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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.

Journal of Advertising Research - June 2011

Journal of Advertising Research

New Models for a New Age of Research

Geoffrey Precourt, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.333-334

In his editorial for issue 2 of JAR, volume 51, Geoffrey Precourt asks, "Have we all gotten a bit sloppy about our modeling?" and introduces the edition.

Engineered Persuasion: Just Do It

Pat LaPointe, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.339-341

How does a brand-marketing company succeed in a hyper-competitive, global marketplace where product designs, features, and engineering increasingly (and rapidly) are matched and copied by competitors? Many firms seek to create an advantage through technical innovation. Brand marketers are advised to focus on the lessons engineering can teach, such as defining the problem to be solved and collecting the known solutions to the problem.

Customer Insights that Matter

Patrick Barwise and Seán Meehan, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.342-344

In this article, Barwise and Meehan offer a practical framework to help companies achieve long-term organic profit growth. The focus is on actionable customer insights flowing freely through the business and ultimately leading to consistently great customer solutions and experiences and a strong brand.

The Future is Now: In Pursuit of a More Efficient and Effective Media Strategy

David F. Poltrack and Kevin Bowen, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.345-355

Poltrack and Bowen share a system that allows advertisers to have a 360-degree perspective of their core prospects with regard to media consumption, which will enable marketers to move beyond pure demographic reach to quality reach.

The Power of Inertia: Conservatism in Marketing Resource Allocation

Marcel Corstjens, Andris Umblijs and Chao Wang, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.356-372

The authors propose a pragmatic methodology to provide management with directional guidance in their marketing-resource allocation decisions. The authors report on the estimated market-response functions for products from seven different industries. In each industry, the most popular marketing vehicle receives the largest share of the marketing budget. A number of rationales may explain these allocation decisions, to which the authors add the hypothesis of conservative decision making in marketing. According to this hypothesis, the observed allocation pattern signals a significant overspending on some marketing drivers and underinvestment in alternative marketing vehicles. Marketing managers, thereby, forego the profitable growth opportunities potentially available from the reallocation of their marketing budgets.

The Measure of All Things: Finding Out That Something Doesn't Work Is the First Step Toward Learning What Does Work

Duncan Watts, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.373-379

Duncan Watts shares insights from his new book Everything is Obvious, including a recent randomized experiment testing online advertising with 1.6 million Yahoo! users. The researchers estimated that the additional revenue generated by the advertising was roughly four times the cost of the campaign in the short run, and possibly much higher over the long run. But what they also discovered was that almost all the effect was for older consumers—the ads were largely ineffective for people under 40. At first, this latter result seems like bad news. But the right way to think about it is that finding out that something doesn’t work is also the first step toward learning what does work.

Rx for Brand Consistency. Should Pharmaceutical Marketers Send Different Messages to Physician and Consumer Audiences?

Kim Saxton, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.380-393

Pharmaceutical marketers in the United States wrestle with an interesting dilemma: should they maintain similar advertising across their two target audiences—physicians and patients—or should they customize advertising for each? This study explores the relationship between advertising similarity and advertising effectiveness. It finds that similarity of advertising message strategy is unrelated to advertising effectiveness while advertising execution-similarity is negatively related. This pattern of effects holds even when patients are the drivers of brand choice. These findings reinforce the idea that advertising should be finely honed to target customers’ needs even when two different customers interact in brand choice.

Damage Control: Limiting the Fall-Out from Deceptive Advertising

Katherine L. Twomey, John G. Knight and Lisa S. McNeill, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.394-403

Deceptive claims in advertising can cause serious damage to a firm’s reputation. Prior research revealed that consumers who recognized deception in an advertisement in turn generally would develop a negative perception of advertising. The authors explore the issue of how a company can recover consumer trust after being caught in a deceptive advertising episode. In particular: GlaxoSmithKline, among the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies by turnover, pleaded guilty in 2007 in a New Zealand court to making misleading health claims relating to Ribena blackcurrant fruit drink. Lessons are derived from this high-profile case and the company’s attempts to recover its reputation by means of television apology.

What's So Funny? The Use of Humor in Magazine Advertising in the United States, China and France

Michel Laroche, Marcelo Vinhal Nepomuceno, Liang Huang and Marie-Odile Richard, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.404-416

The literature includes extensive research on the role of humor in advertising. Few studies, however, have compared how humor in advertising is used in different countries. Using content analysis, this article compares the use of humor in the United States, China, and France to provide answers and justifications to three questions: Is the frequency of humor in magazine advertising different for each country? Is the use of humor according to the type of product different for each country? Is the use of humor for luxury and personal products different for each country? The authors’ findings indicate significant differences in the use of humor among the three countries in terms of: frequency of use, types of products, and luxury versus personal products. The findings have important implications for international advertisers.

Ad Bites: Toward a Theory of Ironic Advertising

Ekin Pehlivan, Pierre Berthon and Leyland Pitt, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.417-426

Irony is employed to add edge or bite to advertising—to make it stand out. Yet the irony of ironic advertising is that it is used but not thoroughly understood; practiced but not well researched. In this study, the authors set out to remedy this failing by laying the foundations of research into ironic advertising. Specifically, they define a construct and then develop a theory that explains how ironic advertising works. From this, they develop a series of propositions that specify how a message and its interpretation interact to determine the relative efficacy of an ironic communication. The article then outlines a research agenda and concludes by specifying the contribution of the theory to practitioners and researchers.

Parental Style: The Implications of What We Know (and Think We Know)

Les Carlson, Russell N. Laczniak and Chad Wertley, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.427-435

This article presents a synthesis of our prior work in consumer socialization of children. We focus discussion on parents as consumer-socialization agents and offer a review of the effects of parents as agents of children’s consumer socialization as moderated by parental styles. Our research has uncovered one particular parental style—“authoritatives”—that appears to be more engaged in consumer socialization. We also review the more limited work on how parental styles may actually influence children and suggest avenues for future research that incorporates the parental style framework. These additional research possibilities include investigating what inherent parental characteristics may account for regarding the unique consumer-socialization formats that parents may use with children.

The Naked Truth: Revealing the Affinity for Graphic Sexual Appeals in Advertising

Tom Reichert, Michael S. LaTour and John B. Ford, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2011, pp.436-448

Graphic sexual appeals grab attention but the advertising literature suggests that these messages are far from a “magic bullet.” Using a large national panel (N = 1,506), the current research manipulated levels of nudity in fragrance ads and assessed key constructs including Sexual Self Schema, Sensation Seeking, and dimensions of the Reidenbach-Robin Multi-dimensional Ethics Scale to determine which factors best account for individual response. Findings indicate that elements of all three variables were important predicators of viewers’ emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral responses, especially as nudity increased. The results elucidate key factors for managerial action when incorporating sexual appeals in brand building.

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For more information about the Journal visit or contact Catherine Gardner, Managing Editor,

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