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.

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: Campaigns Class Lands Global Orthodontics Client

This fall, Professor Peter Noble’s undergraduate campaigns course partnered with the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, Dentsply Sirona, for a unique B2B marketing challenge. In three teams, the students conducted three individual market analyses and audience surveys to conclude their capstone project with a fully developed marketing plan for how to increase visibility and drive attendance to the SureSmile multi-day education event. The winning team, Agency Incite, traveled to SureSmile 2020 in San Diego at the end of February to make their pitch live on stage.

“The submitted concepts provide valuable insights about our industry and user base. As creative strategies, they offer usable models, for example, to leverage user feedback or behavior or point out emerging trends and opportunities. For our company, this partnership returned significant assets in creative, research, and strategy,” said Dominique Mondou, Vice President Traditional and Digital Orthodontics.

Click here to learn more about campaign clients or contact Sandi Edgar for more information.

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.

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: Preparing Students for their Careers with StrengthsFinder

The Clifton StrenghtsFinder is a scientific 177 question assessment that measures an individual’s talents resulting in a unique “thumbprint” analysis of strengths. Understanding the sequence of these strengths is one of the keys to finding and managing a rewarding career. This week, Professor Amber Benson (right), a Gallop-Certified Strengths Coach, led Professor Sandi Edgar’s Advertising Business Communications course through a basic StrengthsFinder workshop. Here, students were guided through various exercises to understand their top strengths and how they may manifest in various aspects of their personal and professional lives. This insight provides an understating of motivations,  interactions with others, and the types of team members needed to compliment a person’s strengths. The students will use their individual strengths to explore personal branding with the ultimate goal to become more effective in interviews, networking, and the workplace. This project culminates with the Temerlin Advertising Institute career fair in March. Email to learn more: sandi@smu.edu.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Introducing the 2020 SMU NSAC Adobe Team

By Kaleb Mulugeta

SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute is home to three undergraduate advertising tracks specializing in their respective disciplines: Creative, Digital Media Strategy and Strategic Brand Management. Mimicking an advertising agency setting, NSAC unites the three tracks to collaborate on a multi-media marketing plan while providing national exposure for students to land internships and full-time opportunities. Hillery Lemon ’19 recounts her time on last year’s winning team as “A really valuable experience. Especially as a creative student, because I got to work with the other advertising specializations and see what it really takes to put a campaign together. It’s so satisfying seeing your work do well!”

The National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) is the premier collegiate competition founded by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). Led by Professor Amber Benson, each team is asked to devise a completely integrated campaign and pitches their work to savvy advertising professionals which are judged at the district, semi-final, and national levels. Prior NSAC clients include Ocean Spray, Snapple, Nissan, Coca-Cola, State Farm (and more). This year it’s Adobe. Yes, that Adobe.

Collaboration, presentation, and strategic planning are invaluable skills for students preparing to enter the ad industry. The SMU Ad Team exists to nurture these skills and give students a chance to present their work to a real client and a panel of industry experts. And we’ve been pretty successful. Last year, SMU won 1st place at the NSAC District 10 Competition and was a national finalist with an insightful advertising campaign for Wienerschnitzel.

The SMU 2020 Ad Team: Professor Amber Benson, Kathryn Chavez, Sarah Jane Eckelkamp, Jackson Ferris, Avery Fuller-Monk, Sebastian Gutierrez, Caillie Horner, Sarah Katsikas, Meryn Kennedy, Lauren Kobayashi, Erin McCraw, Abhinav Nadella, Ankita Padarthy, Riley Preston, Susan Slaton, Lizzie Venditti, and Whitney Wilkerson.


How do I join?

Temerlin’s highest-performing students need to apply to compete on the NSAC stage. Applications open each fall, keep an eye on your email. Pony Up Team Adobe!

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 SPOTLIGHT: Home is a Journey Recap

“I literally look homeless right now.”

Words overheard from a classmate in my 9:30 am Logo Design class.

Her outfit: a pair of sweatpants and a loose-fitting t-shirt.

The word “homeless” carries such a heavy stigma, and that weight falls on the shoulders of those who have been there.

Creative Advertising professor, Willie Baronet, has been buying and collecting homeless signs for a project titled WE ARE ALL HOMELESS which he created in 1993. To me, this project acts as a gesture to humanize the people who have unwillingly been made invisible. While interacting with a homeless person on a street corner, I’m certain I’m not the only one who fiddles with my A/C, pretends to see something important on my phone, or just looks the other way. The people who find themselves in such adverse circumstances are completely ignored. Reduced to nothing but sharpies on cardboard.

On a chilly November morning, Willie Baronet brought Home is a Journey to SMU. The first annual walk to raise awareness about homelessness, compassion, gratitude and privilege. Students and supporters marched from Doak Walker Plaza to Dallas Hall Lawn, carrying authentic homeless signs, created and held by someone experiencing homelessness. A lineup of compelling speakers shared their stories about experiencing homelessness, an eye-opening and humbling experience for everyone in attendance.

Baronet recounts the event, “The most poignant moment of the whole march was when we turned right on the boulevard. I looked back and saw a line of 120 people, nobody smiling, nobody talking, all carrying signs…the gravity of that image was so powerful.”

This week, the majority of SMU’s student body will go home for the holidays.

Which prompts the question: What is home?

Is it a group of people? A familiar location? A feeling?

Whatever home means to you, this project intends to shift your perspective, remove the stigma around homelessness and create a sense of gratitude for what you do have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.weareallhomeless.org/

 

Photos:

This past weekend was the Home is a Journey event which held the first annual SMU walk to raise awareness about…

Posted by SMU Meadows School of the Arts on Monday, November 4, 2019

Kaleb Mulugeta

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