally pioneered by Kayla Griffis as a graduate student project for an advertising class led by Dr. Kendrick. It initially focused on addressing the insensitive spread of digital blackface on social media. This project evolved into a robust model designed to guide content creators through a comprehensive process to help team members determine DE&I objectives and avoid marketing missteps based on a lack of cultural sensitivity.

The core of the URICA! Model involves a series of sequential steps and considerations that assist creators in ensuring their messaging is inclusive and sensitive to diverse audiences. It encourages a thorough understanding of cultural nuances, informs strategic decisions with solid DE&I foundations, and carefully considers the potential impacts of messaging. The model’s flexibility makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, and was concept-tested for use anywhere from classroom discussions to strategic planning in large corporations.

“[The URICA! Model] was an attempt to offer an approach, tool or a series of questions or areas that should be covered to help ensure that messaging of all different sorts, whether it’s advertising, a blog, just a headline, a jingle, or even a visual, (especially a visual in some cases) are as mindful as possible of the societal realities in which they will be released. That is to say, some things are insulting to groups, and they’re not even necessarily intending to be. In fact, I think in most cases they are not. It’s just an oversight and a lack of ability to see a message from another’s point of view.” – Dr. Alice Kendrick

Throughout the study, recommendations from corporate strategists and advertising professors who evaluated the URICA! Model are discussed and implemented, and current DE&I information and resources for students and professionals are included. Dr. Kendrick noted that when reviewing the model in the advertising field, “agencies seemed very much in favor of something like this, that would lend some structure to a discussion about the sensitivity of messaging.”

Dr. Kendrick presented the URICA! Model at the Oxford Roundtable Symposium in Oxford, England, in the Summer of 2023. Her presentation highlighted how the model structures discussions around sensitive messaging and its potential to be applied across various industries and educational settings. Her presentation was well-received by the international audience, which included academics and professionals, underscoring the model’s relevance and applicability.

As the conversation around diversity and inclusion continues to gain momentum, tools like the URICA! Model are essential for fostering meaningful change. They guide content creators through the intricate process of integrating inclusivity into their work, and set new standards for responsible communication in our increasingly digital world.

Dr. Mark Allen Honored as AAF District 10 Outstanding Advertising Educator of the Year

This past Friday at the AAF District 10 National Student Advertising Competition award ceremony, Temerlin Advertising Institute’s very own Dr. Mark Allen was honored with the Outstanding Advertising Educator of the Year Award. This award aims to recognize professors who have made outstanding and unselfish contributions to the growth and improvement of advertising through the academic process.

Dr. Allen joined TAI in 2003 to help start and build a new creative program for aspiring art directors, copywriters and designers centered in Dallas. During his time here he has made a huge impact on the Institute and has become a Senior Lecturer and the Creative Program Director.

Dr. Allen’s love for his students has not gone unnoticed and his tireless dedication to supporting them and their success was noted in the speech given during the presentation of this award.  He tirelessly advocates for young creatives in their quest to find their voices in the wacky world of advertising.

One of his students said, “he selflessly dedicates the majority of his time to making sure his students have the best chance of success, sometimes to his detriment. He candidly tells us that we keep him up at night with thoughts of our futures where we go, and what we will accomplish.” 

Another said, “he is the most dedicated and selfless teacher I’ve ever had throughout my entire education. I’ve never met a teacher who is willing and happy to sacrifice his own well-being, if it means it will help one of his students succeed.” 

The presenter noted that he believes this is why professors teach: to inspire, to guide, and to illuminate the path.

Dr. Allen does just this. “He provides incentive, comfort, and stability to almost every student who walks through his door. Every time I’ve been on the precipice of admitting defeat, he has always been the voice at the end of the tunnel, reassuring me that I’m in the program for a reason and that as long as I work hard, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to,” said another student.

The Temerlin Advertising Institute is so proud of the work that Dr. Allen does every day, inside and outside of the classroom. We look forward to many more amazing years to come.



Another Big Win at the 2024 District 10 ADDY Awards!

Our amazing creative students have won 14 ADDY Awards at the 2024 AAF District 10 competition. This is more awards than any other school in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana has won!

What’s even more impressive is that our students won as many awards as all the students from the University of Texas system, Texas A&M system, University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, and Texas Christian University put together!

The ADDY Awards are organized each year by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition. There are three tiers to the competition: local, district, and national. Each student who won Gold or Silver at the district level is now moving on to compete at the national level.

The winners of the national competition will be announced in early May and awards will be distributed at the AAF ADMERICA Conference in Salt Lake City later that month.

We’re so proud of our students and can’t wait to see how they do in the next round!

 The full list of Student AAF District 10 Winners can be found here.




Acorns (Special Judge’s Award in Copywriting) Maddie Otero & Morgan Martinez

Amtrak (Special Judge’s Award in Video) Timothy Chae and Blake Lyster



Skout’s Honor Pet Odor Eliminator / Helena Hargraves

Truth Initiative / Spencer Hogan, Bella Mac and Allie Weinstein (Art Direction)

Truth Initiative / Spencer Hogan, Bella Mac and Allie Weinstein (Poster Campaign)

Amtrak / Timothy Chae and Blake Lyster



Mountain House Camping Meals / Emma Clarke

Fender / Kailyn Sawhny and Helena Hargraves

Insomnia Cookies / Ross Yenerich

Seedlip / Callie Oden and Emma Clarke

FTND Pull Back From Porn / Tyler Chapman (Cinematography)

KILZ Primer / Spencer Hogan

Acorns / Maddie Otero & Morgan Martinez



Venmo /Juan Silva & Kaitlyn Blan

FTND Pull Back from Porn (TV Advertising) / Tyler Chapman

Willie Baronet Wins HOPE Professor of the Year Award

The Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence (HOPE) Banquet, organized by Southern Methodist University’s Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH), serves as a symbol of appreciation for faculty excellence. It’s an annual event where students and educators come together to highlight the extraordinary efforts of professors who have gone above and beyond in enriching the educational journey of their students. This year, the spotlight was on Professor Willie Baronet, the Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising at SMU, who was honored with the prestigious HOPE Professor of the Year Award for his commitment to his students and his innovative teaching methods. This award aims to recognize his lasting impact at the Temerlin Advertising Institute and SMU community as a whole.

Creative student Roshan Gupta, a senior studying under Baronet, had the honor of delivering the speech that announced his professor as the HOPE Professor of the Year. Gupta’s words further emphasized Baronet’s influence on his students, saying,

“Willie has been by my side my entire college career…I can confidently say that Willie has had a tremendous impact on who I am today.”

Baronet’s approach to teaching is anything but conventional. His classes are a journey into the depths of creativity and self-exploration, pushing students to unveil parts of themselves and their imaginations they never knew existed. Gupta eloquently shared his transformative experience, stating,

“His classes are not for the faint of heart, and you are pushed to explore vulnerable parts of yourself and your imagination to create work that is fulfilling, meaningful, and intelligent.”

What sets Baronet apart is not just his ability to teach but to inspire. His dedication to cultivating an environment of diverse perspectives allows students to gain a deeper understanding of concepts and themselves.

“Willie transcends traditional teaching methods and implores us to dig as deep as we can into ourselves to find what drives us and gives us purpose.”  – Roshan Gupta

Beyond the classroom, Baronet’s commitment to his students is unparalleled. Whether it is driving to a photo shoot in the middle of the day, hopping on a Zoom call in the midst of his busy schedule, or spending hours just talking, his devotion knows no bounds. As Gupta aptly put it, “I don’t know a single other professor who devotes the same level of care and attention to detail that Willie does for his students inside and outside of the classroom.”

Before joining the academic world, Baronet was the creative director for GroupBaronet (now known as MasonBaronet). His work has also been featured in prestigious publications such as Communication Arts, Graphis, and AIGA Graphic Design Annual, among others. Baronet’s creativity has been recognized with numerous awards from respected organizations, including the Dallas Advertising League and the Dallas Society of Visual Communications, and he has shared his insights on creativity, leadership, and social responsibility with audiences nationwide, including TEDx, Creative Mornings, and more.

Beyond his professional achievements, Willie Baronet has engaged in impactful artistic endeavors, notably his long-term project titled “WE ARE ALL HOMELESS.” Since 1993, Baronet has been collecting signs from homeless individuals, transforming these artifacts into powerful narratives that challenge perceptions and foster empathy. This project has not only been featured across various media platforms but has also been showcased in exhibitions both in the U.S. and the UK.

Willie Baronet’s recognition of the 2024 HOPE Undergrad Professor of the Year Award is a testament to his exceptional role not only as an educator but as a mentor, guide, and inspiration to his students. His innovative teaching methods, coupled with his unwavering dedication, exemplify the best of academic leadership and the impact a passionate professor can have on the lives of their students.

Congratulations, Professor Baronet, on this well-deserved honor. The HOPE Professor of the Year Award is a fitting recognition of your tireless devotion to your students.

Celebrating Unprecedented Success: TAI Students Triumph at the Graphis International New Talent Annual

It’s with immense pride that TAI announces the monumental achievement of our creative students at the prestigious Graphis International New Talent Annual. They have outdone themselves, placing an astonishing 54 campaigns in the competition, surpassing our previous record of 40. This accomplishment is not just a milestone for us, it’s a recognition of the exceptional talent, hard work, and unwavering dedication of our students and faculty.

The Graphis International New Talent Annual is renowned for its rigorous competition, attracting entries from universities across the globe. Yet, every single student from both of our creative cohorts won at least one award each, and some as many as ten, an unprecedented achievement! Our success at the Dallas ADDYs last month was only the start of a great awards season.

“This is just the beginning of an amazing run this Spring with the DSVC National Student Show and Young Ones just around the corner.” – Mark Allen

Our students’ achievements will also garner recognition on an international stage. Gold and Silver winners will have the honor of their work being featured in the hard-back annual due for release this summer. Those who earned Honorable Mentions will find their names and project descriptions commemorated in the back of the same volume.

For anyone looking to celebrate these achievements or draw inspiration from these amazing works, we encourage you to pre-order a copy of the New Talent 2024 here.

Congratulations again to all the students, as well as professors Mark Allen, Willie Baronet, and Cheryl Mendenhall, for their extraordinary achievements. As we look forward to the upcoming showcases and competitions, we are excited to see what our talented cohorts will accomplish next.

Full list of awards:

Graphis International New Talent Annual // 2024 


Oreophoria / Maddie Otero and Savanna Hodes

Silva Auri Logo / Juan Silva

Alzheimer’s Association / Maddie Otero

1Password / Roshan Gupta and Kayla Hanrahan

Open AI / Timothy Chae and Savanna Hodes

Amtrak / Timothy Chae and Blake Lyster



BANYA Logo / Savanna Hodes

The Woods Logo / Savanna Hodes

Give Hugz Stuffed Animals Logo / Savanna Hodes

Maison Margiela REPLICA Fragrances / Morgan Martinez and Delaney Gendron

Skout’s Honor Pet Odor Eliminator / Helena Hargraves

Mountain House Camping Meals / Emma Clarke

Zildjian Cymbals / Timothy Chae and Ethan Jones

Fender / Kailyn Sawhny and Helena Hargraves

Insomnia Cookies / Ross Yenerich

Seedlip / Callie Oden and Emma Clarke

Evite / Caroline Davis and Blake Lyster

Hipcamp / Tyler Chapman and Linh Vu

Liquid IV / Nicole Zimmer and Andrea Torroni

AT&T It Can Wait / Roshan Gupta

L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanner / Blake Lyster and Morgan Martinez

Shakespeare Pizza Logo / Ethan Jones

Drunk Elephant / Kaitlyn Blan and Caroline Davis

Mejuri / Roshan Gupta and Morgan Martinez

Edible Arrangements / Savanna Hodes

Smartwater / Juan Silva and Delaney Gendron

Truth Initiative / Anti-Vaping PSA / Spencer Hogan, Bella Mac and Allie Weinstein

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (Print) / Roshan Gupta and Maddie Otero

Allianz Travel Insurance / Sydney Sam and Hannah Jacobbe

QuietOn / Ethan Jones and Atenas Vijil

Runderwear / Callie Oden

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (TV) / Roshan Gupta and Maddie Otero

FTND Pull Back From Porn / Tyler Chapman

Unite America / Morgan Martinez



Womanizer Logo / Morgan Martinez

Tuft & Paw / Morgan Martinez

Cry Wolf Logo / Morgan Martinez

Martinez Business Card / Morgan Martinez

Waze Logo / Kaitlyn Blan

Roshan Ocean Business Card / Roshan Gupta

Plan Blake Business Card / Blake Lyster

Stickermule / Juan Silva and Ethan Jones

ELF Cosmetics Logo / Juan Silva

Lovense Adult Toys Logo / Kaitlyn Blan

Acorns (Integrated) Maddie Otero & Morgan Martinez

Venmo /Juan Silva & Kaitlyn Blan

KILZ Primer / Spencer Hogan

RESY / Kayla Hanrahan and Savanna Hodes

Harry Potter World / Emma Georghakis and Will McKinnie

Acorns (Video) / Maddie Otero & Morgan Martinez

H&R Block / Linh Vu

Duolingo / Ethan Jones and Caroline Davis

TaskRabbit / Atenas Vijil and Timothy Chae

Dixie Ultra / Kaitlyn Blan & Caroline Davis



Class is in Session: High Marks at the 2024 Dallas ADDY Awards

On February 29th, the creative talent of Southern Methodist University (SMU) students was once again in the spotlight at the 2024 Dallas ADDY Awards, held at the On the Levee event center. Hosted by AAF Dallas President and TAI Adjunct Professor, Deja Sanders, the night was a celebration of creativity, hard work, and academic excellence. SMU students took home an impressive 20 awards, including 7 Gold, 10 Silver, 2 Judge’s Choice, and the coveted Student Best of Show. This marks the fifth consecutive year—and sixth in the last seven years—that SMU has won Best of Show, a testament to the continued excellence and consistent growth of Temerlin Advertising Institute.

“I can’t stop beaming after the 2024 Addy awards. So proud of our students and all of their hard work. I HAVE THE BEST JOB ON THE PLANET. (caps Willie’s)” – Professor Willie Baronet

The range of work presented at the awards was broad and innovative, spanning ad campaign projects for existing companies across many different media forms. Since all the work received Silver and above, they will now move forward to compete in the District 10 competition, one of the most competitive districts in the country.

Best of Show winners Spencer Hogan, Bella Mac, and Allie Weinstein pose with Professor Mark Allen

Professor Mark Allen noted that, “the work our students produced this year is truly impressive, and Temerlin’s reputation for creative excellence was on full display in front of the entire DFW advertising community.”

However, the evening was not just about accolades, it was a testament to the student’s dedication and commitment to quality work. Professor Cheryl Mendenhall expressed immense pride, noting, “The Addys give us an opportunity to celebrate all of their hard work and show off their talents to the industry.” The event also facilitated valuable connections between students and industry professionals. Mendenhall noted that several agency professionals congratulated and introduced themselves to TAI’s students, which in the past, has led to the potential for internships and job opportunities.

Gordon Law poses with his Educator of the Year award

In addition to the many student awards, Gordon Law, TAI’s own Executive in Residence, was honored as the Educator of the Year. This award was not only well-deserved, but it also underscored the high-caliber mentorship and education provided by SMU’s faculty across the board.

However, the TAI student’s work and awards does not end here. Allen said that, “as great as this night was for us, it’s just the beginning because we had so much good work that didn’t make it into the show. So stay tuned because there’s a lot more where this came from!”

This semester TAI will also be hosting their annual student Portfolio Night on March 27th.  Keep an eye on our social media pages to see more of the winning work and stay up to date on future events.

 The Temerlin School is very proud of the work of all their students and congratulations to all the ADDY winners listed below:



Drunk Elephant / Out-Of-Home / Kaitlyn Blan & Caroline Davis

Fender / Magazine / Kailyn Sawhny & Helen Hargraves

Replica / Magazine / Morgan Martinez & Delaney Gendron

Mountain House / Integrated / Emma Clarke

Insomnia Cookies / Out-Of-Home / Ross Yenerich

Amtrak / Integrated / Timmy Chae & Blake Lyster

QuietOn / Television / Ethan Jones & Atenas Vijil

KILZ Primer / Integrated / Spencer Hogan

Seedlip / Integrated / Emma Clarke & Callie Oden

Acorns / Integrated / Maddie Otero & Morgan Martinez


Truth Anti-Vaping / Art Direction / Spencer Hogan, Bella Mac, Allie Weinstein

Fight the New Drug / Cinematography /Tyler Chapman

Skout’s Honor / Magazine / Helena Hargraves

Venmo / Integrated /Juan Silva & Kaitlyn Blan

Dixie Ultra / Out-Of-Home / Kaitlyn Blan & Caroline Davis

Fight the New Drug / Television / Tyler Chapman

Truth Anti-Vaping / Out-Of-Home / Spencer Hogan, Bella Mac, Allie Weinstein


Alzheimer’s Association / Television / Maddie Otero

QuietOn / Television / Ethan Jones & Atenas Vijil


Truth Anti-Vaping / Art Direction / Spencer Hogan, Bella Mac, Allie Weinstein

2024 ExxonMobil Lecture Series: Celebrating the Decade of the Mexican Avocado featuring Avocados from Mexico CEO and President, Alvaro Luque 

On February 22, 2024, Temerlin Advertising Institute at SMU hosted their annual ExxonMobil Lecture Series on Sustainability at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas. This event offered an immersive experience, blending educational discourse with a vibrant networking atmosphere for over 200 students, professionals, and sustainability enthusiasts. All gathered to hear from the man responsible for revolutionizing the avocado market, Alvaro Luque, President and CEO of the non-profit marketing organization, Avocados from Mexico (AFM). The expanding popularity of avocados took center stage as the event seamlessly wove together the threads of sustainability, and marketing innovation. Luque’s insights provided a rich tapestry of his 30-year marketing journey, emphasizing the strategic vision that catapulted Avocados From Mexico to its status as a household name and a symbol of sustainability in the produce market. The night was a great success and we are already excited for next year!  

The evening began with a networking hour where guests could connect over drinks, avocado focused hors d’oeuvres and sweets, as well as AFM’s signature build your own guacamole cart. The cart allowed guests to pick and choose their favorite ingredients and experience AFM’s brand message of always good by showcasing how avocados can be delicious, healthy, and fun! 

When it came time for the lecture, Luque was an immediate crowd pleaser with his utilization of AFM’s  famous jingle to kick things off. His discussion centered on the remarkable journey of Mexican avocados in the U.S., where today, 8 in 10 avocados consumed are from Mexico, contributing over $11 billion in economic output. He went on to emphasize the importance of understanding their target audience and how being the first fresh produce brand to advertise in the Super Bowl played a large part in evening the playing field for them as a brand, increasing awareness in such a large market, and setting a precedent for industry innovation. 

 At the presentation’s conclusion, TAI’s Dr. Carrie La Ferle went on to engage in a lively Q&A with Luque. La Ferle shared how delighted she was by his genuine care about the next generation, engaging in every question presented, and further sharing words of wisdom with the students in the audience. Dr. La Ferle later stated how impressed she was “by Mr. Luque’s passion for strategy and his keen eye for how to, in the words of Luque, “Make AFM in the produce category, like Pepsi or Coke were to beverages.”


“If you ever doubted the ability to market produce like a CPK, developing a visible brand in a brandless category, doubt no more,” said Dr. Carrie La Ferle of the Temerlin Advertising Institute. 

Guests left the evening with more than valuable insights on developing visible brands in brandless categories. Each attendee received a goodie bag which included their very own Avocados From Mexico. 

The 2024 ExxonMobil Lecture Series: The Decade of the Mexican Avocado, highlighted the Temerlin Advertising Institute’s dedication to integrating sustainability with marketing excellence and moto of “Better Advertising. Better World.” 

Watch the full lecture here:

Previous ExxonMobil Lectures included brands like Publicis, Pepsi Co, Honest Company, Nike, Chick-fil-A, and Monster, features like Signs of Humanity and David Baldwin, and topics like Spirituality.

New Research Published: Dr. Quan Xie and Team Unveil the Psychology Behind Branded NFTs


In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing and digital innovation, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have taken center stage. Dr. Quan Xie, a professor at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, has been at the forefront of NFT research, collaborating with fellow TAI professors Dr. Sid Muralidharan, Dr. Steve Edwards, and Dr. Carrie La Ferle in various capacities across three published articles. Together, they have unveiled the relationships between consumer behavior and branded NFTs, shedding light on the dynamics of this emerging trend. Their research delves into the intriguing world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and their increasing influence on marketing strategies.

The allure of branded NFTs has captured the imagination of marketers and consumers alike. As innovative companies experiment with these digital assets as part of their marketing strategies, understanding the psychological responses of consumers, particularly the younger generation, has become paramount. This is where the pioneering research conducted by Dr. Quan Xie and her team at the Temerlin Advertising Institute comes into play.

Dr. Quan Xie’s first article, published in July of 2023 in the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing was titled, “It’s a comparison game! The roles of social comparison, perceived exclusivity and perceived financial benefits in non-fungible token marketing.” This work was done alongside Dr. Sid Muralidharan. This in-depth research has a high impact factor and answers some of the most pressing questions surrounding what drives the buzz for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and their growing role in marketing strategies. Dr. Xie and Dr. Muralidharan’s publication delves into the heart of the matter, and unpacks the fascinating relationship between consumer personality traits and their interaction with NFTs. Dr Xie notes that the forefront of her research is “the concept of Social Comparison Orientation (SCO) and how it shapes our perceptions of exclusivity, financial gains, and the overall NFT experience.”

Through rigorous experiments involving over 1,000 participants, Dr. Quan Xie uncovered the nuances of how NFT users make social comparisons. She often found that users gravitated towards branded NFTs that guaranteed both social prestige and economic benefits. The study notes that this subsequently impacted consumers’ experiential evaluations, willingness to purchase NFTs and brand loyalty.

“The allure of NFTs isn’t just in their uniqueness, but in the social and financial superiority they bestow.” This groundbreaking research, rooted in social comparison theory, offers brands a new lens to optimize their NFT marketing campaigns, driving both sales and loyalty.” – Dr. Quan Xie

Her next article was published in September in the International Journal of Advertising, a highly-ranked journal in the advertising discipline, and is titled, “Who will buy the idea of non-fungible token (NFT) marketing? Understanding consumers’ psychological tendencies and value perceptions of branded NFTs.” For this article, she once again worked alongside Dr. Sid Muralidharan but also garnered the help of Dr. Steve Edwards. Together they sought to better understand consumers’ psychological responses to branded NFTs, with a specific focus on Gen-Z and Millennials in the realm of blockchain technologies and the Metaverse.

This study was based on a robust U.S. sample of young participants and uncovered the core values driving these consumers towards acquiring and showcasing these digital assets.

“Our findings reveal the intricate web of information, unique, entertainment, and expressive values that stoke their desire for status consumption and inherent innovativeness, fueling positive word-of-mouth (WOM) for brands. Interestingly, for those financially constrained, the lure lies in the unique value that NFTs present, a crucial determinant for sparking positive WOM,” Dr. Xie noted.

Dr. Quan Xie’s work is not just about theory but also about practical implications. The research emphasizes how NFTs can be invaluable to both brands and consumers, bridging existing research gaps and offering real-world applications. This research can be applied in a variety of different ways and is relevant to marketers aiming to capture this vibrant demographic or even policymakers seeking insights. It offers a comprehensive understanding of the psychological play behind branded NFTs.

The most recent article was published on October 27th in the Journal of Interactive Advertising. Dr. Quan Xie, Dr. Sid Muralidharan, Dr. Steve Edwards, and Dr. Carrie La Ferle worked in collaboration to publish their research titled, “Unlocking the Power of Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Marketing: How NFT Perceptions Foster Brand Loyalty and Purchase Intention among Millennials and Gen-Z.”

Although this research focused on similar demographics, it explored the impact of the perceptions of branded NFTs on consumers attitudes and behaviors toward both the NFTs and the brand. The study used the technology acceptance model and the theory of reasoned action to explain how NFT perceptions influence evaluations, willingness to purchase, brand attitude, and ultimately brand loyalty and purchase intentions. This research represented one of the first empirical studies in this area.

Dr. Sid Muralidharan emphasizes the significance of their findings, saying,

“Dr. Quan’s timely research on NFTs provides insights on a burgeoning area of cryptocurrency. The resulting models stem from theory and highlight how NFTs can be invaluable to both brands and consumers. Not only do the studies address research gaps but offer real-world implications.”

The exploration of consumer perceptions regarding branded NFTs is a groundbreaking area of study. Dr. Quan Xie, along with her colleagues, has not only bridged research gaps but also offered a fresh perspective for marketers aiming to connect with the ever-evolving Gen-Z and Millennial audience. Their work highlights that branded NFTs are more than just digital collectibles; they hold the key to unlocking consumer engagement, brand loyalty, and a deeper understanding of the consumer mindset.

As the world of NFTs continues to expand, the research by the TAI team serves as a guide for businesses and policymakers. They have provided a comprehensive understanding of the factors that drive consumers towards branded NFTs, ultimately helping marketers tailor their strategies for better engagement. Their work highlighted the importance of NFTs in modern marketing and the evolving landscape of blockchain technology.

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