Journal of Advertising Research - December 2011
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Celebrating 50 years, the Journal of Advertising Research 50th Anniversary Special Edition is packed with analysis and insights from over 40 internationally renowned academics and industry leaders.

December 2011, Volume 51, No. 4
Engaging With Digital China

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Editorial: Engaging With Digital China
Geoffrey Precourt

Marketing on the Razor’s Edge: The Need for Smarter Decisions as the Economy Goes Sideways
Pat LaPointe
Pat LaPointe, Managing Editor of MarketingNPV, on the dangers of scaling back investments in research in the current economic environment, and to how to build a more strategic role for marketing.

Are You Blinded by the Heavy (Buyer) … Or Are You Seeing the Light?
Jenni Romaniuk
In her first column for the Journal, Jenni Romaniuk from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute asks why market research tends to overlook light buyers who typically form the majority of customers a packaged goods brand has, acquires and loses.

The Globalization of Social Media: Consumer Relationships with Brands Evolve in the Digital Space
Graeme Hutton and Maggie Fosdick
The authors share the results of the Wave social media study. Established in 2006, Wave’s geographical coverage has mushroomed from just 15 countries in Wave 1 with a sample of 7,500 to 54 countries in Wave 5 polling more than 37,600 consumers in 2010.

Each of Wave’s annual studies, from Wave 1 in 2006 through to Wave 5 in 2011, has seen a major lift in social media adoption. As the incidence has increased, and social media literacy has improved, its usage characteristics have also evolved. Often these changes have manifested themselves in ways we had not necessarily anticipated.

Optimizing Market Segmentation for a Global Mobile Phone Provider for both Targeting and Insight
Marc O’Regan, Kalidas Ashok, Olga Maksimova, and Oleg Reshetin
This paper describes a complex 5-country segmentation of the mobile telephony market on behalf of MTS, a leading global mobile phone provider. MTS wanted the segmentation to maintain a common framework across all countries, while capturing any real differences between them. A critical requirement was “targetability” – the ability to accurately attribute a segment to each one of MTS ’s subscribers. This entailed that the segments be well differentiated on “hard” behavioral metrics from MTS ’s billing databases. However, it was also critical that such differentiation was not achieved at the expense of richness on “softer” aspects of marketing – segments also needed to have distinct needs, attitudes and motivations, so that they could be used as a platform for messaging, product development, and advertising. Meeting these competing requirements led to a solution that combined survey data on more than 10 thousand respondents and billing data on more than 80 million customers using an innovative analytic technique.

Which Broadcast Medium Better Drives Engagement? Measuring the Power of Radio and Television with Electromyography and Skin-Conductance Measurements
James Peacock, Scott Purvis, and Richard L Hazlett
This study compared the ability of radio and television advertisements to generate emotional responses and engage consumers. It did so using advanced physiological methods that measure emotional activation in ways that do not require verbal responses. Sixteen different real advertising campaigns were evaluated with 80 consumers watching television and 80 listening to radio programming with embedded commercials. Radio and television evoked positive emotion about equally, but television advertising generated a slightly higher negative emotional reaction. Positive emotion and brand recall were found to be positively correlated, with the relationship stronger for radio than for television.

Introducing the Ad ECG: How the Set-top Box Tracks the Lifeline of Television
Robert J. Kent and David A. Schweidel
Great sums of marketing dollars are spent on television advertising time in the absence of precise audience-size information for individual advertising units. This paper uses granular data from a large system of set-top boxes to observe how television audiences decline and rebuild during expensive commercial time. The data reveal greater set delivery declines from programs to commercial units than has often been anticipated. Moreover, variation in set delivery was seen within particular shows. The results suggest that advertisers should use detailed commercial audience information to choose shows and negotiate media prices.


Feature: Engaging With Digital China

Consumer Adoption Intentions toward the Internet in China: The Effects of Impersonal and Interpersonal Communication Channels
Yinghong (Susan) Wei, Gary L. Frankwick, T Yinghong (Susan) Wei, Gary L. Frankwick, Tao (Tony) Gao, and Nan Zhou
With the increasing growth of Internet advertising revenues, it is important to understand what factors may have an impact on consumer intentions to adopt the Internet. This study investigates the effects of impersonal and interpersonal communication channels on consumer intentions to adopt the Internet. Through a stratified random sampling approach, a survey of 3,754 consumers in China was conducted. The structural equation model results suggest that demographic characteristics (age, education, personal income, household income); impersonal communication channels/mass media use (newspapers/magazines, television news); and personal communication channels (word of mouth, personal selling) influence consumer Internet adoption intentions at home.

Assessing Celebrity Endorsement Effects in China: A Consumer-Celebrity Relational Approach
Kineta Hung, Kimmy W. Chan, and Caleb H. Tse
Celebrity endorsement is a salient executional strategy in China, where national celebrities often endorse more than 20 brands. This paper adopts a relational perspective to examine this research issue. The relational perspective is driven by three core Chinese cultural values: collectivism, risk aversion, and power distance. The authors propose a model that postulates how celebrity-worship leads to value-transfer that, in turn, affects brand purchase intent. Findings from a survey involving 1,030 respondents from a national panel of consumers, showed that consumer celebrity worship is a significant antecedent to endorser effects; over-endorsement by a celebrity is an important moderator; and the model is robust across both sports and entertainment celebrities.

Regulating Political Symbols: China’s Advertising Law and Politicized Advertising
Xin Zhao and Jeff Wang
Advertising regulation in China contains political and ideological nuances. Despite evolution of its advertising law and years of practice dealing with various codes, advertisers still find it daunting to decipher the regulations after years of practice. The ideological components of China’s advertising law require careful analysis of political correctness and cultural appropriateness. In this paper, the authors use semiotic analysis to consider both advertising that has violated ideological rules and advertising that has successfully transmitted desired ideological messages. And the authors have selected four advertising cases that help clarify the perceptions regarding political ideology in China.

The China Puzzle: Strategic Thinking in the World’s Fastest Growing Advertising Market.
To keep pace with the growth of marketing research in Asia, Warc in early 2011 opened the doors for a new competition—the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy—what its sponsors call “the first Asian competition set up to reward brilliant strategic thinking in marketing.” One U.S.–based marketer—McDonald’s—demonstrated with two entries the challenge of marketing one brand across two related (but distinct) markets. From its Shanghai offices, agency TBWA assembled a “Let’s Meet Up” effort that not only was shortlisted for the Warc Prize but took home a Gold Effie China Award in 2009. And from Hong Kong, McDonald’s (and its agency DDB Worldwide Ltd.) demonstrated the power of imagination in marketing with the creation of Dim Jack, a bandit whose only crime was an obsession with Chicken McNuggets.

Incremental Clicks: The Impact of Search Advertising
David X. Chan, Yuan Yuan, Jim Koehler, and Deepak Kumar
In this research, the authors examined how the number of organic clicks changed when search ads were present and when search ad campaigns were turned off. The authors developed a statistical model to estimate the fraction of total clicks that could be attributed to search advertising. A meta-analysis of several hundred of these studies revealed that more than 89 percent of the ads clicks were incremental, in the sense that those visits to the advertiser’s site would not have occurred without the ad campaigns.

Comprende Code Switching? Young Mexican-Americans’ Responses to Language Alternation in Print Advertising
Melissa Bishop and Mark Peterson
“Code switching” in advertising refers to the alternation between two languages in a single advertisement. This research investigates (1) how the direction of code switching and the placement of a code-switched advertisement in an English or Spanish medium influence bilinguals’ attitudes toward code-switching (Acs) and (2) how Acs influence common advertising objectives. An experiment was performed among 107 Mexican-American young adults. Path analysis using structural equation modeling disclosed that placing a code-switched print advertisement in an all-English medium resulted in more positive Acs than placing it within an all-Spanish medium. Additionally, Acs positively influenced advertisement involvement and, subsequently, service-quality expectations and patronage intentions.

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