FACULTY RESEARCH: Graduate Student Co-Authors Article with Temerlin Faculty

Dr. Sid Muralidharan, associate professor, and Dr. Carrie La Ferle, Marriott Endowed Professor of Ethics and Culture, have been researching the effectiveness of domestic violence messaging on bystander reporting. Last fall, Dr. Sid invited Temerlin graduate student Lauren Howard to join their research for a third study exploring domestic violence prevention messaging.

The first two studies explore the outward-facing emotional response to ad messaging. The first study, published in the Journal of Advertising, compares guilt and shame ad appeals. A subsequent study published in the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing focuses on opposing emotional ad appeals – shame versus hope. Between both these studies, hope is found to be the more effective emotion in motivating bystanders to intervene. The most recent study, which Howard co-authored alongside Dr. Sid and Dr. La Ferle for Social Marketing Quarterly, pivots inward to compare the effects of guilt and hope messaging in relation to “independent self-construal,” the extent to which people view themselves as separate and distinct from others. Those with high independent self-construal are more apt to promote themselves positively and tend to be driven and have high self-esteem. In contrast, people with low independent self-construal tend to be less ambitious with lower self-esteem.  Findings reveal that hope messaging engages both low and high independent self-construal, whereas guilt messaging pushes those with low self-construal to distance themselves from potential bystander intervention.

“Through this independent study, I learned a lot about how we are still facing the impact of patriarchal societies’ dominance in many cultures worldwide,” says Howard. “This is important as it affects how people see, feel, and act upon domestic violence and the advertisements associated with bystander intervention. It is crucial that advertisers pay attention to what emotion resonates with consumers and encourages action when creating ads to promote bystander intervention.”

Temerlin faculty engage graduate students through a variety of work such as case studies, primary and secondary research, and agency internships to ensure students have exposure to the vast array of disciplines within the advertising industry. Learn more about Temerlin’s graduate program here.

FACULTY RESEARCH: Hope Inspires Bystander Intervention

Temerlin’s Dr. Sid Muralidharan and Dr. Carrie La Ferle have published a follow-up to their 2019 study, which explores emotional appeals in public health messaging to mitigate domestic violence in India.  According to UN Women, a global database on violence against women, India reports a 288% lifetime rate of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, compared to 29% in the U.K., 269% in Argentina, and 38% in Turkey. These wide-ranging domestic violence rates by country underscore the importance of research for domestic violence prevention messaging.

The original study, published in the Journal of Advertising, found shame messaging, compared to guilt, to be the more effective message to inspire bystander intervention. In the follow-up study recently published in the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, Dr. Sid, associate professor, and Dr. La Ferle, the Marriott Endowed Professor of Ethics and Culture, compare shame to hope in public service announcement messages. This study finds that bystanders are motivated to act when hope, more so than shame, messaging is utilized. “Social marketers would benefit from crafting domestic violence prevention messages that are framed with a strong hope appeal, i.e., a positive outcome of saving the victim will be achieved by calling the helpline,” Dr. Sid explains. For bystanders, hope is the key to motivating action through goals, agency, and pathways; therefore, marketers have to integrate these three components in their messaging. In other words, saving the victim from further abuse (goal) can be achieved by providing a helpline number (pathway), and the anonymity and ease of calling the helpline will increase motivation to help (agency).

While advertising is often perceived as a way to sell goods, the importance of research on domestic violence prevention messaging underscores for society the ethical component of advertising. Dr. Sid and Dr. La Ferle teach courses such as Advertising as a Cultural Force, Advertising Society and Ethics, and Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship to Temerlin’s undergraduate and graduate students. Through their ongoing research, Temerlin professors play an active role in providing solutions to serious issues.

FACULTY RESEARCH: How Luxury Brands Can Curate Luxe Experiences for Digital Media

As of late, luxury brands have shifted their focus to engage consumers with more meaningful and compelling digital content. According to Dr. Quan Xie, Assistant Professor of Advertising in the Temerlin Advertising Institute, only a small percentage of consumers can afford high-end luxury products, but it is not surprising to see those who aspire to this lifestyle also engross themselves in luxury branded content.

In recent research published in the Journal of Interactive Advertising, Dr. Xie studies luxury fashion brands’ content marketing practices on YouTube, and demonstrates that consumers’ perceived experiential value, social value, and unique value of the luxury branded content are positively related to their perceived brand exclusivity and customer intimacy, which in turn, will boost consumers’ loyalty toward the brand. In addition, consumers’ perceived functional value of the luxury brand’s YouTube channel is positively related to their perceived brand prestige and exclusivity. However, viewers’ perceived informative value was found not relate to brand prestige, exclusivity, or customer intimacy, suggesting that the informative value of luxury content may not play a role in brand building of high-end luxury fashion brands.

While a luxury brand like Bentley boasts around 7.8 million Instagram followers, Hermès has more than 10 million followers, and Dior maintains a following of 32.7 million. Having a large group of followers may generally be seen positively, but for luxury brands seeking to build long-term loyalty, marketers must boost consumers’ perceived brand exclusivity and concentrate on building an intimate customer-brand relationship.

Dr. Xie points to Chanel as the cornerstone for luxury brand-consumer engagement through an ambitious and meticulously planned content strategy. At the beginning of this year, they had around 52 million followers on Twitter and Instagram, and 1.65 million fans on YouTube, which makes Chanel the leading luxury brand across all platforms. For example, they post regularly and consistently while adopting a video-first strategy. This well-crafted content has successfully transformed general viewers into faithful audiences. That said, any time the focus is on luxury brand interactions, the experience must leave consumers with the perception of brand scarcity.

Brand scarcity refers to the rareness of the product or service (e.g., scarce materials, limited accessibility, and distribution) that enhance consumers’ desire or preferences. Since luxury experiences provide more customized services and cost more than conventional experiential purchases, luxury experiences are entitled to greater exclusivity. Luxury brands also aim to evoke exclusivity at all customer contact points.

In the end, Dr. Xie’s research suggests luxury brands should aim to create content that offers experiential value, such as backstage stories, intriguing legacy narratives, and content that is unique to luxury branding – like aesthetic close-up of craftsmanship, as well as content that promises social value to followers. These content values will contribute to followers’ perceived scarcity and intimacy of luxury brands, which, in turn, can build up to greater brand loyalty. Additionally, reliable social media channels can also contribute to increased brand exclusivity. Luxury brands should strategically humanize their owned social media channels to transform them into credible information sources among followers.

Click to learn more about Dr. Quan Xie and her research.

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Dr. La Ferle Attends Global CMO Growth Council Meeting

Dr. Carrie La Ferle, Marriott Endowed Professor of Ethics & Culture, participated in the Global CMO Growth Council meeting last week in NYC examining Brand Experience, Creativity, & Media. The meeting focused on putting people first to drive growth through innovation, insights, creativity, experiential, and media.

Over the past two years, the ANA, Cannes Lions, and the Global CMO Growth Council have identified four priorities for driving industry growth: 1) Data, Technology, and Measurement; 2) Talent and Marketing Organization; 3) Brand Experience, Creativity, and Media; and 4) Society and Sustainability.

Anheuser-Busch graciously hosted the event last week and several CMOs cutting across multiple companies joined from Ernst & Young and Moet Hennessy to Subway, Stoli Group and Viacom as well as from Cannes Lions. Marcel Marcondes, U.S. CMO Anheuser-Busch provided a great overview of how Anheuser-Busch is working to drive growth by learning and listening more to consumers while also diversifying their offerings. Spencer Gordon, VP, Digital for Anheuser-Busch shared some of the recent wins that were driven by starting small and local to ensure relevance, using social media, then listening to reactions, and broadening the scope when reactions were good.

Future meetings are planned over the next few months across the four priorities leading up to Cannes Lions, where the Global CMO Growth Council originated in 2018.

FACULTY RESEARCH: Engaging Luxury Brand Consumers

Luxury brands have increased their social engagement by investing heavily in interesting brand value propositions and captive storytelling. Yet, research to understand the mechanisms of luxury content marketing in brand building is still scarce. Drawing on value perceptions, brand prestige/exclusivity, customer intimacy, and brand loyalty, Dr. Xie’s research proposes and tests the perceived values of luxury content marketing on social media (i.e., YouTube) which shapes brand loyalty among luxury consumers. Dr. Quan Xie’s research “Deconstructing Luxury Content Marketing on YouTube: The Roles of Content Values in Brand Prestige, Brand Exclusivity, Customer Intimacy and Brand Loyalty” was recently accepted by the International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Conference to be presented at the Gold Coast, Australia this May. The conference accepted only 44.27% of the papers and panels that were submitted this year!

FACULTY RESEARCH: Can Advertising Encourage Bystander Intervention in Response to Domestic Violence?

Temerlin Advertising Institute faculty are studying ways to encourage bystander action when they encounter victims of domestic violence. According to the CDC, “About 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.”

According to the research, bystander intervention is one way to help minimize occurrences of domestic violence. However, bystanders tend to be apathetic toward the victims they happen to encounter or observe.

In the research published in the Journal of Advertising, Dr. Carrie La Ferle and Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan examined the role of guilt and shame on attitude toward the ad and reporting intention of bystanders in India. While the effectiveness of negative emotions has been thoroughly researched in the West, conceptualizing guilt and shame from an Eastern perspective and using fluency in processing theory revealed that ads featuring emotional appeals strengthened reporting intention more than control ads did.

Professor Muralidharan explained that this action occurs through self-construals which impact the ways that the different emotions elicited are processed. Self-construal refers to the grounds of self-definition, and the extent to which the self is defined independently of others or interdependently with others and is thought to vary between Westerners and East Asians.

With respect to the findings, Dr. Muralidharan thought that it was interesting that shame was more effective than ads with guilt and the control. However, what was more intriguing was that ads with negative emotions (and lack of) were equally effective among those with an independent self-construal. Basically, such ad appeals were not as important as the duty to help a victim in need. A probable answer lies in research that touches on the characteristics of the independent self-construal (being assertive, autonomous, and possessing a stronger sense of equality), which could explain these gaps in future studies.

According to Dr. La Ferle, “We hope that this research will allow for more impactful public service announcements in India and further prosocial causes by encouraging people to take action in response to perceived needs.” This is one way SMU Advertising research is helping to create better advertising which leads to a better world.

For more information see:

Dr. Carrie La Ferle, Dr. Sid Muralidharan & Dr. Anna Kim “Using Guilt and Shame Appeals from an Eastern Perspective to Promote Bystander Intervention: A Study of Mitigating Domestic Violence in IndiaJournal of Advertising, 2019.

FACULTY RESEARCH: Can Empathy Offset Low Bystander Efficacy? Effectiveness of Domestic Violence Prevention Narratives in India?

Dr. Sid Muralidharan co-authored “Can Empathy Offset LowBystander Efficacy? Effectiveness of Domestic Violence Prevention Narratives in India.” (Journal of Health Communication, 2019)

Abstract:

Domestic violence stems from deeply rooted patriarchal norms and directly conflicts with humanitarian standards. Given that this issue impacts women across the world, many countries have initiated campaigns to heighten awareness and fight this epidemic. Based on Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), we explored whether narrative health messages might prompt bystanders to intervene (e.g., calling a helpline number) when they encounter domestic violence. Using a sample of participants from India, we found that narratives had a stronger impact on attitude toward the ad and reporting intention than non-narratives and such effects were mediated by feelings of empathy. More importantly, the mediating effects of empathy were significantly greater when bystander efficacy was low rather than high.

Click for the full publication: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10410236.2019.1623645

FACULTY RESEARCH: Dr. Sid’s Latest Publication: What Triggers Young Millennials to Purchase Eco-Friendly Products?

Dr. Sid Muralidharan recently co-authored “What triggers young Millennials to purchase eco-friendly products?: the interrelationships among knowledge, perceived consumer effectiveness, and environmental concern.” (Journal of Marketing Communications, Volume 25, 2019, Issue 4)

Abstract:

As the attention to environmental sustainability heightens, marketers increasingly claim that their products help preserve the environment. Without proper understanding of how emerging target markets, such as young Millennials, are triggered to purchase green claims, their efforts may be futile. Accordingly, the current study examined the interrelationships among major environmental antecedents, such as environmental knowledge (EK), perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE), and environmental concern (EC) on environmentally conscious consumer behaviour (ECCB). The results of an online survey with younger Millennials revealed that EK and EC were significant predictors of ECCB, with EC being the stronger predictor. Unlike past literature, PCE was not directly related to ECCB. The study also found a strong mediating role of EC between EK and ECCB, as well as PCE and ECCB. Implications for green marketers are discussed, along with theoretical discussion.

Click for the full publication: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13527266.2017.1303623

FACULTY RESEARCH: Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan and Dr. Anna Kim Author Article on Narrative Advertising in India and the United States

Abstract:
The persuasiveness and popularity of narratives in commercial advertising has gained much attention but its application in inculcating responsible behaviour is severely limited. Domestic violence against women is a global issue and there is a dire need for effective bystander intervention campaigns. This two-part study delves into how narratives could be employed to elicit favourable ad attitudes and encourage bystanders to report instances of domestic abuse in their neighbourhood. Study 1 focused on testing the effectiveness of narratives in two culturally diverse countries – India and the United States. In general, findings showed that narratives (vs. non-narratives) were more persuasive in both countries. As the next step, using culture (interdependence vs. independence) and social distance (parents vs. neighbours), Study 2 found narratives with a socially proximal entity (parents) to be more persuasive in India while no differences between countries were observed for the socially distant entity (neighbours). Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Click here to read the full article on LinkedIn.

RESOURCE: Meet Megan Heuer: The Advertising Librarian!

For those of you who have not met me before, I am the librarian for Temerlin.  I always enjoy working with the advertising students on the kinds of critical thinking needed for secondary research.  The students at Temerlin never cease to impress me with the creativity and enthusiasm they bring to the work!  We have so many great services at the SMU Libraries, so here’s a rundown of things you should take advantage of.

  • Advertising Research Guides – Find these attached to advertising courses in Canvas by clicking “Library Help.” I create these online guides to make advertising research easier for you.
  • One-on-One Research Help – Sometimes you just need to talk through your project with a person. I meet with individuals and small groups, either in person or online. I can’t tell you how many times I have had students say that they don’t know why they ever waited so long to take advantage of this service!
  • Chat Help – If you need help immediately, you can chat with one of the library’s research assistants. You can find this anywhere on the library website by clicking the red “Ask Us” flag on the upper right side.
  • Workshops – Adulting 101, Finding Balanced News, Advanced Internet Research, Making Citation Easier, How to Read Scholarly Article – these are some of the topics that are offered through our workshop program. Is there a topic you would like to suggest?  Would you like to schedule a custom session for a group of students?  Let me know!

Contact:
Megan Heuer
mheuer@smu.edu
(214) 768-1856
Make an appointment