Academy of Marketing Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6298; Online ISSN: 1528-2678)


The Effects of Message Claim Type and Attribute Importance on Comparative Advertising

Author(s): Tommy Hsu, Leona Tam and Chris Shao

Using two experimental studies, this research investigates how different types of information included in the messages influence the consumer’s attitude toward the advertised brand in a comparative ad. Study 1 demonstrates that the direct comparative ad is more effective when the message includes factual information. The indirect comparative ad is more effective when the message involves narrative information. Cell phone carriers, which are usually considered as utilitarian services, are used as the stimulus of the research. In Study 2, we aim to replicate the first study using sneaker shoes, which are often considered as hedonic products, to generalize the results. Study 2 also shows that the importance of the advertised attribute mediates the results. This research contributes to the marketing literature by demonstrating the moderating effect of message claim type on consumer attitude and the mediating role of the attribute importance. This research also tells marketing managers what kinds of information they should include in a direct versus indirect comparative ad and how critical it is to promote attributes that are important to their target consumers.

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