Journal of Advertising Research - September 2013

September 2013, Volume 53, No. 3
What We Know About Creativity

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Letter from the CEO: The Journal/ARF Partnership
Gayle Fuguitt, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013

Gayle Fuguitt, president and CEO of the Advertising Research Foundation, explains how the Journal of Advertising Research convened a diverse group of industry leaders to determine the biggest challenges facing the industry, and how JAR will continue to address these challenges.

What We Know About Creativity
Geoffrey Precourt, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.238-239

Geoffrey Precourt, Editor-in-Chief of JAR, introduces a series of articles in this issue of JAR that examine how the impact of creativity on marketing can begin to quantified. The papers in this issue cover subjects including the use of humor in advertising, the conflict between wanting creative advertising but not wanting to take risks, and what types of creativity are winning awards.

The Theory and Practice of Advertising: Counting the Cost to the Customer
Pierre Berthon, Karen Robson and Leyland Pitt, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.244-246

This paper argues that advertising is frequently intrusive, causing consumers to try to avoid it. It urges marketers to consider their advertising in terms of cost to the consumer (in attention, time and emotional response), and to consider the way in which this diminishes the marketers’ message. This problem is exacerbated by technology lowering the cost of accessing consumers, and therefore consumers coming into contact with advertising much more frequently.

Sharing the Spotlight: Is There Room for Two Brands in One Advertisement?
Jenni Romaniuk, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.247-250

Jenni Romaniuk discusses the circumstances in which it is beneficial to feature more than one brand in an advertisement. This can be done by featuring with a parent brand, a partner brand or a competitor brand. When featuring more than one brand marketers should ensure the most important brand is made dominant and that marketing messages are not confused.

In Search of Advertising ROI: The Impossible Dream versus “Bounded Rationality”
Gale Metzger, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.251-253

This paper describes the search for tools to measure advertising ROI and uses the work of Paul Gerhold, the marketing researcher, to explain some of the difficulties over time. It argues that generalized measures of ROI are ineffective and that each campaign requires a measure specific to the methods used.

You Can’t Put a Price Tag on a Survey Participant’s Enjoyment: The Latest Findings from the ARF’s “Foundations of Quality” Research
Robert W. Walker and William A. Cook, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.254-257

This paper discusses the latest phase of the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) ’Foundation of Quality’ research initiative. Research has revealed that participants’ greatest sources of survey enjoyment are intrinsic rather than financial rewards. Understanding survey enjoyment will help researchers increase cooperation and quality of the data collected.

A Multi-Country Examination of Hard-Sell and Soft-Sell Advertising: Comparing Global Consumer Positioning in Holistic- and Analytic-Thinking Cultures
Shintaro Okazaki, Barbara Mueller and Sandra Diehl, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.258-272

Prior research has revealed that advertisements utilizing a global consumer culture positioning (GCCP) strategy more often adopt soft-sell (indirect and image-based) rather than hard-sell (direct and information-based) appeals. However, little empirical research has examined consumer preferences for soft-sell versus hard-sell advertising appeals in multi-country settings. This investigation attempted to fill this gap by proposing a multi-country research framework and conducting a pilot study. Soft-sell and hard-sell versions of a print advertisement were pretested with nearly 2,000 subjects in both holistic- and analytical-thinking countries. Findings indicated that employing a soft-sell appeal would be more effective than its hard-sell counterpart in global markets. Results from t-tests collectively indicated that soft-sell advertisements were more likely to generate favorable attitudes and less likely to evoke advertising irritation in most of the countries examined. In closing, the authors discuss theoretical as well as managerial implications, recognize important limitations, and summarize suggestions for future research.

In 2013, Once Again: Marketing Art Meets Science—Best-in-Show Winners of the Advertising Research Foundation's David Ogilvy Awards
Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.273-285

This article describes the winners of the Advertising Research Foundation's David Ogilvy Awards, 2013. Three winning campaigns are featured: P&G's London 2012 Olympic Games “Thank You, Mom', ConAgra's 'Slim Jim Man Medicine', and P&G/Clorox's 'Stronger Stand Against Waste'. The winning campaigns achieved increased sales, revenue, and brand resonance.

What We Know About Creativity

Optimizing the Amount of Entertainment in Advertising: What's So Funny about Tracking Reactions to Humor?
Thales S. Teixeira and Horst Stipp, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.286-296

Humor and other entertaining content, as opposed to demonstrations of product features and “selling,” are increasingly used in advertising, such as TV commercials, to attract and keep consumers’ attention. This study uses facial tracking to explore how marketers can best use entertainment in ads to increase their effectiveness in increasing intent to purchase. The findings suggest that the optimal amount of entertainment differs by type of entertainment and target group, but not by product category, and confirms that the funniest ads are not necessarily the most effective.

Matching Creative Agencies with Results-Driven Marketers: Do Clients Really Need Highly Creative Advertising?
Sheila Lucy Sasser, Scott Koslow and Mark Kilgour, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.297-312

Creativity in advertising is a balancing act. Marketers say they want greater creativity, yet their agencies feel that these clients reject cutting-edge work and fail to adopt risky campaigns. So, when is highly creative advertising really needed, and when is it most appropriate? Why are clients “risk averse” as they avoid taking chances when times are good and should “breakthrough” advertising air during good and bad times? Copy testing and the impact of organizational politics on creative campaigns are key factors. The client’s openness to new ideas was examined as a conditional variable across 1,125 advertising campaigns reported by 408 advertising agency subjects.

Practitioner Views of Comparative Advertising: How Practices Have Changed in Two Decades
Fred K. Beard, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.313-323>

A replication of a 1989 survey of senior advertising agency creative practitioners shows that their views remain quite favorable toward comparative advertising that explicitly identifies competitors. Although significant differences between the two studies show that today’s top creative people express somewhat less confidence in the relative effectiveness of comparative advertising, the findings also show that they are significantly more confident that they understand under what conditions it will be effective. Differences between the original survey and its replication suggest important directions for future research on comparative advertising.

What Makes Win, Place, or Show? Judging Creativity in Advertising at Award Shows
Douglas West, Albert Caruana and Kannika Leelapanyalert, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.324-338

Judging advertising creativity at award shows is poorly understood. This research assessed what constitutes advertising creativity; examined the benefits and consequences of advertising-award shows; and investigated how judges bestow creativity awards. The research was conducted with elite advertising-award show organizers allowing the investigation of various characteristics that included: the role of judges; the composition of panels; the selection criteria adopted; the judging process; and the time line used. Decisions about what is or is not creative are dependent upon the adjudicating panel while heuristics were found to dominate the entire process. Limitations and future research are indicated.

The Fire Starter and the Brand Steward: An Examination of Successful Leadership Traits for the Advertising-Agency Creative Director
Karen L. Mallia, Kasey Windels and Sheri J. Broyles, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2013, pp.339-353

This article seeks to uncover the complexities of the creative director’s leadership role in advertising agencies. The authors based their work on data received from six agencies and 43 interviews conducted at those participating agencies. Findings suggest successful creative directors combine expertise in creativity, strategy, and interpersonal communication to motivate and mentor co-workers, oversee brand identities, serve as liaisons between creative people and other agency departments and clients, and shape the creative vision of the agency.