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

FACULTY RESEARCH: TAI Assistant Professor Yan Huang Shares Research on Narrative Persuasion and Attitude Resistance

TAI Research Brown Bag by TAI Assistant Professor, Yan Huang.

On Friday, April 13, Yan Huang, Assistant Professor of Advertising in TAI at SMU, shared her research titled “Persuasion and Counter Persuasion: The Impact of Narratives in Health Promotion,” at the TAI Research Brown Bag.

Professor Huang’s research examines the effects and mechanisms of strategic media messages and technologies in shaping consumer psychology, especially as they relate to health and socially responsible advertising. Through her studies, she addresses a series of questions including,

  • Is attitude induced by narratives able to resist the influence of competing messages?
  • What are the psychological mechanisms underlying narratives’ influence on resistance?
  • Can narratives effectively persuade individuals when used for counter persuasion?
  • How do we use storytelling to help the public make better decisions?

Health public service advertising (PSA) is not processed in a vacuum. An effective health PSA must not only produce an immediate persuasive impact but also compete with counter messages from different interest groups. Prior literature supports narrative benefits in eliciting immediate health attitude change. However, its influence in a competitive scenario has yet to be tested.

When individuals are exposed to a campaign message, they think about it, but they don’t typically engage in actions immediately. There is a time lag, in which individuals can encounter other information, which may contradict with what they were previously exposed to – these are competing messages. Professor Yan Huang performed a series of studies in which attitudes were assessed after exposure to pro- and anti-radiotherapy messages, in both the conventional rhetoric and storytelling formats. Immediate reactions and the responses after counter persuasion were assessed and analyzed.

Major findings of Professor Huang’s studies include,

  • Campaign messages in story formats can lead to better retention of information, which could enhance audience resistance to counter persuasion.
  • The experiential processes associated with narrative exposure, such as identification with story characters and the feeling of “being transported” into the story world, can increase counter-arguing with competing messages.
  • Narrative messages are much more effective than rhetorical messages in communicating counter-attitudinal information.

After sharing her research Professor Huang discussed various theoretical and practical implications including,

  • Narrative persuasion research may benefit from focusing attention beyond the change in attitude intensity to other properties of attitude strength.
  • The mechanisms underlying the carryover effect of narratives in the face of a competing message are both cognitive and experiential.
  • The applicability of narrative persuasion theories in a competitive situation.
  • The strong potential of narrative campaign messages in altering attitude.

Temerlin Advertising Institute was honored to have Yan Huang for a lecture on her research. TAI is passionate about staying informed on all current topics in the advertising industry, hosting speakers periodically throughout the year.

Yan Huang holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from Pennsylvania State University. She teaches Consumer Behavior (ADV 2301) at SMU. Her work has appeared in such journals as American Behavioral Scientist, Health Communication, Journal of Communication, among others. Moreover, her research has been recognized with Top Paper Awards from the International Communication Association (ICA), the Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC).

WPromote: “Profit Driven Marketing with Facebook”

Wpromote is a digital marketing agency headquartered in California has regional offices in Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, etc. It is also known as the challenger agency and focuses on search marketing, paid & earned social media, and marketing intelligence. This April, Wpromote partnered with Facebook and held its first profit-driven marketing summit. It was an invitation based exclusive event, and two of our TAI faculty, Anna Kim and Hye Jin Yoon were invited. Last year, the agency had a similar event with Google.  

Dr. Kim and Dr. Yoon at the Event.

It was an all-day event and well-attended by industry professionals. It is interesting to note that Dr. Yoon and Dr. Kim were the only academic professionals. They said, they really enjoyed the program. “The summit not only offered us an excellent opportunity to meet industry professionals but also informed us many interesting new trends as well as challenges that today’s media industry is facing. Keynote speeches and sessions were organized around the following three themes: leveraging profit-driven marketing & customer lifetime value (LTV), new customers acquisition, and visual storytelling through video.” 

 
Here are some notes from Dr. Yoon and there’s a link in the bottom where you can download some of the presentations from Wpromote. Unfortunately, presentations from Facebook are not provided due to the sensitive nature of some of the content, it is Facebook’s policy not to distribute their presentations.
 
  • Businesses need to adopt mobile first strategies: consumers are increasingly discovering products through mobile, there is 41% faster content consumption on mobile than desktop, and on average, consumers search fewer products on smartphones than desktops before making a purchase.
  • eCommerce goes global: cross-border e-commerce with emerging economies have taken off; businesses need to be there effortlessly across the globe; these countries never had strong desktop culture and have leaped on to mobile, which creates a different set of opportunities.
  • Mobile video content is exploding: video is a primary way to discover and buy products and leverage video as merchandising tool affords highly dynamic immersive experiences.
  • Visual storytelling through video creative that converts: customers want to see themselves in your product; visuals are processed 60K times faster than text by the human brain; visual storytelling can help every stage of the consumer’s journey; great video isn’t about things, it’s about action (verbs before nouns); focus on people, their goals, and how the brand can help accomplish them.

Summit Promote Presentations (click the link for download)
Click here to learn more about Wpromote and its first-ever profit-driven marketing summit.

Mentoring (and Caring) for Ad Students

Mentoring (and Caring) for Ad Students
by Dr. Alice Kendrick, Marriott Professor of Advertising

 

Do you have a mentor?  Who is that person?  A professor?  Professional?  This is a question worth asking and a goal worth pursuing.

Research indicates that having a mentor can contribute to not only career success but also to psychological and physical well-being.  Yet only about one in five college graduates claim to have had a mentor while in school, according to a 2014 Gallup-Purdue survey.  Having someone “who encouraged me to pursue goals and dreams” makes a student twice as likely to enjoy an engaging career, according to that study.  There isn’t a lot of research about advertising mentors specifically, though a survey of business students at a northeastern university and alumni 3-5 years out (D’Abate 2010) found that mentoring provided short-term psychosocial support and also advanced mentees’ career development and business knowledge in the first five years on the job.

A study in the late 1990s found that minority advertising students reported they wished they had mentors while in college as well as later in the workplace. About half of the students in a 2008 study of university ad club chapter members said they had mentors, and in many cases those mentors were college professors.  In a related finding, the Gallup-Purdue study reported graduates were almost twice as likely to achieve an engaging work life if “My professors at [College] cared about me as a person.” (p. 10)

The advertising employment landscape can be complicated, and unlike some areas of study and work like engineering and investment banking, hiring opportunities don’t follow a specified pattern.  That means that ad students looking to enter the ad industry could benefit from guidance and support of a mentor or mentors along the way. And while professors often serve as defacto mentors for students, there are many other sources of mentors such as members of local professional advertising clubs, speakers who visit campus, internship supervisors, university alumni and family friends and acquaintances.  Students and faculty should seek as many opportunities as possible to enjoin professionals beyond the university to augment student learning, networking and pre-employment socialization. Professional role models and professional relationships are a key ingredient to a successful career.

Alice Kendrick, Ph.D. is Marriott Professor of Advertising in the SMU Temerlin Advertising Institute. She is currently developing a mentoring program for TAI students, alumni and professionals.

 

Sources consulted

Kendrick, Alice, Jami Fullerton and Mallorie Rodak (2010), “Advertising student interns: Career preferences and ethical issues,” Journal of Advertising Education, 14(2), 42-51.

The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report (2014). Great Jobs. Great Lives. Gallup, Inc.  Retrieved from http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q2/gallup-purdue-index-releases-inaugural-findings-of-national-landmark-study.html

Fullerton, Jami, Alice Kendrick and Connie Frazier (2007), “Job Satisfaction Among Minority Advertising Professionals.”  Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication national conference, August, Washington DC.

D’Abate, C. (2010), “Developmental Interactions for Business Students: Do They Make a Difference?” Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies May, 17(2), 143-155.

Can Agency Culture Foster an Ethical Mindset?

Can Agency Culture Foster an Ethical Mindset?
by TAI Professor Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan

Business ethics can be broadly defined as a brand’s moral obligations to their stakeholders, employees, consumers, competition, and society at large. Ethics operates at a higher plane than law and motivates brands to think beyond just meeting the minimal legal requirements. In advertisements, ethical considerations can manifest by providing honest and truthful information about products and services, by not being offensive, or culturally distasteful. Being in a position of influence, the expectation for a brand to abide by a moral code can never be perceived as a choice but a duty. This moral duty rests not only in the hands of the advertiser but also the hired advertising agency.

The ad agency is an organization where the blending of business and creativity occurs seamlessly. In such a competitive environment where both advertisers and agencies are driven by the motive of earning more profits, the emphasis placed on ethics, unfortunately, diminishes. Lapses in ethical judgment can negatively impact the brand in terms of lower sales, negative brand image, and can end the relationship between the agency and the client. For example, in 1991 Volvo and its agency Scali, McCabe, Sloves Inc. of New York was each fined $150,000 for their deceptive ad. The commercial depicted a monster truck that ran over a line of cars, and the only car to survive was a Volvo station wagon. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found the ad to be deceptive because the body of the Volvo was specially strengthened to withstand the impact and a regular Volvo was not equipped with a similar shell. Knowing that the demonstration did not truly represent the product, the agency still decided to move forward with the campaign, posing an ethical lapse. Granted, agencies are under the influence of their clients but the question remains, can an agency still come out with a creative ad that is both effective and morally sound?

The answer is yes. To overcome such setbacks, agencies need to foster a culture of ethics and responsibility. This should be initiated from the very top, where, leaders are setting an example and having employees not only be a part but also take ownership of the culture. A good example could be the agency ‘Enviromedia’ based in Austin, TX. The main mission of the agency is to make the world a better place to live in and help brands make profits. Championing this vision is the CEO and Founder – Valerie Salinas-Davis, who has created strategies for campaigns such as “Don’t Mess with Texas” and the eco-friendly Nissan Leaf, to name a few. Being a B-Corporation, the agency has set high standards to achieve both social and environmental goals. As per their website, the agency has contributed $1 million in pro-bono work and volunteer time to different charities. The agency headquarters has sustainable features like solar panels and water saving functionalities, while employees recycle and use recycled materials. Enviromedia is selective of who they work with, making sure their culture and values align with their clients and is propagated through the campaigns they create. From the causes they support to providing employees with paid time off, Enviromedia has shown that their belief system can foster an ethical mindset. If the industry is filled with more agencies that have a strong moral compass then it helps put pressure back onto brands to achieve their bottom line through ethical channels.

Dr. Sid Muralidharan is assistant professor at the Temerlin Advertising Institute. His primary research interests are on cross-cultural studies and advertising’s impact on mitigating social and environmental issues in India and abroad, while secondary research interests include social media and online advertising.

 

TAI Professor Dr. Hye Jin Yoon Publishes on Corporate Responsibility Campaigns on Social Networking Sites in the Journal of Business Research

TAI’s Associate Professor Dr. Hye Jin Yoon has a paper forthcoming in the Journal of Business Research, which has an impact factor of 3.354. With Dr. Yoon-Joo Lee and Nicole H. O’Donnel of Washington State University, she explored how number of followers and valence of comments could affect the perceived legitimacy of corporate social responsibility campaigns on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Title: The effects of information cues on perceived legitimacy of companies that promote corporate social responsibility initiatives on social networking sites

Abstract: Social networking sites (SNSs) are increasingly used to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Consumers can like, retweet, or comment on CSR messages on SNS pages, signaling public approval or disapproval and affecting perceived legitimacy of the organization. Especially for controversial companies, such as alcohol brands, both perceived legitimacy of a cause and consumer purchase intention (PI) might be enhanced by expressions of public support on SNS pages. However, few studies have explored this relationship. The findings from Experiment 1 suggest that the number of followers (low vs. high) affected perceived legitimacy and PI. Experiment 2 revealed that the effects of comment valence on attitudinal and behavioral intention interacted with the number of followers. These findings advance our current knowledge of factors associated with perceived legitimacy of companies that promote CSR campaigns on SNS pages. Implications for advertising research and practice are discussed.

You can access the article free before December 17th, 2017.

TAI’s Dr. Anna Kim Visits San Diego for Association for Consumer Research (ACR) Conference

This October, TAI Assistant Professor Dr. Eunjin (Anna) Kim traveled to San Diego to attend the 2017 Association for Consumer Research (ACR) Conference, a premier marketing conference. She presented a paper titled, “Narrative Advertising Effectiveness: The Role of Ad Relevance, Ad Vividness, and Ad Message Explicitness.”

“This project departed from a basic premise, such that it is highly unlikely that all narrative ads produce equal amount of effectiveness (e.g., positive affective responses and positive cognitive responses),” Dr. Kim said. “Nowadays, advertising plays in a very competitive attention economy where consumers’ attention span is very short like that of gold fish. Storytelling has emerged as a new currency for capturing customer hearts. Marketers and researchers have been trying to understand the power of the storytelling in order to move their customers through their branding/sales objectives. I believe my research makes a significant contribution to the topic of narrative advertising effectiveness.”

Dr. Kim has two co-authors on this project, Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan, TAI Assistant Professor, and Dr. Eunseon Kwon, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication at Texas Christian University. A paper based on this project is currently under review at Journal of Business Research, a premier academic journal.

“I really liked this conference because it offered me an excellent opportunity to showcase my research and to meet other seasoned scholars in my research area,” Dr. Kim said. “This conference has recently started to publish the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (JACR) exploring consumer behavior topics with a thematic approach. I got some cute gifts from the journal at the conference. At the end of the conference, we visited San Diego Air & Space Museum.”

Dr. Kim has published her research in the Journal of Advertising, Marketing Letters, Psychology and Marketing, International Journal of Advertising, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Mobile Media & Communication and others. She teaches Digital Media Strategy 1, Consumer Insight and Persuasion, Strategic Brand Management 2, and Media Measurements and Metrics.

TAI Faculty are among the most productive advertising scholars worldwide. Their research interests span current industry topics of interest, including narrative advertising effectiveness, humor advertising, socially responsible advertising, and virtual product experiences, to name a few.

Below are pictures from Dr. Kim’s time in San Diego.

TAI Professor Dr. Hye Jin Yoon Visits Tokyo for AAA Global Conference

This July, TAI Professor Dr. Hye Jin Yoon travelled to Tokyo, Japan for the 2017 American Academy of Advertising Global Conference. With her co-author Dr. Hongmin Ahn, she presented a paper titled, “When Two Worlds Collide – The Dark Triad Personality and the Humor in Comedic Violence Ads.”

“AAA partnered with Waseda University and held sessions on its vibrant campus,” Yoon said. “The conference started with a keynote speech from Yoshito Maruoka, President and COO of Dentsu Digital Inc. and ended with a tour of Tokyo with a visit to Mt. Fuji. Many advertising and marketing scholars from the United States, Europe, and other Asian countries attended the conference.”

Dr. Yoon has been published in the Journal of AdvertisingJournal of Business ResearchInternational Journal of AdvertisingJournal of Health CommunicationHealth CommunicationJournal of Advertising Research, and Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, among others. She teaches Advertising Media, International Advertising, and Quantitative and Qualitative Research at SMU.

Below are pictures from Dr. Yoon’s time in Tokyo.