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

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 25 Issue: 3

Advertising On Instagram And Its Impact On The Attitude Of Consumer: Case Of Tunisian Brand Cosmetic Products

Zouaoui Imen, Doctor of Marketing

Souad Maghraoui, Doctor of Marketing


This research is part of studies of consumer behavior in the digital age. It deals with the effect of advertising via Instagram on the attitude of consumers of cosmetic products, through its three components: cognitive, affective and conative. The structural equations method has shown that advertising on Instagram for Tunisian branded cosmetic products has a positive effect on the cognitive and affective components of the consumer's attitude. However, their impact on the conative component has not been verified.


Social Networks, Advertising on Instagram, Attitude, Cognitive Dimension, Affective Dimension, Conative Dimension.


In a revolutionary context marked by unprecedented growth in the use of the Internet and more particularly of social networks which have aroused the enthusiasm of Internet users, marketers have been called upon to review their strategies and try to adapt to meet the needs of Internet users. Better to the needs of consumers, traditional marketing methods are no longer sufficient to communicate with customers. It was therefore necessary to seek new channels.

The solution was to embark on digital marketing to satisfy increasingly demanding consumers who not only have ease of communication and access to information but who are able to create and generate their own content. We speak here of “User Generated Content” (Lendevrie & London, 2010). Commercial strategies thus become based on social networks (Edosomwan,et al. 2011), hence the importance of studying their impact on the attitude of the consumer. In this sense, we have tried to focus on the digitization of one of the most competitive markets, namely the cosmetic products market.

Indeed, Tunisia has known for several years an unprecedented development in this field. Tunisian brands of cosmetic products continue to multiply and are trying to find their place in a market that has long been dominated by foreign brands. Looking at this sector, we found that most of these brands use social networks as their main communication channel and in particular Instagram.

The choice of Instagram is also justified by the fact that this platform is gaining the upper hand since its purchase by Facebook (Duggan, et al. 2015). According to Forrester Research (2017), 58% of the world's top brands post on average 5.6 times per week on Instagram. Additionally, Instagram's engagement with brands is 10 times that of Facebook, 54 times that of Pinterest, and 84 times that of Twitter. ". These communities are viewed by consumers as credible sources of information regarding brand valuation (Senft, 2008).

It is therefore essential to understand the interest that this social network can have for marketers. We tried to study the interaction of consumers, men and women, with the Tunisian cosmetic products market on Instagram.

Like all scientific research, our study is driven by a number of objectives. We are mainly looking to deepen our knowledge about social media advertising and its impact on consumer behavior, in particular the variable attitude, by addressing the case of Instagram.

Raising the importance of this relationship will then allow us to open up avenues for reflection on the place occupied by advertising via social networks in the purchasing process of consumers.

Our research question is therefore as follows: What is the effect of Instagram advertising for cosmetics on consumer attitude?

The answer to this question will shed light on the attitudes of consumers who use Instagram to learn about products, which in turn will allow us to develop more effective online communication and marketing tools.

Theoretical Development

The Consumer’s Attitude towards Social Networks

Since their appearance, social networks have presented an interactive platform that allows the sharing of specific content. This digital platform allows its followers to share their own experiences, collect and publish information, be part of virtual communities and communicate with people with similar interests. These media also play a very important role in the commercial activity of companies because they influence the relationship between them and their consumers who use social networks to share their opinions and discuss brands (Darban & Li, 2012). Thus, the implementation of marketing strategies through social networks can be of crucial benefit to companies wishing to promote their products and have an impact on the attitude of their consumers. Creating and maintaining an identity on social networks then becomes an essential condition in the development of the commercial strategy (Edosomwan, et al. 2011). Hence, the importance of digital advertising.

Defined as being "a mass communication which is partisan, it aims to influence a certain public by communicating a message likely to modify its behavior and its attitude", advertising is one of the pillars of the commercial strategy which can influence. So, we can see changes in the attitude of the consumer, Mouandjo & Mbianda (2010).

The problem is that on these digital platforms, we can more-or-less follow the activity of Internet users according to the number of clicks, duration of exposure, number of pages visited etc ... However, we cannot understand precisely their behaviors and mental states how is their perception and understanding of the advertising message, how has it contributed to the evaluation of the brand, what are their intentions and predispositions?

It is therefore necessary to develop new methods which make it possible to identify and interpret the behavior of Internet users in order to deduce their attitudes towards the promoted brand and consequently to develop effective digital advertising.

According to Lendrevie & Levy (2014), this efficiency can be measured on three levels: the cognitive level which revolves around memorization, the affective level and the conative or behavioral level.

The Cognitive Component of the Consumer's Attitude

The cognitive dimension of attitude has long aroused the interest of researchers and many of them insist on its role in the consumer's decision-making process (Bagozzi, 1978; Breckler, 1984). Huitt & Cain (2005) present cognition as: “the process of knowing and understanding, encoding, storing, processing and retrieving information”. In an attempt to understand the way in which individuals perceive advertising and subsequently to assess their attitudes, the researchers opted for an analysis of a set of cognitive variables such as credibility, value, expectations, trust, ease of use and familiarization (Breckler & Wiggins, 1989; Crites, et al. 1994; Kumar, 2013). The results of their research show that between the visualization of the advertisement and the possibility of eventual consumption, there is a cognitive process based on the intention to purchase.

Having said that, it has been found that people tend to consume more of a company's products, when social media helps strengthen their images and their relationship with their product, it is important to understand how Instagram users can be influenced by the information communicated to them and therefore understand the impact of this social network on their purchase intention (Akar & Nassir, 2015).

Since cognitive function is involved in the process of interpreting and collecting information, and since users of social networks including Instagram participate in the dissemination and sharing of information and their consumption experiences it, it also seems interesting to look at the question of the users’ influence involved in sharing knowledge and information about the impact of advertising on Instagram.

Thus, our first hypothesis is formulated as follows:

H1: Advertising on Instagram has a positive impact on the cognitive component of consumer attitude.

The Affective Component of the Consumer's Attitude

This affective component is linked to the emotions, feelings and psychological reaction experienced by a consumer towards a product or service (Carlucci, et al., 2015). The followers of the affective current consider emotions and sensations as essential criteria for the evaluation and valuation of a good or a brand, (Bagozzi, 1978; Breckler, 1984; Breckler & Wiggins, 1989; Crites, Fabrigar & Petty, 1994).

Today, with the phenomenon of digitization, the relationship between a brand and its consumers has taken on a new dimension. Indeed, social media offer businesses the chance to have better relationships with their customers and offer consumers the chance to become better acquainted with the brands they consume (Naylor et al., 2012). Maintaining a relationship with its customers via social networks is very important as it allows the company to strengthen its ties with them and become part of their daily lives and their centers of interest. In this sense, communicating with customers through influencers or bloggers helps build credibility.

The information provided by these influencers generally has an impact on the perception of the value of the product and on the perceived credibility (Chu & Kim, 2011). It seems essential to understand the link between the actions carried out via Instagram and the affective dimension. Collectively, online communication between users of a product and future consumers through experience sharing can be seen as an online service. This “online” experience has an emotional dimension that arises from cognitive assessments, shared events or thoughts that subsequently lead to specific actions resulting from user attitudes. Thus, our second hypothesis is formulated as follows:

H2: Advertising on Instagram has a positive impact on the affective component of the consumer's attitude.

The conative component of the consumer's attitude:

According to Mangold & Faulds, (2009): “Social media acts as an integrated marketing communication tool” (B2C). Thus, Instagram accounts like those of other social networks are considered as tools that allow companies to communicate with their customers. It is an electronic business in which the consumer is seen as an asset and enjoyed a participatory role (Liang et al., 2011). These networks give rise to more proactive communication between consumers and businesses. (Henderson et al. 2013). Hence our third hypothesis:

H3: Advertising on Instagram has a positive impact on the conative component of consumer attitude.


In this research, we previously opted for a deductive approach based on the theory present in literature and the results of previous studies (Elqayam & Evans, 2011). Our main goal is to measure the impact of Instagram advertising on the three components of consumer attitude.

Choice of Measuring Instrument

To conduct our study properly, we opted for the questionnaire as the measuring instrument used to collect the data. This is the most developed mode of data collection in quantitative studies since it makes it possible to collect a large amount of information for a relatively large population and to establish statistical relationships and numerical comparisons (Thietart et al. 2003). In addition, the choice of pre-established responses will facilitate the statistical processing of the data as well as their analysis.

The questionnaire was administered online via the Google Drive platform.

Measurement of Variables

To measure the different variables, we opted for a five-point Likert scale. The questionnaire consists of 17 items which respectively measure the perception of advertising on Instagram through 5 items which have been adapted from the measurement scale of (Andrews & Shimp, 2017); the cognitive component through 5 items adapted from the scale of (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007); the affective component through 4 items adapted from the scale of (Carlucci, et al., 2015) and the conative component through 3 items adapted from the scale of (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007).

Choice of Sample

A sample of 268 individual Instagram users, aged between 18 and 34, were asked to answer the questionnaire on the GOOGLE DRIVE platform.

The sample belongs to the population of Tunisian consumers who use Instagram for information or to purchase cosmetic products. We started with a pre-survey of 25 individuals with characteristics identical to those of our population. This convenience sample has a size that meets scientific selection criteria (Johanson & Brooks, 2010).

The final version of the questionnaire is administered after its content has been justified by the pre-test in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Conceptual Research Model

Of all the people contacted, only 221 completed the questionnaire.

Analysis and Results

We have used Amos23 software to perform the quantitative analysis.

We started with a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) which tests the validity and reliability of the measurement model and examines the causal model through the method of structural equations.

Reliability and validity of constructs

The Cronbach coefficient α is used to test the reliability of constructs. All the coefficients have values greater than 0.7, considered as the threshold above which the internal measure of a construct is consistent (Tavakol & Dennick, 2011). Moreover, the comparison of Cronbach's α coefficient with the average variance extracted AVE makes it possible to test the validity of the measurement model. The convergent validity of a construct is confirmed when the coefficient α Cronbach exhibits a value greater than that of AVE. In this sense, all the constructs respect the criterion of convergent validity.

Structural Equations Method to Test the Causal Model

The structural model exhibits an excellent fit due to the normalized chi-square index (CMIN / DF = 1.183), the incremental comparative fit index (CFI = 0.999), and the index (RMSEA = 0.022).

Only hypotheses H1 and H2 are confirmed at the risk level of 0.05.

Hypothesis H3 is rejected with standardized coefficients not significant at-risk level 0 in Figure 2.

Figure 2 Results of the Structural Model Reporting the Standardized Coefficients

Discussion and Conclusion

Through this research, we proceeded with a quantitative study to verify the impact of Instagram advertising for Tunisian branded cosmetic products on the cognitive, affective and conative components of the consumer's attitude.

The results of statistical analyzes show that only the cognitive and affective dimensions are positively influenced. It therefore seems that the Tunisian consumer, Instagram user, relies on this communication channel to access knowledge to actively receive the information communicated on Instagram about the different brands of cosmetic products. This information as well as the sharing of experiences and opinions of bloggers and influencers has a positive effect on his emotional attitude. It therefore seems that the sensations caused by these digital advertisements allow him to be satiated and gives him more confidence and motivation in relation to these products. Now, that doesn't affect his conative attitude.

Therefore, the intention and action to buy is not affected. This may be justified by the low persuasiveness of advertising on Instagram. Consumers use it to learn about new products, to collect as much information as possible, especially through sharing the consumption experiences of others. This sharing promotes a positive affective attitude, but it does not automatically promote a positive conative attitude. Perhaps the Tunisian consumer prefers decision-making to rely on more credible and intimate sources such as word of mouth to meet their needs in terms of information and to make the right decisions in terms of choice.

It is therefore recommended that marketers try to understand the reasons that prevent advertising via Instagram from leading to a purchase intention or decision. It may be necessary to improve the quality of these advertisements by giving them more credibility, to make them more personalized and inspires more confidence to incite the memory of the consumer where his memories and his feelings with regard to Tunisian cosmetic products are stored.

This study is only an attempt to enlighten marketers in this field on the appropriateness of their choices when it comes to advertising on Instagram.

In this sense, we recall what was mentioned by Oliver, (1997) on the fact that “the affective component mediates the relationship between cognition and conation. This translates into the four-step loyalty model that translates into a causal chain from cognition to affect, from affect to intention, and from intention to behavior”. The same author suggests that customers first become loyal cognitively, then affectively, and later, conatively.


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