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Persuasive Communication

Graduate School of Communication

Thesis examples from Edoardo Polito and Jana Schmidt.

Native or not native? The effects of different online advertising formats on consumers’ memory and the mediating role of attention - Edoardo Polito

Native advertising has emerged as a dominant advertising format on the Internet during the last years in the attempt to counter consumers’ avoidance of traditional forms of online advertising. Given its increasing importance and its novelty as an advertising format, the present study tests and compares the effects of native advertising and traditional online advertising on consumers’ explicit and implicit memory, and analyses the role of attention towards the advertisement as mediating factor. Moreover, the study takes into account the impact of users’ task-involvement on implicit and explicit memory and its interaction with different advertising formats. Results show that native advertising prompts greater memory, both implicit and explicit, as it is able to catch more attention than banner advertisements do. In contrast with previous findings, the level of task-involvement seems to affect only implicit memory, while there is no significant effect on users’ explicit memory. Similarly, the analyses show no significant interaction between advertising format and task-involvement. 

#sponsored on Instagram: The effect of sponsorship disclosure and blogger-product congruency on consumer responses - Jana Schmidt

Influencer marketing is a growing movement in marketing that provides fast, targeted access to engaged audiences on social media. Despite many benefits of influencer marketing for brands, it has also received criticism due to the possibility of paid brand endorsements masquerading as unadulterated opinion in terms of unpaid posts. Therefore, marketers and influencers are required to disclose paid content. Consequently, the disclosure of sponsored content might change the effectiveness of influencer marketing, which requires new research in this field.
Consumer responses toward sponsorship disclosure are thus a vital issue in assessing the effectiveness of influencer marketing. This study examined how sponsorship disclosure and blogger-product congruency on Instagram influence consumer responses such as brand attitude, purchase intention and blogger credibility. Moreover, we tested whether perceived persuasive intent mediates the effect of sponsorship disclosure on consumer responses. By conducting an experiment (N = 128) we found that sponsorship disclosure indirectly resulted in less favorable consumer responses through higher rates of perceived persuasive intent. Furthermore, results showed that when exposed to a blogger congruent product in an Instagram post, this led to more positive consumer responses than when exposed to a blogger íncongruent product. The findings indicate that influencer marketing entails risks in terms of degrading brand attitudes, purchase intentions and blogger credibility. Also, cooperating with bloggers who are congruent with the product evokes more positive outcomes than with bloggers who are incongruent with the product.