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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 61, Issue 9, September 2008, Pages 933–941
This study examines how product attribute typicality and brand commitment influence the effects of comparative versus non-comparative ads on brand attitudes. Employing perspectives from the literatures on typicality and commitment, the study examines the effects of commitment to the comparison brand on the effectiveness of comparative versus non-comparative advertising. A between-informants experiment uses data from 466 student informants. It is hypothesized that (a) when the attribute under consideration is typical (atypical), among comparison brand committed informants, a non-comparative ad is more (no more) persuasive than a comparative ad, (b) when the attribute under consideration is typical, among comparison brand non-committed informants, a comparative ad is more persuasive than a non-comparative ad, and (c) when the attribute under consideration is atypical, among comparison brand non-committed informants, a comparative ad is likely to be more persuasive than a non-comparative ad, but the effect will be weaker than in the case of a typical attribute. Hypothesis (a) is supported while (b) has directional support. The results support a three-way interaction between consumer commitment, attribute typicality, and type of advertisement. The findings are relevant to a variety of contexts, such as markets characterized by high levels of market share and commitment for the market leader as well as fragmented markets where market share and commitment levels are low.
The Federal Trade Commission's 1972 informal encouragement of explicit comparisons increased the popularity of comparative advertisements in the US (Wilkie and Farris, 1975). The FTC rationalized that explicit comparative advertisements deliver information previously unavailable to consumers. Advertisers seem to conclude that such ads can increase brand sales so that comparative advertising has become increasingly prevalent despite some advertisers' vehement opposition to the practice (Rogers and Williams, 1989). The FTC's explicit encouragement of brand comparisons, along with relaxed restrictions and competitor and media concerns (Tannenbaum, 1974), sparked the research interest of academicians and practitioners alike (Grewal et al., 1997). However, according to a large body of extant empirical research, the effectiveness of comparative advertising is equivocal. Some investigators conclude that comparative advertising provides advantages that are not associated with non-comparative advertising (e.g., Droge and Darmon, 1987, Miniard et al., 1993, Pechmann and Stewart, 1990, Pechmann and Ratneshwar, 1991 and Rose et al., 1993). Others report that comparative advertising produces undesirable outcomes (e.g., Belch, 1981, Goodwin and Etgar, 1980 and Levine, 1976). The conflicting opinions, though, do not seem to deter major consumer goods and service corporations from using comparative advertising in their promotions (Grewal et al., 1997). In the face of continuing prevalence of comparative advertising, the equivocal research findings warrant further exploration of the observed effects. This research is especially important in the context where the Federal Trade Commission seems to be moving toward more stringent regulations that would disallow certain omissions in one-sided comparative ad claims in order to prevent consumer over generalizations (Pechmann, 1996). Thus, better theoretical understanding of the psychological processes consumers use when reacting to comparative ads is necessary to explain their effects. The study contributes to this effort by extending the research of Pechmann and Ratneshwar (1991), who explored the moderating effects of attribute typicality on the relative effects of comparative and non-comparative advertising. The findings suggest that attribute typicality can interact with consumer commitment to the comparison brand.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Advertising strategists may benefit from considering at least three key questions in designing a persuasive ad. Consider specifying target consumers: buyers of their brand or buyers of a competitor. Choose to use either a comparative ad or a non-comparative ad approach. Select an attribute of their brand on which to claim superiority. This study examines the moderating effects of product attribute typicality and commitment to the comparison brand on reactions to comparative versus non-comparative advertising for a common consumer good. The hypothesis is that attribute typicality influences the way brand committed consumers would react to comparative advertising, so that when the focal attribute was typical to the product category, a non-comparative ad would be more persuasive than a comparative ad, but not when the attribute was atypical. The results confirm this view. When the focal attribute was typical, a comparative ad was hypothesized be more persuasive than a non-comparative ad for the comparison brand non-committed consumers, and that this effect would be weaker when the attribute was atypical. These results are not statistically significant, but the differences in the mean scores are in the hypothesized direction.