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Effect of Emotional Attachment to a Brand on Credibility of Information Sources

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022228/00001

Material Information

Title: Effect of Emotional Attachment to a Brand on Credibility of Information Sources
Physical Description: 1 online resource (66 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: advertising, attachment, brand, credibility
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Advertising thesis, M.Adv.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The dynamic media environment is providing new opportunities for interaction between advertisers and consumers. While numerous practitioners have put forth opinions on the differential effects of consumer-generated content as a type of an advertisement, few researchers have empirically sought to determine how consumers perceive traditional corporate-generated advertisements compared to consumer-generated advertisements. In this study, emotional attachment to a brand was examined as one of the factors that affect how consumers perceive two sources of advertisements in different ways. A consumer's emotional attachment to a brand forms a tie between the consumer and the brand or the company, and this tie can result in a biased processing of information because attachment seeks to maintain proximity to the attachment object. The research found a marginal difference between the source credibility (trustworthiness) of a consumer-generated and a corporate-generated advertisement. Overall, the participants of perceived a message from a company as more credible than a message from a consumer. The effect of the source of the advertisement on credibility was affected by the level of emotional attachment to the brand. The highly emotionally attached group found the company information more credible than they did the consumer information whereas the less emotionally attached group found the consumer information more credible than they did the company information. Likewise, message believability varied according to the level of emotional attachment to the brand. Those highly attached to the brand believed more strongly in information from the company than in information from the consumer. Thus, the results of this experiment confirmed that emotional attachment to a brand can be a moderator of the credibility of the source of an advertisement and message believability. However, the interaction effect of emotional attachment to the brand and the source of an advertisement was not found to significantly affect attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention. The results of a series of simple regression analyses showed that source credibility has a significant effect on message believability and message believability in turn influences attitude toward an advertisement. Therefore, it is suggested that higher perceived source credibility leads to higher message believability, and higher message believability results in stronger attitude toward the advertisement. The relations among attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention were also confirmed.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.Adv.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Villegas, Jorge.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022228:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022228/00001

Material Information

Title: Effect of Emotional Attachment to a Brand on Credibility of Information Sources
Physical Description: 1 online resource (66 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: advertising, attachment, brand, credibility
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Advertising thesis, M.Adv.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The dynamic media environment is providing new opportunities for interaction between advertisers and consumers. While numerous practitioners have put forth opinions on the differential effects of consumer-generated content as a type of an advertisement, few researchers have empirically sought to determine how consumers perceive traditional corporate-generated advertisements compared to consumer-generated advertisements. In this study, emotional attachment to a brand was examined as one of the factors that affect how consumers perceive two sources of advertisements in different ways. A consumer's emotional attachment to a brand forms a tie between the consumer and the brand or the company, and this tie can result in a biased processing of information because attachment seeks to maintain proximity to the attachment object. The research found a marginal difference between the source credibility (trustworthiness) of a consumer-generated and a corporate-generated advertisement. Overall, the participants of perceived a message from a company as more credible than a message from a consumer. The effect of the source of the advertisement on credibility was affected by the level of emotional attachment to the brand. The highly emotionally attached group found the company information more credible than they did the consumer information whereas the less emotionally attached group found the consumer information more credible than they did the company information. Likewise, message believability varied according to the level of emotional attachment to the brand. Those highly attached to the brand believed more strongly in information from the company than in information from the consumer. Thus, the results of this experiment confirmed that emotional attachment to a brand can be a moderator of the credibility of the source of an advertisement and message believability. However, the interaction effect of emotional attachment to the brand and the source of an advertisement was not found to significantly affect attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention. The results of a series of simple regression analyses showed that source credibility has a significant effect on message believability and message believability in turn influences attitude toward an advertisement. Therefore, it is suggested that higher perceived source credibility leads to higher message believability, and higher message believability results in stronger attitude toward the advertisement. The relations among attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention were also confirmed.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.Adv.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Villegas, Jorge.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022228:00001


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58439628627a473da21d4d7a5747d4d0149b347d







EFFECT OF EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO A BRAND
ON CREDIBILITY OF INFORMATION SOURCES























By

YEUSEUNG KIM


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ADVERTISING

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008


































O 2008 Yeuseung Kim


































To my loving and supportive family









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This thesis is the culmination of unlimited caring and support from everyone plus all the

efforts I made in the last 2 years. In all sincerity, I first thank my wonderful advisor and chair, Dr.

Jorge Villegas, for his invaluable guidance. He taught me patience, and made the process more

enj oyable. I also thank Dr. Chang-Hoan Cho and Dr. Marilyn Roberts for their attentive support

as my committee members. Moreover, I am grateful for support from Dr. Michael Weigold in

conducting my studies and thoughtful advices from Dr. Johanna Cleary that gave me the

confidence to pursue my career in academia.

Although this is my first and rather unripe creation, I dedicate this thesis to my beloved

family, and promise them improved works in the near future. I will never be able to fully express

my appreciation to my parents, Sei-young Kim and Hyang-soon Im; my sister, Yeukyung; and

all my family members. If not for their love and belief in me, I could never have attempted to

study alone in the United States.

I thank my loving friends and acquaintances in Korean for being there, and I would like to

express deepest gratitude to my mentors back in Korea, Dr. Jungsik Cho, Dr. Jang-Sun Hwang,

Dr. Bong-Hyun Kim, and Dr. Byung-Jun Chun. Their encouraging words and mere presence

have always showered me with confidence and motivated me to do better.

Lastly, I must not forget to thank everyone in Korean Mass CommuniGators (especially

Eunsoo, Wanseop, Mihyun, Mijung, and Chang Dae) and all my friends that I met at the

University of Florida. Thanks to them, my life in graduate school was bearable and fun. Now I

realize that Gainesville was warm and pleasant because I had them on my side. I was truly lucky

to have encountered them at this important moment of my life.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


page


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES ................. ...............7..____ .....


LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............8.....


AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ............_........9


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............11.......... ......


2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................. ...............14................


Source of Information ................. ................. 14......... ....

Source Credibility ................. ...............16.......... ......
Positivity Effect .............. .... ............... .... ....... ... .............1
Commitment and Emotional Attachment to a Brand .............. ...............19....

Hypotheses............... ...............2


3 METHODOLOGY .............. ...............25....


Pretest .............. ...............25....
Procedure ................. ...............26.................
Pretest Results .............. ...............26....

Main Study............... ...............27

Experimental Design .............. ...............27....
Participants .............. ...............27....
Research Stimuli ................. ...............27.................

Independent Variables ................ ...............29.................
Dependent Variables .............. ...............29....
Covarites ................. ...............3.. 0..............


4 RE SULT S .............. ...............32....


Initial Sample Analy sis............... ...............32
Data Analy sis............... ...............33
Sample Profile .............. ...............33....
Reliability Check ................. ...............33.................
Correl ation Check............... ...............3 3.
Covariates ................ ...............33.................

Hypotheses Testing...................... ............3
Source of Information Effect ................. ...............35................
Interaction Effect ................. ...............3.. 5..............












Effect of Source Credibility on Message Believability ................. ............... ...._..36
Effect of Message Believability on Attitude toward Advertisement. .............. ..... ..........36
Effect of Attitude toward Advertisement on Attitude toward Brand .............. .... ...........36
Effect of Attitude toward Brand on Purchase Intention .............. .....................3


5 DI SCUS SSION ............ ......... _. ...............43.....


General Discussion ........._..._.._ ...............45.._.._._ .....

Managerial Implications .............. ...............47....
Limitations and Future Research ........._..._.._ ...._._. ...............49....


APPENDIX


A EXPERIMENT STIMULI ........._..._. ....._... ...............53.....


Consumer-Generated Advertisement. ........._..._._........_ ....._._. ............5

Corporate-Generated Advertisement ........._..._. ....._.._ ........_ ............5


B QUESTIONNAIRE ........._..._.._ ...............55.._.._._ .....

LIST OF REFERENCE S ........._..._. ....._... ...............61.....


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............66....











LIST OF TABLES

Table page


3-1. Descriptive statistics for brands included in the pretest ...._.._ ............... ................31

4-2. Measured conditions ............_ ..... ..__ ...............38...

4-3. Reliability check ............ ..... .._ ...............38..

4-4. Correlation of dependent variables ............_ ..... ..__ ...............38..

4-5. MANCOVA results ................. ...............39................

4-6. Between-subjects effects .............. ...............39....

4-7. Descriptive statistics for measures .............. ...............40....

4-8. Source credibility-message believability, result of bivariate linear regression, .................. .41

4-9. Message believability-Aad, result of bivariate linear regression ................. ................ ...41

4-10. Aad-Ab, result of bivariate linear regression. ....._.__._ ........_. ......._.........4

4-1 1. Ab-PI, result of bivariate linear regression. ......__....._.__._ ......._._. .........4










LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

2-1. Overview of the study............... ...............24.

3-1. Histogram of emotional attachment to Nike with normal curve ................. .....................31

4-1. Significant interaction effect (Source x Emotional attachment) on source credibility ..........42

4-2. Significant interaction effect (Source x Emotional attachment) on message believability....42









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Advertising

EFFECT OF EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO A BRAND
ON CREDIBILITY OF INFORMATION SOURCES

By

Yeuseung Kim
May 2008

Chair: Jorge Villegas
Major: Advertising

The dynamic media environment is providing new opportunities for interaction between

advertisers and consumers. While numerous practitioners have put forth opinions on the

differential effects of consumer-generated content as a type of an advertisement, few researchers

have empirically sought to determine how consumers perceive traditional corporate-generated

advertisements compared to consumer-generated advertisements.

In this study, emotional attachment to a brand was examined as one of the factors that

affect how consumers perceive two sources of advertisements in different ways. A consumer' s

emotional attachment to a brand forms a tie between the consumer and the brand or the company,

and this tie can result in a biased processing of information because attachment seeks to maintain

proximity to the attachment object.

The research found a marginal difference between the source credibility (trustworthiness)

of a consumer-generated and a corporate-generated advertisement. Overall, the participants of

perceived a message from a company as more credible than a message from a consumer. The

effect of the source of the advertisement on credibility was affected by the level of emotional

attachment to the brand. The highly emotionally attached group found the company information

more credible than they did the consumer information whereas the less emotionally attached










group found the consumer information more credible than they did the company information.

Likewise, message believability varied according to the level of emotional attachment to the

brand. Those highly attached to the brand believed more strongly in information from the

company than in information from the consumer. Thus, the results of this experiment confirmed

that emotional attachment to a brand can be a moderator of the credibility of the source of an

advertisement and message believability. However, the interaction effect of emotional

attachment to the brand and the source of an advertisement was not found to significantly affect

attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention.

The results of a series of simple regression analyses showed that source credibility has a

significant effect on message believability and message believability in turn influences attitude

toward an advertisement. Therefore, it is suggested that higher perceived source credibility leads

to higher message believability, and higher message believability results in stronger attitude

toward the advertisement. The relations among attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward

the brand, and purchase intention were also confirmed.









CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

In today's fragmented media era, marketers are struggling to Eind ways of conveying their

messages to target consumers via both traditional and non-traditional sources. Since consumers

may respond differently to the same action taken to market a brand, it is important for marketers

to identify the right target of communication before choosing the appropriate sources or media

outlets relevant to the target to express their messages. Due to the growth of personal media as

well as non-marketer controlled sources such as word-of-mouth (WOM) and various forms of

consumer-generated content (CGC), finding and focusing on the significant brand contact points

remains a challenge.

Marketer-generated messages refer to information about a brand or a product that

marketers wish to deliver to their consumers, and thus include any form of advertising. Non-

marketer generated messages are created by individuals not aff61iated with a brand, such as

industry experts or consumers of a brand or a product who communicate with others about their

experiences. Product reviews, ratings, spoofs of ads, and brand communities are some examples

of non-marketer generated communications that are currently of interest to marketers. The

principle difference between marketer-generated and non-marketer generated information is that

marketers can control the former but not the latter. This raises an important theoretical and

managerial question: Do consumers perceive consumer-generated sources differently than they

do marketer-generated sources?

Recently, scholars have been showing great interest in the effect of consumers' brand

commitment and affect-based brand relationships. While traditional attitude models focus on the

attitude-behavior relationship, Park and MacInnis (2006) asked whether the attitude construct

could explain consumers' behaviors that are of interest to marketers. Marketers are concerned









with predicting stronger forms of behaviors, and consumers' commitment and brand investment

characterize higher levels of behavioral hierarchy (Park & MacInnis, 2006).

Committed consumers are biased toward the brand they are committed to and biased

against competing brands (Desai & Raju, 2007). Commitment is expected to cause an individual

to resist persuasive attempts to undermine the obj ect (Raju & Unnava, 2006). For example,

Ahluwalia, Unnava, and Burnkrant (2001) showed that compared to less committed consumers,

highly committed consumers rate information consistent with their attitude toward the committed

brand as more diagnostic. Also, committed consumers are less likely to change their attitude

when negative information about the committed brand is presented. Raju and Unnava (2006)

found that this attitudinal difference is mediated by differences in counterargumentation. Prior

studies suggested that highly committed and less committed people act differently and their ways

of processing the same information or the same messages are different. Based on these findings,

it is expected that commitment or attachment to a brand will influence how consumers perceive

marketer-generated information compared to non-marketer generated information.

The brand attachment concept was recently refined by Thomson and colleagues (2005) by

focusing on its emotional dimensions. Emotional attachment is a measure that allows marketers

to estimate the strength of the relationship between consumers and their brands (Thomson,

MacInnis, & Park, 2005). Consumers' emotional attachments to a brand may predict their

commitment to the brand and their willingness to make financial sacrifices in order to obtain it

(Thomson et al., 2005). Therefore, gaining understanding of consumers who have different levels

of emotional attachment to a brand will allow marketers to concentrate their resources on the

most effective sources of information with which to reach their target audience.









The aim of this study is to determine whether the level of emotional attachment to a brand

has a moderating effect on the credibility of different sources of advertisement, specifically

company-generated and consumer-generated source of advertisement. While experts in the

marketing industry tout consumer-generated advertisements, no research to date has compared

consumer-created advertising to traditional corporate-created advertising. The results of this

study will contribute to the literature on emotional attachment to a brand, a relationship-based

construct that reflects the emotional bond between an individual and a brand (Park & MacInnis,

2006). In addition, the results will provide practical implications for advertisers and marketers

that help them understand how consumers with high or low emotional attachment to their brands

respond to different sources of an advertisement.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Source of Information

Given the overwhelming number of marketing communications with which today's

consumers are confronted, effectively disseminating brand and product-related information to

them is a challenge for every marketer (Geissler & Edison, 2005). Nevertheless, all marketers

recognize that the pre-purchase information search is a critical step in consumers' buying

processes (Mourali, Laroche, & Pons, 2005). Thus, it is critical that marketers seek more

understanding on how consumers search information and how influential different information

sources are. In a study on credibility of human-computer interaction, Burgoon et al. (2000) found

that "understanding a message and assigning credibility to it or its information source are a

prerequisite to message or information acceptance" (p. 554). Therefore, how different sources of

information affect the credibility of a message is well worth exploring.

Research has suggested that non-marketer-generated information is more credible than is

marketer-generated information. Unlike producers of commercial advertising, non-marketer

communicators are perceived as interpersonal sources independent of sellers, and thus their

recommendations are not considered biased or exaggerated (Mourali et al., 2005). Hence,

interpersonal sources are regarded as more credible and more influential on consumer decisions

than are commercial sources. One of the strengths of public relations efforts in marketing is their

ability to generate positive publicity for a brand. Since publicity is deemed a form of

communication from a non-corporate source, consumers find it more credible than advertising,

which represents a corporate-generated source (Stammerjohan, Wood, Chang, & Thorson, 2005).

Most studies on source credibility are focused on examining under what conditions

endorsers such as celebrities, experts, and consumers are appropriate for certain products (Till &









Busier, 2000). The effects of third-party endorsement have been much studied in the literature on

advertising. When Dean and Biswas (2001) compared advertisements containing endorsements

by a third-party organization and a celebrity, they found that third-party organizational

endorsement resulted in greater perceived product quality and information value of the

advertisement than did celebrity endorsement.

However, advertising in which consumers endorse a product or a brand is still considered a

corporate-generated source on the grounds that the advertiser or marketer is the author of the

message. Considering that consumers are increasingly skeptical of sources of information

controlled by companies, what if endorsers, such as consumers, are the basis of information;

would they be a valid source of information for a brand?

Customer feedback on Web sites is a type of endorsement that can perform a variety of

marketing functions, including advertising, public relations, and market research (Wang, 2005).

Past research has confirmed that the main motivating factor for accessing a product review on a

Web site, a form of consumer-generated content, is to use it as an additional source of

information prior to product purchase (Bailey, 2005).

Consunter-generated content (CGC) refers to online content about a specific product or a

brand produced by consumers rather than advertisers or marketers. For example, print or video

advertisements created by consumers, spoofs of real ads, and reviews of a product or a brand are

considered CGC. CGC are often called honzenade ads or honzebrew alds (Kahney, 2004), open

source branding (Garfield, 2005), or vigilante marketing (Ives, 2004). Defining a vigilante as "a

self-appointed doer of justice" (p. 35) Mufiiz and Schau (2007) argued that the term vigilante

marketing accurately describes the phenomenon of CGC because consumers creating CGC

assume the role of "self-appointed promoters" of the brand. Thus, vigilante marketing can be









defined as "unpaid advertising and marketing efforts, including one-to-one, one-to-many, and

many-to-many commercially oriented communications, undertaken by brand loyalists on behalf

of the brand" (p. 3 5). Much CGC that does not provide information on its author or offer much

information is still diffused rapidly via e-mail (Mufiiz & Schau, 2007), blogs, video-sharing Web

sites, and Web-based communities.

When consumers create blogs about advertising, create their own advertisements, or remix

brands, they influence others in their communities and naturally create a word-of-mouth culture

(Eastman, 2007). According to Nutley (2007a), "Agencies are latching on to the idea that they

can get consumers who love a particular brand to create advertising for it. Again, this is cheap,

but audiences also see it as authentic (or ideally should) in a way that they don't always with

traditional advertising" (p. 18). Mourali et al. (2005) found that non-commercial sources are

important in consumers' search for information. In comparison to advertising, publicity is

regarded as an effective tool of marketing communication because the message does not come

from the company or advertiser. The credibility of publicity arises from the fact that the message

is sent by an independent trusted source. Source credibility is one of the reasons why marketers

are increasingly putting their efforts into public relations. However, no research has yet

compared the credibility of consumer-generated content and commercial-generated content.

Source Credibility

Prior studies generally support the main effect of source credibility. A highly credible

source is more effective than a less credible source in causing positive attitude change and

behavioral intentions (Yoon, Kim, & Kim, 1998). Lafferty and Goldsmith (1999) suggested that

endorser credibility has a greater impact on attitude toward the advertisement while corporate

credibility has a greater effect on attitude toward the brand and purchase intentions. Some










researchers suggest that this positive relationship is strengthened or attenuated under certain

situations.

Recognizing differences between the traditional and new media environments, recent

research on Web site credibility has developed new dimensions for gauging credibility. Warnick

(2004) attributed this new focus to Web environments where authorship, credentials, and

information sources are frequently not readily available for examination. Often, the source or

author of online content is unknown, as is the case of much CGC. Therefore, revision of the

theoretical models on perceptions of Web site credibility is needed. Schweiger (2000) suggested

that because the creator is often unknown or difficult to identify, credibility becomes an

important "heuristic" for content selection.

Schweiger (2000) proposed six levels of reference obj ects for credibility attributions -

presenter, source actor, editorial units, media product, subsystem ofnzedia tyipe, and media tyipe.

CGC, by definition, can be shown in any platform of the Web. In most cases, users are only

aware that it is from others with whom they do not have any relationship. Therefore, the first

level, the presenter or author of a message, is unknown. In the present study, the researcher refers

to the presenter of an advertisement as a consumer or corporation.

Flanagin and Metzger (2007) found that differences in perceived credibility across

different types of Web sites (media organization, electronic commerce, special interest group,

and personal) result from a combination of site design elements and differences in the genre of

the sites. In their study, they measured the three separate dimensions of message, site, and

sponsor credibility. Their results confirmed that Web site users distinguish between the three

types of credibility. Especially, the sponsor and message of the media organization Web site

were rated more credible than were those of other types of sites, and the sponsor of the personal










Web site was rated as the least credible. This implies that consumers do indeed make a

distinction between different (media versus personal) Web sources.

According to Yoon et al. (1998), previous credibility research considered expertise and

t II 1n m1 i thine s as core dimensions of credibility. Expertise refers to the knowledge of the

subj ect and trustworthiness to the honesty and believability of the source (Goldsmith, Lafferty, &

Newell, 2000). In the context of advertising, attractiveness is often included as a component of

source credibility. Ohanian (1990) included attractiveness as a dimension of source credibility,

which is appropriate in the context where the communicator (endorser) is shown in the

advertisement.

However, this study did not include attractiveness and expertise dimensions because the

endorser was not explicitly shown in the advertisement shown to the subjects and the sources of

information clearly differed in their level of expertise. Because prior research has found that trustt

is a significant factor in building a lasting relationship between a brand and consumers (Dwyer,

Schurr, & Oh, 1987; Elliott & Yannopoulou, 2007), source credibility is conceptualized as

consisting of a trustworthiness dimension only for the purpose of this study. On this basis, this

study attempts to examine the source credibility and effect of an advertising message created by

controllable and uncontrollable sources, specifically a company and a consumer.

Positivity Effect

Research into consumer behavior has suggested that negative information is more

valuable to the receiver than is positive information (Sen & Lerman, 2007). The phenomenon of

placing more weight on negative than positive information in evaluation is termed the negativity

effect. Although the negativity effect is a widely observed phenomenon (Herr, Kardes, & Kim,

1991), its reverse effect, wherein more weight is placed on positive than negative information,

has also been observed.









Ahluwalia and colleagues (2000) suggested that consumers' commitment toward a brand is

a moderator of negative information effects. Their study found that low-commitment consumers

exhibited attitude change when given negative rather than positive information. However, the

high-commitment group did not show a negativity effect; rather, this group counterargued

negative information more extensively than they did positive information and exhibited more

attitude change with the presentation of positive information than they did with negative

information. Other studies have found that high-commitment consumers perceive positive

information as more diagnostic than they do negative information (Ahluwalia et al., 2000).

Defense motivation, "the desire to hold attitudes and beliefs that are congruent with one's

perceived material interest or existing self-definitional attitudes and beliefs" (Chen & Chaiken,

1999, p. 77), can be one explanation for this positivity effect. Chen and Chaiken (1999) proposed

that defense-motivated systematic processing is characterized by biased scrutiny and evaluation

of judgment-relevant information, and therefore the degree of commitment toward a brand has a

positive relationship with the level of defense motivation. Consumers who are highly committed

to a brand counterargue negative information about the brand more than do less committed

consumers because defense-motivated systematic processing allows them to maintain their prior

attitudes and behaviors (Ahluwalia et al., 2000). Furthermore, highly committed consumers place

more weight on the positive information that is consistent with their notion of the brand.

Commitment and Emotional Attachment to a Brand

Commitment is the degree to which an individual views a relationship from a long-term

perspective and is willingness to sacrifice to maintain the relationship (Garbarino & Johnson,

1999; Van Lange, Rusbult, Drigotas, Arriaga, Witcher, & Cox, 1997). Prior research on

commitment mainly focused on the protective role of commitment against negative messages.

Raju and Unnava (2006) showed that commitment to an obj ect may cause an individual to resist










persuasive attempts to undermine the obj ect. High-commitment subj ects resist attitude change

even when they do not have the opportunity to process the message due to source derogation

(Raju & Unnava, 2006). Likewise, motivated reasoning enhances the use of information and

strategies considered most likely to yield the desired conclusion (Desai & Raju, 2007).

The general definition of attachment is "the extent to which an obj ect which is owned,

expected to be owned, or previously owned by an individual, is used by that individual to

maintain his or her self-concept" (Ball & Tasaki, 1992, p. 158). Although people can form

attachments to many different obj ects, they especially do so to "obj ects that are socially visible;

expensive; reflective of the individual's roles, relationships, accomplishments, and experiences;

and usually "personalized" by the efforts of their owners" (p. 159).

Because people can also become emotionally attached to brands (Schouten &

McAlexander, 2005), it is important for marketers to understand how consumers do so;

emotional attachment to a brand and its consequences are believed to be a predictor of

consumers' commitment to the brand and their willingness to pay a price premium (Thomson et

al., 2005). A consumer' s emotional attachment to an entity induces "a state of emotion-laden

mental readiness that influences his or her allocation of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral

resources toward a particular target" (Park & MacInnis, 2006, p. 17). With this in mind, this

study will examine how emotionally attached consumers respond emotionally and cognitively to

different sources of information.

The most recent literature on attachment to a brand and consumer behavior defined brand

attachment as "strength of the cognitive and emotional bond connecting the brand with the self"

(Park, MacInnis, & Priester, 2006, p. 9). However, there is no scale known to date that measures









both cognitive and emotional aspects of brand attachment. Thus, this study is limited to the affect

component of the relationship between a consumer and a brand.

Based on the literature review, this study asks the following research questions: 1) Do

consumers respond differently to corporate-generated advertisements than they do to consumer-

generated advertisements? and 2) Do consumers perceive corporate-generated and consumer-

generated information sources differently according to their prior emotional attachment to the

brand? The conceptual relationship between information source and emotional attachment is

depicted in Figure 2-1.

Hypotheses

Generally, consumers are skeptical about advertisements because they are aware that

advertisers pay for their advertisements. Publicity is likely to have a stronger effect than

advertising due to source credibility. Past studies have shown that audiences are predisposed to

more positively process messages provided by product publicity than to messages provided by

advertising (Wang, 2006).

Among the different spokespersons used in advertisements, satisfied typical users who

provide positive product testimonials are mostly likely to lead potential customers to read and

believe the advertisements and purchase products (Appiah, 2007). However, when a consumer is

the author of an advertisement, the source is "not physically present to deliver the message"

(Stern, 1994, p. 7). Thus, this study is conceptually different from source credibility studies that

evaluated the effects of a spokesperson or endorser in an advertisement.

Sundar and Nass (2001) found that different source attribution levels (in this case, the

author) affect receivers' reactions to online news stories. Flanagin and Metzger (2007) suggested

that information receivers distinguish sources, and perceived credibility varies accordingly. They

found that information from a media organization is considered relatively more credible than is









information from an individual. The reason is that messages from an organization or a company

are regarded "official" and the receiver is aware that the company is accountable for messages

sent to consumers, while information from individuals with whom the receiver has no

relationship highly reflect the authors' opinions. Based on Flanagin and Metzger' s (2007)

findings, it is hypothesized that

H1: Corporate-generated advertisement is more credible than is consumer-generated.

The source of a message is a complex institutional structure that conveys past experience

and information (Flanagin & Metzger, 2007). One study suggested that an individual's

evaluation of information credibility is affected by the perceived source of the information

(Newhagen & Nass, 1989). In general, studies on source credibility have concluded that there is

a positive relationship between perceived source credibility and message persuasiveness

(Hovland & Weiss, 1951). Both perceived source expertise and trustworthiness are known to

have a positive impact on persuasion. More recent researches has suggested that this positive

relationship can be strengthened or weakened under certain conditions such as high or low

commitment (Ahluwalia et al., 2000), high or low need to evaluate, and the timing of source

identification (before or after message exposure; Nan, 2007).

Emotional attachment to a brand rather than commitment was chosen as the focus of this

study for several reasons. First, strong attachment is a result of trustt developed from personal

experiences (Park et al., 2006). Second, emotional attachment predicts commitment (Thomson et

al., 2005). While attachment describes the relationship between an individual and a brand,

commitment is an outcome of the relationship. Lastly, individuals with strong attachments are

generally committed to preserving their relationship with it; therefore, emotional attachment









should predict individual's investment in a brand (Thomson et al., 2005). Accordingly, emotional

attachment is expected to predict an individual's behavior better than is commitment.

People who are committed to a brand may engage in biased processing (Ahluwalia et al.,

2000). Similarly, emotional attachment to a brand is expected to influence processing of

information from an attached source and an unfamiliar source. Therefore, it is predicted that the

level of emotional attachment to a brand will accentuate the perceived differences between

corporate-generated and consumer-generated advertisement. MacKenzie and Lutz (1989) found

that advertiser credibility affects advertisement credibility, and advertisement credibility in turn

influences attitude toward the advertisement and brand. Consequently, the following hypothesis

is proposed:

H2: There is an interaction between the source of an advertisement and emotional

attachment to a brand. Individuals with high (low) emotional attachment to a brand will (a) find

corporate-generated (consumer-generated) source more credible than they do consumer-

generated (corporate-generated) source, demonstrate stronger (b) message believability, (c)

attitude toward the advertisement, (d) attitude toward the brand, and (e) purchase intention in

response to corporate-generated (consumer-generated) advertisement than they do to consumer-

generated (corporate-generated) advertisement.

A considerable number of studies have found a relationship between credibility and

attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention (Goldsmith,

Lafferty, & Newell, 2000). Many researchers have suggested that perceived source credibility

could have an impact on persuasion by biasing cognitive thoughts generated during message

processing (Chaiken & Maheswaran, 1994). As higher perceived source credibility can lead to

higher perceived message believability, it is hypothesized that:










H3: Source credibility positively relates to message believability.

H4: Message believability positively relates to attitude toward the advertisement.

Attitude toward the message and attitude toward the advertisement are often necessary

conditions for persuasion (Laczniak, Kempf, & Muehling, 1999). In addition, MacKenzie and

Lutz (1986) pointed out that attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and

purchase intentions are the principle outcomes in studies of advertising effectiveness. Thus, it is

hypothesized that:

HS: Attitude toward the advertisement positively relates to attitude toward the brand.

H6: Attitude toward the brand positively relates to purchase intention.


Emotional attachment
to brand


Source of advertisement
Consumer-generated ad >Source credibility
Corporate-generated ad .
Message believability


Attitude toward ad


Attitude toward brand


Purchase intention



Figure 2-1. Overview of the study









CHAPTER 3
IVETHODOLOGY

Based on the theoretical concepts reviewed, a 2x2 one within-subj ect (emotional

attachment to a brand; high and low) and one between-subj ect (corporate-generated and

consumer-generated advertisement) factorial design was employed to test the hypotheses. Prior

to the main experiment, a pretest was conducted in a search for the brand most appropriate for

the main study.

Pretest

The purpose of the pretest was to identify a brand that elicited different levels of emotional

attachment among the participants. An individual can have an attitude toward a brand without

any experiences with it, but attachment develops over time (Thomson et al., 2005). Thus, a real

brand was used instead of a fictitious stimulus because interaction between an individual and the

brand is a prerequisite to develop strong or weak attachment.

Brands used in the pretest were selected considering their perceived popularity among

college students. The brand that will be used as a stimulus required a well known brand among

students since experience with the brand is necessary to form emotional attachments. Thus,

brand trial was used as a screening question. In addition, the researcher focused on selecting

hedonic brands because emotional attachment scores for symbolic or hedonic brands tend to be

higher than for low involvement or functional brands. This is due to the fact that the concept of

attachment is connected to the self, and "symbolic products are valued for what they say about

the self' (Thomson et al., 2005, p. 89). In addition, Sen and Lerman (2007) suggested that

product type moderates the effect of review valence (positive versus negative) on usefulness;

consumers are likely to place more weight on negative information and therefore, show a










negativity bias for utilitarian product because the goal of utilitarian consumption is to maximize

utility.

Eight brands that are most liked among college students were selected. According to

"GenX2Z College Brand Study" released by Anderson Analytics in October 2007, the most

popular brand among 1,000 college students was Apple iPod (65%). In soft drink category, their

favorite brand was Coca-Cola (17%), and Old Navy was the most liked clothing brand (6.9%)

(Bulik, 2007). In addition to iPod, Coca-Cola, Old Navy, and other brands that may have both

brand enthusiasts and brand-haters such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Red Bull, Starbucks, Crocs,

and Nike were tested.

Procedure

In the pretest, 42 subj ects rated a set of brands on brand awareness, brand experience,

brand attitude, and emotional attachment to a brand. Emotional attachment to a brand was

measured using a 10-item scale adopted from Thomson et al. (2005). The respondents were

asked to describe their feelings about the brand on a scale from 1 (describes poorly) to 7

(describes well). Then the emotional attachment score was calculated by averaging the ten items:

affectionate, friendly, loved, peaceful, passionate, delighted, captivated, connected, bonded, and

attached. To avoid fatigue, two questionnaires with four different brands were developed, and the

participants were randomly assigned to one of the questionnaires.

Pretest Results

Nike (M=4.24) was selected because it exhibited the highest standard deviation (1.41) and

range (5.10) in emotional attachment among the sample (Table 3-1, Figure 3-1).









Main Study


Experimental Design

A 2x2 one within-subj ect (emotional attachment; high and low) and one between-subj ect

(corporate-generated and consumer-generated advertisement) factorial design was designed. The

experiment involved two versions of the questionnaire for respondents; one with an

advertisement made by the corporate company of a brand (corporate-generated) and the other

containing the same advertisement attributed to a consumer (consumer-generated) The

questionnaire was randomly distributed among the participating subj ects.

Participants

On the basis of convenience sampling, undergraduate students attending a large

southeastern university were recruited, and an extra credit was given for their participation in

data collection. College students were appropriate sample for this study because they have the

purchasing power to keep the brands that they love, which makes them among the most sought-

after segment by marketers. A total of 209 students in communications courses voluntarily

participated in the study. The participants were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions

to review either a corporate-generated or consumer-generated advertisement.

Research Stimuli

In a form of a print advertisement, the stimulus featured a picture of Nike athletic shoes

with a logo of Nike brand. The body copy had a description of the product with a positive tone.

Since the purpose of the study was to test whether strong attachment to a brand result in a biased

processing of an advertisement created by the company of the attached brand, only positive

information were used. Defense motivation refers to "the desire to hold attitudes and beliefs that

are congruent with one's perceived material interest or existing self-definitional attitudes and

beliefs" (Chen & Chaiken, 1999, p. 77). When this defense motivation is high and cognitive










resources are available, "defense motivated systematic processing is likely to emerge,

characterized by effortful but biased scrutiny and evaluation of judgment-relevant information"

(p. 77). A detailed product description was provided in the advertisement for the purpose of

examining biased processing.

To make the advertisement look similar to a typical Nike ad, the layout and parts of the

body copy were adopted from a previous Nike campaign. To differentiate between a corporate-

generated advertisement and a consumer-generated advertisement, the corporate-generated

advertisement contained an extra line: "For more information on Nike's new products, visit

www.Nike. com".

Manipulation of the source of information was straightforward. Before examining the ad,

participants were required to read an instruction describing what the advertisement is about and

who created it. For the advertisement created by a company, subjects were instructed that as a

part of a new campaign, the advertisement was recently created by Nike. They were also told that

Nike, Inc. is planning to launch the advertisement next month.

For the advertisement created by a consumer, respondents were told, using a free service

that allows people to design professional-quality ads of their favorite brands, the advertisement

was created and published by a consumer who is an enthusiast of the brand Nike.

To make certain that the advertisement was created as intended, the researcher added

manipulation check items in the questionnaire. First, they were specifically asked to choose the

source of the advertisement that they reviewed: Nike or a consumer. Second, the respondents

were asked to rate the valence of the advertisement towards the brand Nike using a 10O-point

semantic differential scale ranging from 1 (unfavorable) to 10 (favorable).










Independent Variables

For the purpose of a manipulation check and as one of the independent variables,

participants chose the source of advertisement (company and consumer) that they reviewed.

Emotional attachment to a brand was measured using a 10-item scale adopted from Thomson et

al. (2005). The respondents were asked to describe their feelings about the brand Nike on a scale

from 1 (describes poorly) to 7 (describes well). The emotional attachment score was calculated

by averaging the ten items: affectionate, friendly, loved, peaceful, passionate, delighted,

captivated, connected, bonded, and attached. Subj ects were later categorized as high and low

emotional attachment groups via a median split.

Dependent Variables

Five dependent variables were measured in this study: source credibility, message

believability, attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention.

The set of items for each construct was averaged into a single measure for analyses.

Using a scale from a past study (Trifts & Haiubl, 2003), source credibility was measured

using a five-item scale composed ofundependable/dependable, dishonest/honest,

unreliable/reliable, insincere/sincere, not trustworthy/trustworthy On a 7-point bipolar scale,

respondents were asked to rate their perceptions on the source of the advertisement.

Message believability was measured using a three 7-point semantic differential scales

composed of not at all believable/highly believable, not at all true/absolutely true, not at all

acceptable/acceptable (Hallahan, 1999).

To measure attitude toward the advertisement, the respondents were asked to rate their

impressions of the information on a three 7-point semantic differential scale (bad/good,

unfavorable/favorable, unpleasant/pleasant) adopted from MacKenzie and Lutz (1989).









Attitude toward the brand was measured by using a four 7-point semantic differential scale.

The scale ranged from 1 to 7 with items bad/good, unfavorable/favorable, dislikeable/likeable,

and di sagreeable/agreeable.

Purchase intention was measured using a three 7-point semantic differential scale: very

unlikely/very likely, improbable/probable, and impossible/possible (Lafferty & Goldsmith, 1999).

Covarites

Prior brand attitude, product involvement, and brand knowledge were measured as

covariates. These are constructs that have modest correlations with emotional attachment

(Thomson et al., 2005) and thus may influence the dependent variables. In addition, Xue and

Phelps (2004) found that the persuasive effects of consumer-generated comments online are

moderated by receivers' product involvement and offline WOM experience, and product

knowledge is an important factor in information processing (Park, Lee, & Han, 2007).

Brand attitude was measured using a scale that Thomson and colleagues (2005) employed

in their study. A four 7-point semantic differential scale ranging from 1 to 7 with items bad/good,

unfavorable/favorable, di slikeable/likeable, and di sagreeable/agreeable were averaged to

measure prior brand attitude.

Product involvement was measured using Zaichkowsky's (1994) reduced personal

involvement inventory. Using a 7-point semantic differential scale, ten items were measured and

averaged for a single measure: unimportant/important, boring/interesting, irrelevant/relevant,

unexciting/exciting, means nothing/means a lot, unappealing/appealing, mundane/fascinating,

worthless/valuable, uninvolving/involving, not needed/needed.

For brand knowledge, subj ects were asked to rate their opinions on "I know very little

about Nike" and "I consider myself informed about Nike" using a scale from 1 (strongly










disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) (Lee, 2000). The first item was reverse-coded, and a mean score

was computed.




Table 3-1. Descriptive statistics for brands included in the pre-test

Brand N M S.D. Range
iPod 19 4.89 1.07 4.10
Coca-Cola 19 4.84 1.33 4.60
Old Navy 22 4.48 .91 3.40
Abercrombie & Fitch 23 3.61 .97 4.20
Red Bull 23 3.07 1.40 4.80
Starbucks 23 4.67 1.29 5.00
Crocs 18 3.15 1.10 3.70
Nike 19 4.24 1.41 5.10


Emotional attachment to brand


Figure 3-1. Histogram of emotional attachment to Nike with normal curve









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Initial Sample Analysis

A total of 209 subj ects participated in the study. In the data analysis, 2 subj ects were

eliminated for incomplete responses on a number of questions. All of the participants had an

experience with the brand Nike. Participants' perception toward the favorability of the message

in the stimuli was checked, and 17 subj ects who did not find the information favorable toward

the brand (scores from 1 to 5 in a 10-point semantic differential scale) were eliminated. A prior

research (Ahluwalia et al., 2000) showed that consumers with different levels of commitment

toward a brand respond differently to positive and negative information. Thus, this study focused

on only positive information chiefly because it was not appropriate to create a negative

advertisement generated by an advertiser. Lastly, participants who misidentified the source of an

advertisement were removed for subsequent analyses. These participants were either given a

consumer-generated advertisement but chose Nike as the source of the advertisement (n=1 1) or

were given a corporate-generated advertisement but chose a consumer as the source of the

advertisement (n=10). The total valid sample was 169.

The mean score for emotional attachment to Nike was 4.39 with a standard deviation of

1.05 and a range of 6. The scores for emotional attachment to the brand were categorized into

high and low emotional attachment groups via median split. Those who scored 4.50 and lower

(48.5%) were classified as "low emotional attachment" group (M=-3.60, SD=.88) and participants

with 4.60 and higher scores (51.5%) were labeled "high emotional attachment" group (M=-5.16,

SD=.45). The mean difference of the two groups was statistically significant [F(1,167)=213.26,

p<.01] (Table 4-1). Table 4-2 shows the number of participants in each of the four conditions.









Data Analysis


Sample Profile

Among 169 valid samples, 35.7% (n=60) were male and 64.3% (n=108) were female with

1 "no response" on gender. The subjects' age ranged from 18 to 29 years old (M=-20.17,

SD=1.73), but the maj ority of the participants were between 18 to 22 (92.3%) years old.

Reliability Check

The results showed that the scales used in the study were reliable according to Cronbach's

alpha levels. Cronbach's alpha for emotional attachment to the brand was .89. Reliability

measures suggested high internal consistency for dependent variables: source credibility

(Cronbach's alpha=.88), message believability (Cronbach's alpha=.81), attitude toward the

advertisement (Cronbach's alpha=.90), attitude toward the brand (Cronbach's alpha=.95), and

purchase intention (Cronbach's alpha=.94). The covariate measures, prior attitude toward a brand

(Cronbach's alpha=.93), product involvement (Cronbach's alpha=.91), and brand knowledge

(Cronbach's alpha=.76), also had high internal consistency (Table 4-3).

Correlation Check

To conduct MANCOVA testing, the dependent variables, source credibility, message

believability, attitude toward an advertisement, attitude toward a brand, and purchase intention,

should be conceptually correlated. Pearson's correlation coefficients suggested that there are

some degree of significant correlations among the dependent variables, thus it is appropriate to

use MANCOVA (Table 4-4).

Covariates

While participants' brand knowledge was not statistically significant [F(5,158)=.82, p<.05],

prior brand attitude [F(5,158)=10.08, p<.05] and product involvement [F(5,158)=4.09, p<.05]










had statistically significant effects on the dependent variables combined. However, these were

controlled since they were included in the data as covariates in the following analyses.

Hypotheses Testing

Hypothesis 1 predicted the effect of the source of an advertisement, and hypothesis 2 tested

the interaction effect between the source of an advertisement and the emotional attachment to a

brand. To test the main effect and an interaction effect, this study used MANCOVA with source

of information (company-generated and consumer-generated) and emotional attachment (high

and low) as the two fixed variables. The advantage of performing MANCOVA is that it

considers the correlations among the set of dependent variables, and thus consider them

simultaneously. Respondents' source credibility, message believability, attitude toward the

advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention were used as dependent

variables. Prior attitude toward the brand, product involvement, and brand knowledge were used

as covaniates.

Prior to analysis, the assumption of the equivalence of covariance matrices across the

groups was checked. Box's M test was significant (p=.00), which means that there are

differences in the amount of variance of the groups for the dependent variables. However, "the

violation of equal variance assumption has minimal impact if the groups are of approximately

equal size" (Hair et al., 2006, p. 409). Since the largest group had 45 samples and the smallest

group had 38 samples, the groups are considered relatively equal in sample sizes. Thus, it is

appropriate to further interpret the results.

The multivariate test result and between-subj ects effects based on the individual univariate

tests are reported in Tables 4-5 and 4-6.









Source of Information Effect

MANCOVA results showed that the effect of source of information on all five dependent

variables combined was not statistically significant [Wilk's Lambda=.972, F(5, 158), p>.05]. H1

predicted that a corporate-generated advertisement is more credible than a consumer-generated

advertisement. Further univariate analysis indicated that there was only a marginal difference

between two different sources of advertisement [F(1, 162)=3.57, p<. 10]. As in the predicted

direction of H1, corporate-generated advertisement was considered more credible than

consumer-generated advertisement. Participants exposed to corporate-generated advertisement

(M=-5.28, SD=1.01) exhibited higher source credibility than the participants exposed to

consumer-generated advertisement (M=-5.10, SD=1.03).

Interaction Effect

Emotional attachment to a brand was expected to influence the perceived credibility of the

source of an advertisement. There was a significant interaction effect [Wilk' s Lambda=.931,

F(5,158)=2.35, p<.05]. Further univariate analyses showed that there was a significant

interaction effect between the source of an advertisement and the emotional attachment to a

brand on source credibility [F(1, 162)=9.56, p<.05] and message believability [F(1,162)=6.05,

p<.05]. As predicted in H2(a), individuals with high emotional attachment to the brand found

corporate-generated source more credible (M=-5.80, SD=.57) than they did consumer-generated

source (M=-5.21, SD=.96), and individuals with low emotional attachment to the brand rated

consumer-generated source more credible (M=-4.97, SD=1.10) than they did corporate-generated

source (M=-4.80, SD=1.09). Also as expected in H2(b), individuals with high emotional

attachment to brand found information in corporate-generated advertisement more believable

(M=-5.27, SD=.87) than they did consumer-generated advertisement (M=-4.89, SD=.93), and

individuals with low emotional attachment to brand rated information in consumer-generated










advertisement more believable (M=-4.92, SD=.86) than they did corporate-generated

advertisement (M=-4.63, SD=.99). The results of interaction effects are shown in Figures 4-1 and

4-2.

The results indicated no significant interaction effect between the source of an

advertisement and the emotional attachment to a brand on attitude toward the advertisement

[F(1,162)=1.64, p>.05], attitude toward the brand [F(1,162)=1.60, p>.05], and purchase intention

[F(1,162)=. 15, p>.05]. Thus, hypotheses H2(c), H2(d), and H2(e) were not supported.

Effect of Source Credibility on Message Believability

H3 expected that source credibility positively influences message believability. A simple

regression was performed to see how well source credibility explains message believability

(Table 4-8). The relationship was statistically significant [F(1, 167)=57.87, p<.01], and indicated

that 25.7% of variance in message believability was explained by source credibility.

Effect of Message Believability on Attitude toward the Advertisement

To inspect the relationship between message believability and attitude toward the

advertisement, a bivariate regression was conducted. As the result shows in Table 4-9, there was

a positive relationship between the two variables. The higher message believability resulted in

more positive attitude toward the advertisement. Message believability explained 22% of

variance in attitude toward advertisement, and the result was statistically significant

[F(1,167)=47.16, p<.01].

Effect of Attitude toward Advertisement on Attitude toward the Brand

Following the previous procedure, 50.6% of variance in attitude toward the brand was

explained by attitude toward the advertisement (Table 4-10). The result was statistically

significant [F(1,167)=170.92, p<.01]. Thus, attitude toward the advertisement positively

enhances to attitude toward the brand.









Effect of Attitude toward Brand on Purchase Intention

As shown in Table 4-11, attitude toward the brand positively affected purchase intention.

Attitude toward the brand explained 41.1% of variance in purchase intention, which was

statistically significant [F(1,167)=116.65, p<.01].










Table 4-1. Between-groups comparison of emotional attachment to a brand

M SD N F Sig.
Low emotional attachment 3.59 .88 83 213.26 0*
High emotional attachment 5.16 .45 86 (1,167)
Total 4.39 1.05 169
N=169, *p<.01


Table 4-2. Measured conditions
Source
Nike Consumer Total
Low N=45 N=38 N=83
Emotional attachment
High N=41 N=45 N=86
Total N=86 N=83 N=169



Table 4-3. Reliability check
Variables Cronbach's alpha
Independent variable 1.Emotional attachment .89
1. Source credibility .88
2. Message believability .81
Dependent variables 3. Attitude toward advertisement .90
4. Attitude toward brand .95
5. Purchase intention .94
1. Prior attitude toward brand .93
Covariates 2. Product involvement .91
3. Brand knowledge .76
N= 169



Table 4-4. Correlation of dependent variables
Source Message Attitude Attitude toward Purchase
credibility believability toward ad brand intention


Source credibility 1.00
Message believability .51* 1.00
Attitude toward ad .47* .47*
Attitude toward brand .64* .55*
Purchase intention .46* .30*
N=169, *p<.01


1.00
.71*
.38*


1.00
.64*


1.00


























Table 4-6. Between-subj ects effects
Source Dependent variable SS df MS F Sig.


Table 4-5. MANCOVA results

Effect

Prior attitude toward brand
Product involvement
Brand knowledge
Emotional attachment
Source
Emotional attachment x source
N=169, *p<.05


Wilks '
Lambda
.76
.89
.98
.96
.97
.93


Hypothesis
df
5
5
5
5
5
5


F

10.08
4.09
.82
1.25
.93
2.35


Error df

158
158
158
158
158
158


Source credibility
Message believability
Attitude toward ad
Attitude toward brand
Purchase intention
Source credibility
Message believability
Attitude toward ad
Attitude toward brand
Purchase intention
Source credibility
Message believability
Attitude toward ad
Attitude toward brand
Purchase intention
Source credibility
Message believability
Attitude toward ad
Attitude toward brand
Purchase intention
Source credibility
Message believability
Attitude toward ad
Attitude toward brand
Purchase intention
Source credibility
Message believability
Attitude toward ad
Attitude toward brand
Purchase intention


3.01
1.05
6.64
21.25
28.12
9.35
2.58
1.38
3.74
11.08
.76
2.75
.10
.38
.64
1.31
.41
5.16
3.06
1.56
2.71
.23
1.64
1.02
.04
7.25
4.85
1.87
1.08
.13


3.01
1.05
6.64
21.25
28.12
9.35
2.58
1.38
3.74
11.08
.755
2.747
.101
.375
.642
1.31
.41
5.16
3.06
1.56
2.71
.23
1.64
1.02
.04
7.25
4.85
1.87
1.08
.13


3.97
1.31
5.83
31.44
32.38
12.33
3.22
1.21
5.53
12.76
1.00
3.43
.09
.56
.74
1.73
.52
4.53
4.53
1.79
3.57
.29
1.44
1.51
.04
9.56
6.05
1.64
1.60
.15


.05*
.26
.02**
.00**
.00**
.00**
.08*
.27
.02**
.00**
.32
.07*
.77
.46
.39
.19
.47
.04**
.04**
.18
.06*
.59
.23
.22
.84
.00**
.02**
.20
.21
.70


Prior attitude toward
brand




Product involvement





Brand knowledge




Emotional
attachment




Source




Emotional
attachment x source


N=169, *p<.10, **p<.05












Mean

5.80
4.80
5.28
5.21
4.97
5.10
5.27
4.63
4.94
4.89
4.92
4.90
5.70
4.84
5.25
5.36
4.86
5.13
6.16
5.26
5.69
5.96
5.29
5.65
6.23
5.35
5.77
6.35
5.45


SD

.57
1.09
1.00
.96
1.11
1.02
.86
.99
.98
.93
.86
.90
.87
1.17
1.12
1.02
1.33
1.19
.70
1.03
.99
.83
1.33
1.13
.88
1.41
1.26
.74
1.53


Table 4-7. Descriptive statistics for measures
Emotional
Dependent variable Source
attachment
High
Nike Low
Total
Credibility
High
Consumer Low
Total
High
Nike Low
~Total
Message behievability
High
Consumer Low
Total
High
Nike Low
Total
Attitude toward ad
High
Consumer Low
Total
High
Nike Low
Total
Attitude toward brand
High
Consumer Low
Total
High
Nike Low
Total
Purchase intention
High
Consumer Low
Total


5.85 1.25










Table 4-8. Source credibility-message believability, result of bivariate linear regression,
Effect B Beta t Sig.
(Constant) 2.49 7.67 .00
Source credibility .47 .51 7.61 .00
Dependent variable: Message believability
N=169, R=.51, R2=.26, F(1, 167)=57.87*, *p<.01


Table 4-9. Message believability-Aad, result of bivariate linear regression
Effect B Beta t Sig.
(Constant) 2.35 5.59 .00
Message believability .58 .47 6.87 .00
Dependent variable: Attitude toward advertisement
N=169, R=.47, R2=.22, F(1, 167)=47.16*, *p<.01


Table 4-10. Aad-Ab, result of bivariate linear regression
Effect B Beta t Sig.
(Constant) 2.28 8.56 .00
Attitude toward advertisement .65 .71 13.07 .00
Dependent variable: Attitude toward brand
N=169, R=.71, R2=.51, F(1, 167)=170.92*, *p<.01


Table 4-11. Ab-PI, result of bivariate linear regression
Effect B Beta t Sig.
(Constant) 1.55 3.82 .00


Attitude toward brand .76 .64
Dependent variable: Purchase intention
N=169, R=.64, R2=.41, F(1, 167)=116.65*, *p<.01


10.80











Emo~tional
Attachment to Nike

5.0













5.00-




Nike Consumer
Source of Advertisement


Figure 4-1. Significant interaction effect (Source x Emotional attachment) on source credibility





y 0- Emo~tional
Attachment to Nikre


C 5 110- H
















-I I1
NIkz Conssurae
Source of Advertisement


Figure 4-2. Significant interaction effect (Source x Emotional attachment) on message
believability









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

This study had two primary obj ectives. First, this study sought to understand how

consumers respond to two different sources (authors) of message, a company and a consumer.

Attachment refers to how loyal an individual is toward an obj ect. In this respect, a consumer' s

attachment to a brand can form a tie between the consumer and the company (brand). This tie

can result in the biased processing of information because an attached individual seeks to

maintain proximity to the attachment Eigure (Mikulincer, Shaver, & Pereg, 2003). Attachment to

a brand is expected to influence the credibility of the source of an advertisement so that

consumers attached to a brand Eind it or the company that produced it credible.

Brand attachment is believed to be reflected in consumer message believability, attitude

toward an advertisement, attitude toward a brand, and purchase intention. Hence, the second goal

of this study was to identify the relationship between the credibility of the source of an

advertisement and the level of emotional attachment to a brand. Specifically, consumers who are

emotionally attached to a brand were anticipated to Eind information from a company more

credible compared than information from a consumer and consumers not emotionally attached to

a brand were anticipated to Eind information from a consumer more credible than information

from a company. From a practical perspective, emotionally attached consumers are important to

marketers because they exhibit loyalty to the brand and are willing to pay a price premium to

obtain it (Thomson et al., 2005).

The study participants were exposed to an advertisement created by either a consumer or a

company. To make certain that any perceptional differences were solely due to the source

(author) of the advertisement, both advertisements had an identical layout and display an










identical brand logo, visual illustration of the product, and text. However, the description of the

authorship of the advertisement given before its review varied for each condition.

The research found a marginal difference between the source credibility (trustworthiness)

of a consumer-generated and a corporate-generated advertisement. Overall, the participants of

perceived a message from a company as more credible than a message from a consumer.

Interestingly, the effect of the source of the advertisement on credibility was affected by the level

of emotional attachment to the brand. The highly emotionally attached group found the company

information more credible than they did the consumer information whereas the less emotionally

attached group found the consumer information more credible than they did the company

information. Likewise, message believability varied according to the level of emotional

attachment to the brand. Those highly attached to the brand believed more strongly in

information from the company than in information from the consumer. Thus, the results of this

experiment confirmed that emotional attachment to a brand can be a moderator of the credibility

of the source of an advertisement and message believability. However, the interaction effect of

emotional attachment to the brand and the source of an advertisement was not found to

significantly affect attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase

intention.

The results of a series of simple regression analyses showed that source credibility has a

significant effect on message believability and message believability in turn influences attitude

toward an advertisement. Therefore, it is suggested that higher perceived source credibility leads

to higher message believability, and higher message believability results in stronger attitude

toward the advertisement. In accordance with the dual-mediation hypothesis (MacKenzie, Lutz,










and Belch, 1986), attitude toward the advertisement influenced attitude toward the brand, and

attitude toward the brand influenced purchase intention.

General Discussion

The dynamic media environment is providing new opportunities for interaction between

advertisers and consumers. While numerous practitioners have put forth opinions on the

differential effects of consumer-generated content as a type of an advertisement (Garfield, 2005;

Nutley, 2007a; Nutley, 2007b), few researchers have empirically sought to determine how

consumers perceive traditional corporate-generated advertisements compared to consumer-

generated advertisements.

In this study, emotional attachment to a brand was examined as one of the factors that

affect how consumers perceive two sources of advertisements in different ways. Bowlby (1980)

suggested that the desire to make strong emotional attachments to particular others is a basic

human need (as cited in Thomson et al., 2005). The bond formed through such an attachment is

"beyond one's volitional control" (Thomson et al., 2005, p. 79). The most important finding of

this study is that stronger attachment to a brand can bias individual perception of the message

created by the company of the brand in a positive direction. Thus, this study contributes to the

literature of advertising processing chiefly by investigating how the concept of emotional

attachment can be applied to advertising perception. Advertisers seeking to reach their audiences

more effectively and efficiently must understand how consumers process their advertisements

and information.

Regarding the study hypotheses, Hypothesis 1 was supported. The data showed that there

is a marginal main effect of source of information on source credibility, with company-generated

advertisement perceived as more credible than consumer-generated advertisement. This finding

supports Flanagin and Metzger' s (2007) study that found that information originating from a









media organization is considered relatively more credible than is information from an individual

on a personal Web site. The reason is that information from an organization is usually the result

of rigorous fact-checking whereas information from an individual is not quite representative of

other' views.

Hypothesis 2 was only partially supported. The interaction effect of the source of

information and emotional attachment to a brand on source credibility and message believability

were supported. Above of all, this result supports prior studies that demonstrated that the strength

of credibility is susceptible to different individual factors. On the other hand, the interaction

effect on attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention

were not supported. The results imply that the source of information and emotional attachment to

a brand do not have a direct effect on attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the

brand, and purchase intention. Although the information presented in the advertisement provided

a strong positive message about the product, the source and emotional attachment did not affect

the overall perception of the advertisement. This may be explained by the fact many other factors

may influence consumers' perception toward an advertisement or the brand. In particular, while

a real brand was used in this study for various reasons, the stimulus ad might have not fulfilled

what is expected of the Nike brand.

Despite its potential impact on the general public, an advertisement is not perceived as

credible as is publicity when the two are compared side by side. Thus, another possible reason

that source credibility and emotional attachment to a brand were not found to have an effect on

some of the dependent measures is because consumers in general do not believe that their

attitudes could change simply by exposure to one advertisement.









As did the current study, Lafferty and Goldsmith (2004) found that corporate credibility is

not related to purchase intention; corporate credibility influences attitude toward the brand but

does not positively influence purchase intention. They argued that "when making a purchase

decision, the strength of the information about the product and its features play a critical role, to

a great extent than the credibility of the company" (Lafferty & Goldsmith, 2004, p. 33).

Hypothesis 3, source credibility predicts message believability and Hypothesis 4, message

believability predicts attitude toward an advertisement, were supported. When attitude toward

the advertisement was regressed on message believability, the results showed that message

believability positively increases attitude toward the advertisement. This is in accordance with

the theoretical framework suggested by Fishbein and Ajzen that proposes individuals are more

likely to accept message claims presented by a highly credible source (Goldberg & Hartwick,

1990).

Hypothesis 5, attitude toward an advertisement predicts attitude toward a brand and

Hypothesis 6, attitude toward a brand predicts purchase intention, were also supported. The study

results demonstrated the strong and highly predictable relationships between attitude toward an

advertisement, attitude toward a brand, and purchase intention. An important implication of these

findings is that if considered credible among consumers, explicitly revealing the source of an

advertisement or information may be a means to increase message believability in an

authorlesss" environment.

Managerial Implications

The Web 2.0 platform permits much interaction between companies and consumers and

among consumers themselves. With this consideration, it is anticipated that collaboration

between consumers and companies in content creation will be one of the key trends that will

have a substantial impact on the future business and the economy (Manyika, Roberts, & Sprague,










2007). In comparison with publicity, advertising is considered a marketing communication

activity controlled by an advertiser. However, CGC, especially content that resembles typical

forms of advertising, is blurring the boundaries of traditional concept of advertising.

The immediate implication of this study is that advertisers should understand the impact of

CGC compared to that of their advertisements. In particular, a company can be to some extent

free of concerns about dispersion of uncontrollable information. When presented with the same

advertisement (information) about a brand, study participants attached to the brand (brand

loyalists) found company information more trustworthy than they did consumer information.

This is because the stronger one' s attachment to an obj ect, the more likely one is to maintain

proximity to the obj ect (Thomson et al., 2005).

Alternatively, individuals with weak emotional attachment to the brand regarded the

consumer-generated advertisement as more credible and its message more believable than that of

the corporate-generated advertisement. This finding suggests that emotional attachment to a

brand can be used as a criterion when segmenting consumers. Highly emotionally attached

consumers are brand loyalists while less emotionally attached consumers are individuals who

have experienced the brand but not yet formed a strong bond with it, and thus brand loyalists.

Thus, this finding may have a substantial impact on how advertisers target their advertisements

to different segments of consumers.

In the realm of this study, when developing a strategic plan for a relatively new product of

a brand to which few consumers have a strong emotional attachment, it is recommended that

marketers include the development and use of CGC. Creating brand communities and

encouraging consumers to create advertisements for brands can draw consumers who do not

have a strong interaction with the brand. However, the findings of this study suggest that CGC










may not be appropriate for consumers already strongly attached to a brand (brand loyalists).

Instead, company-generated advertising messages should be directed at brand loyalists because

the company's words are important to them.

Limitations and Future Research

A number of study limitations need to be noted. First, this study focused only on

trustworthiness as an indicator of perceived source credibility. Nan (2007) argued that when an

advertisement is used as a stimulus, perceived trustworthiness have a significant effect on

persuasion. This study confirmed that source credibility (trustworthiness) has a significant effect

on message believability, and message believability influences attitude toward an advertisement.

Nevertheless, when interpreting the results of this study, caution must be taken because expertise

was not considered as a dimension of source credibility.

Secondly, 18% of the collected responses had to be eliminated from the data analysis

because they were received from subjects who had either misidentified the sources of the

advertisement or found the advertising message unfavorable toward the brand. To avoid this

setback, a more pronounced way of manipulating sources of information should be identified. In

this particular study, the participants were not informed directly about the source of the

advertisement that they were to review in order to create as natural a setting as possible. Instead,

the source was only reported in the questionnaire in the description of the advertisement. If the

participants had been specifically told by a proctor that they were to review an advertisement

created by a specific source, fewer participants may have incorrectly identified a consumer-

generated advertisement as a corporate-generated advertisement and a corporate-generated

advertisement as a consumer-generated advertisement. In turn, the results might have shown a

more significant difference between the two sources. In addition, while an item asking the

favorability of the advertisement toward the brand was added because the purpose of this study









was to only examine positive valence of information, a different scale could have reduced the

portion of subj ects who were taken out from the study for rating the advertisement unfavorable

toward the brand. For example, a scale measuring positivity and negativity of the advertisement

could be used. While the researcher' s intention was to examine positive information toward the

brand, favorability of information was more of an attitudinal construct. Thus, subjects who are

skeptical about advertising in general is likely to rate any advertisement unfavorable toward a

brand.

Third, emotional attachment was measured with a real brand with which all of the

participants were familiar. Based on a pretest, the Nike brand was chosen because it showed a

wide range and relatively not too high or low mean average among the sample. The advantage of

this is that the brand can be constant across both high and low emotional attachment conditions

(Thomson et al., 2005) and thus enhance the external validity of this research. However, it is

possible that some confounding variables were overlooked.

Fourth, according to Box's M test, the homoscedasticity assumption among the groups was

violated. In spite of this result, the researcher determined that the impact of this breach of the

assumption was minimal because the four groups contained a similar number of samples and

because many dependent variables were involved in the analyses. Nonetheless, it is necessary to

check for univariate normality of all dependent measures and further investigate which group

had unequal variance.

Fifth, emotional attachment to the brand was measured using the brand Nike yet the

researcher did not specify whether the brand referred to the company Nike or a specific product

of Nike. In the advertisement, a specific product of Nike (athletic shoes) was used. Thomson et

al. (2005) suggested that an empirical study examining whether the level of the brand (corporate









brand versus individual product brand) is relevant to the level of emotional attachment is

necessary. Thus, there is a possibility that the level of the brand influenced how the participants

processed the advertisements.

Lastly, only college students participated in the study. Although this was an exploratory

study seeking to explain the relationship between emotional attachment to a brand and credibility

regarding different sources of information, the use of a non-representative sample limits the

interpretation of the findings to the general population.

Based on the findings and limitations of the current study, several initiatives for future

research in the current area are suggested. First, since this study was limited to only one brand,

future studies should employ different brands in different product categories to examine whether

the findings of this study can be generalized to other brands. Second, future studies should

investigate whether product category and product attributes have an impact on the relationships

examined in this study. In a study proposing interactions between source characteristics and

product category, Lynch and Schuler (1994) found that the source (spokesperson) is effective

when its characteristics are matched with product attributes. Similarly, emotional attachment to

the brand of a hedonic product may have a stronger effect on the source when an affective rather

than cognitive message is given.

Third, the effect of the valence of the message in the advertisement was not explored due

to the limitations imposed by the simple research design of the study. The next stage in research

on how emotional attachment to a brand affects consumers' information processing could be

exploration of the valence effect. Information may be positive, negative, or neutral. In particular,

advertising, publicity, and all other information available online has a valence and the receiver of

the messages may respond differently. As prior research on commitment has demonstrated that










high-commitment consumers counterargue negative information more than they do positive

information (Ahluwalia, Burnkrant, & Unnava, 2000), the level of emotional attachment should

influence how consumers respond to the valence of the message. Therefore, research comparing

negative and positive consumer-generated advertisements and two-sided messages of corporate

advertisements is suggested.

Lastly, future study should examine cross-cultural differences on the emotional attachment

to a brand and its potential effect on processing advertisements. For example, sensory brand

images are more emphasized in countries with high power distance orientation while functional

brand images are more effective in low power distance countries (Roth, 1995). Thus, the

emotional attachment to a brand, which reflects affect-based relationship between a consumer

and a brand, may be more apparent in high than in low cultural power distance environments.















AdDesigner.com is a free service that allows you to design professional-quality ads for your
favorite brands. Using this service, the following advertisement was created and published by a
consumer who is an enthusiast of the brand.



>>>Please read the ad CAREFULLY and answer the following questions.<<<







I RALN SO0 HARD THE GR~OUNUD BENEATH
ME SMELLS OF BTURNT RUREER.
RUNNERS JUST DO IT -
THEY RUN FOR THE FINISH LINE FITEN IF
SOMEONE ELSE HAD REACHED~f IT F FIRST.







LOWA "TO THE GROUNDTI, SUPPORTIVE
OVERLAYS THAT MAIXIMIZESS COMFORT,
AND3 VERY BREATHABLE. THIS SHOE IS
MAD9~IE FOR THE RUNNER THAT SEEKS
HIGH ENTD COIFORT ANDP CIUSHIONING.
GENUINELY A BEAUTIIFUL. PERFORMANCE
PRODUCT, THis IS JUST FOR ME.


APPENDIX A
EXPERIMENT STIMULI

Consumer-Generated Advertisement


wmy.AdDesigner. comn












As a part of their new campaign, the following advertisement was recently created by Nike. Nike,
Inc. is planning to launch the ad next month.




>>>Please read the ad CAREFULLY and answer the following questions.<<<








I RAN SO HARD THE GROU;LND BENL4~TH
MiE SMVEllS OF BURNST RUBBER
RUNNERS JUST DO IT-
TEEY" RUN FOR THE FINISH LINE EVEN IF
SOMEONE ELSE HAD REACHED~ IT FIRST.







LO W TO THE GROL rD, SUP"PORTIVE
OVERLApYS TI4T MAZXIMIZES C~OM~OIRT,
AND VERY' BREATHABL~E. THIS SHOE IS
MAZDE FOR THE RUTNNE~R THAT SEEKS
HIGH ~END COMFORT AND CUSHIONIN~G.
GENUIINELY A BEAUTIFUL P~ERFORMAN~CE
PRODUCT, THIs is JUST FOR ME.



For- more inforrrmadon an.Wire s new products, vpisi vWWWacIQOa

Nike, Inzc.


Corporate-Generated Advertisement









APPENDIX B
QUESTIONNAIRE

Please read the following questions carefully, and check one choice from the scale that most
closely reflects your opinion or feeling.


1. Have you ever used a product from Nike?
(1) Yes
(2) No (If '(2) No,' STOP. Ask for assistance.)


2. How do you feel about the brand Nike?

Bad (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Good
Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Favorable
Dislikeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Likeable
Disagreeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Agreeable


3. To me, the brand Nike is:

Unimportant (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Important
Boring (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Interesting

Irrelevant (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Relevant

Unexciting (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Exciting

Means nothing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Means a lot

Unappealing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Appealing
Mundane (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Fascinating

Worthless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Valuable

Uninvolving (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Involving

Not needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Needed









Strongly
disagree


Strongly
agree
(7)
(7)


I know very little about Nike
I consider myself informed about Nike


(1) (2)
(1) (2)


5. How do the following adj ectives describe the brand Nike?
describes
poorly
Affectionate (1) (2) (3) (4)

Friendly (1) (2) (3) (4)

Loved (1) (2) (3) (4)

Peaceful (1) (2) (3) (4)

Passionate (1) (2) (3) (4)

Delighted (1) (2) (3) (4)

Captivated (1) (2) (3) (4)
Connected (1) (2) (3) (4)

Bonded (1) (2) (3) (4)
Attached (1) (2) (3) (4)


describes
very well
(7)

(7)

(7)

(7)

(7)

(7)

(7)

(7)

(7)

(7)









Please read the following questions carefully, and check one choice from the scale that most
closely reflects your opinion or feeling.


6. Have you ever used Google?
(1) Yes
(2) No (If '(2) No,' STOP. Go to next page.)


7. How do you feel about the brand Google?

Bad (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Good
Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Favorable
Dislikeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Likeable
Disagreeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Agreeable


8. How do the following adj ectives describe the brand Google?
describes describes
poorly very well
Affectionate (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Friendly (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Loved (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Peaceful (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Passionate (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Delighted (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Captivated (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
Connected (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Bonded (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Attached (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)





























(One of the experiment stimuli goes here)









Instructions: The following questionnaire asks you to indicate your opinion about the ad that
you just saw. If necessary, please go back to previous page to see the ad again.


9. Please check one. The ad was created bv:
(1) Nike, Inc.
(2) A consumer of Nike


10. How favorable or unfavorable was the advertisement towards Nike?

Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) Favorable


1 1. How would you rate the source (i.e., a consumer of Nike/the company Nike) of the
information?


Undependable

Di shonest

Unreliable

Insincere

Not trustworthy

Not an expert

Inexperienced

Unknowledgeable

Unqualified

Unskilled


(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Dependable

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Honest

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Reliable

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Sincere

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Trustworthy

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Expert

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Experienced

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Knowledgeable

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Qualified

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Skilled


12. How did you find the advertisement?

Bad (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Good
Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Favorable

Unpleasant (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Pleasant









13. The information in the advertisement is:

Not at all believable (1) (2) (3)

Not at all true (1) (2) (3)

Not at all acceptable (1) (2) (3)


Highly believable
Absolutely true

Acceptable


14. After reviewing the ad, how do you feel about the brand Nike?

Bad (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Dislikeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Disagreeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)


15. Would you consider buying Nike the next time you purchase sp

Very unlikely (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Improbable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Impossible (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)


Good

Favorable

Likeable

Agreeable


,orts-related product?

(7) Very likely

(7) Probable

(7) Possible


16. What is your gender?
(1) Male
(2) Female


17. What is your age? (


) years old


Thank you for your participation.


Debriefing Statement
The ad in this study was fictional. Although it was created only for the purpose of this
study, the message in the ad was based on facts.










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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Yeuseung Kim is from Seoul, Korea. She earned a Bachelor of Advertising and Public

Relations and a minor in business administration at Chung-Ang University in Korea. After

graduation in February 2004, Yeuseung worked as an assistant researcher at Korea Advertisers

Association (KAA) for 2 years. While working at KAA, she found interests in media effects and

consumer behavior, which propelled her to undergo further studies in the United States.

She j oined the Master of Advertising program at the University of Florida in fall 2006. In

fall 2008, she will pursue doctoral study at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at

the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She plans to continue her research in advertising

especially on how brands and new media affect consumers' information processing and

consumers' perceptions on different advertising media platforms.





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1 EFFECT OF EMOTIONAL A TTACHMENT TO A BRAND ON CREDIBILITY OF INFORMATION SOURCES By YEUSEUNG KIM A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ADVERTISING UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Yeuseung Kim

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3 To my loving and supportive family

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This thesis is the culm ination of unlimited caring and support from everyone plus all the efforts I made in the last 2 years. In all sincerity, I first thank my wonderful advisor and chair, Dr. Jorge Villegas, for his invaluable guidance. He taught me patience, and made the process more enjoyable. I also thank Dr. Chang-Hoan Cho a nd Dr. Marilyn Roberts fo r their attentive support as my committee members. Moreover, I am grat eful for support from Dr. Michael Weigold in conducting my studies and thought ful advices from Dr. Johanna Cleary that gave me the confidence to pursue my career in academia. Although this is my first and rather unripe creation, I dedicate this thesis to my beloved family, and promise them improved works in the near future. I will never be able to fully express my appreciation to my parents, Sei-young Ki m and Hyang-soon Im; my sister, Yeukyung; and all my family members. If not for their love a nd belief in me, I could never have attempted to study alone in the United States. I thank my loving friends and acquaintances in Korean for being there, and I would like to express deepest gratitude to my mentors back in Korea, Dr. Jungsik Cho, Dr. Jang-Sun Hwang, Dr. Bong-Hyun Kim, and Dr. Byung-Jun Chun. Thei r encouraging words and mere presence have always showered me with conf idence and motivated me to do better. Lastly, I must not forget to thank everyone in Korean Mass CommuniGators (especially Eunsoo, Wanseop, Mihyun, Mijung, and Chang Dae) and all my friends that I met at the University of Florida. Thanks to them, my life in graduate sch ool was bearable and fun. Now I realize that Gainesville was warm and pleasant b ecause I had them on my side. I was truly lucky to have encountered them at this important moment of my life.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................8ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................112 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................14Source of Information.............................................................................................................14Source Credibility............................................................................................................. ......16Positivity Effect.............................................................................................................. ........18Commitment and Emotional Attachment to a Brand............................................................. 19Hypotheses..............................................................................................................................213 METHODOLOGY................................................................................................................. 25Pretest.....................................................................................................................................25Procedure.........................................................................................................................26Pretest Results................................................................................................................ .26Main Study..............................................................................................................................27Experimental Design....................................................................................................... 27Participants......................................................................................................................27Research Stimuli..............................................................................................................27Independent Variables.....................................................................................................29Dependent Variables....................................................................................................... 29Covarites..........................................................................................................................304 RESULTS...............................................................................................................................32Initial Sample Analysis........................................................................................................ ...32Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................33Sample Profile.................................................................................................................33Reliability Check............................................................................................................. 33Correlation Check............................................................................................................ 33Covariates........................................................................................................................33Hypotheses Testing............................................................................................................. ....34Source of Information Effect...........................................................................................35Interaction Effect............................................................................................................. 35

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6 Effect of Source Credibility on Message Believability................................................... 36Effect of Message Believability on Attitude toward Advertisement............................... 36Effect of Attitude toward Adver tisement on Attitude toward Brand.............................. 36Effect of Attitude toward Brand on Purchase Intention.................................................. 375 DISCUSSION.........................................................................................................................43General Discussion............................................................................................................. ....45Managerial Implications........................................................................................................ .47Limitations and Future Research............................................................................................ 49APPENDIX A EXPERIMENT STIMULI......................................................................................................53Consumer-Generated Advertisement...................................................................................... 53Corporate-Generated Advertisement...................................................................................... 54B QUESTIONNAIRE................................................................................................................55LIST OF REFERENCES...............................................................................................................61BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................66

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1. Descriptive statistics for br ands included in the pretest .......................................................314-2. Measured conditions.............................................................................................................384-3. Reliability check....................................................................................................... ............384-4. Correlation of dependent variables.......................................................................................384-5. MANCOVA results..............................................................................................................394-6. Between-subjects effects................................................................................................ ......394-7. Descriptive statistics for measures..................................................................................... ..404-8. Source credibility-message believabili ty, result of bivariate linear regression,................... 414-9. Message believability-Aad, resu lt of bivariate linear regression......................................... 414-10. Aad-Ab, result of bi variate linear regression........................................................................ 414-11. Ab-PI, result of biva riate linear regression........................................................................... 41

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1. Overview of the study.............................................................................................................243-1. Histogram of emotional attachme nt to Nike with normal curve............................................ 314-1. Significant interaction effect (Source Emotional attachment) on source credibility.......... 424-2. Significant interaction effect (Source Em otional attachment) on message believability.... 42

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9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Advertising EFFECT OF EMOTIONAL A TTACHMENT TO A BRAND ON CREDIBILITY OF INFORMATION SOURCES By Yeuseung Kim May 2008 Chair: Jorge Villegas Major: Advertising The dynamic media environment is providing new opportunities for interaction between advertisers and consumers. While numerous pr actitioners have put forth opinions on the differential effects of consumer-generated content as a type of an advert isement, few researchers have empirically sought to determine how consum ers perceive traditiona l corporate-generated advertisements compared to consumer-generated advertisements. In this study, emotional attachment to a bra nd was examined as one of the factors that affect how consumers perceive two sources of ad vertisements in different ways. A consumers emotional attachment to a brand forms a tie between the consumer and the brand or the company, and this tie can result in a biased processing of information because attachment seeks to maintain proximity to the attachment object. The research found a marginal difference betwee n the source credibility (trustworthiness) of a consumer-generated and a corporate-generate d advertisement. Overall, the participants of perceived a message from a company as more cr edible than a message from a consumer. The effect of the source of the advertisement on cred ibility was affected by the level of emotional attachment to the brand. The highly emotionally attached group found the company information more credible than they did the consumer in formation whereas the less emotionally attached

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10 group found the consumer information more credib le than they did the company information. Likewise, message believability varied according to the level of emotional attachment to the brand. Those highly attached to the brand believed more str ongly in information from the company than in information from the consumer. Thus, the results of this experiment confirmed that emotional attachment to a brand can be a mo derator of the credibility of the source of an advertisement and message believability. Howe ver, the interaction effect of emotional attachment to the brand and the source of an a dvertisement was not found to significantly affect attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention. The results of a series of simple regression an alyses showed that source credibility has a significant effect on message believability and messa ge believability in turn influences attitude toward an advertisement. Therefor e, it is suggested that higher pe rceived source credibility leads to higher message believability, and higher messa ge believability results in stronger attitude toward the advertisement. The re lations among attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase inten tion were also confirmed.

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11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In todays fragm ented media era, marketers are struggling to find ways of conveying their messages to target consumers via both traditional and non-traditional sources. Since consumers may respond differently to the same action taken to market a brand, it is important for marketers to identify the right target of communication before choosing the appropriate sources or media outlets relevant to the target to express their messages. Due to the grow th of personal media as well as non-marketer controlled sources such as word-of-mouth (WOM) and various forms of consumer-generated content (CGC), finding and fo cusing on the significant brand contact points remains a challenge. Marketer-generated messages refer to info rmation about a brand or a product that marketers wish to deliver to th eir consumers, and thus includ e any form of advertising. Nonmarketer generated messages are created by individuals not affiliated with a brand, such as industry experts or consumers of a brand or a product who communicate w ith others about their experiences. Product reviews, ratings, spoofs of ads, and brand communities are some examples of non-marketer generated communications that are currently of interest to marketers. The principle difference between marketer-generated and non-marketer generated information is that marketers can control the former but not the latt er. This raises an important theoretical and managerial question: Do consumer s perceive consumer-generated sources differently than they do marketer-generated sources? Recently, scholars have been showing great inte rest in the effect of consumers brand commitment and affect-based bra nd relationships. While traditiona l attitude models focus on the attitude-behavior relatio nship, Park and MacInnis (2006) aske d whether the attitude construct could explain consumers behaviors that are of interest to marketers. Marketers are concerned

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12 with predicting stronger forms of behaviors, a nd consumers commitment and brand investment characterize higher levels of behavior al hierarchy (Park & MacInnis, 2006). Committed consumers are biased toward the brand they are committed to and biased against competing brands (Desai & Raju, 2007). Commitment is exp ected to cause an individual to resist persuasive attempts to undermine the object (Raju & Unnava, 2006). For example, Ahluwalia, Unnava, and Burnkrant (2001) showed that compared to less committed consumers, highly committed consumers rate information consistent with their attitude toward the committed brand as more diagnostic. Also, committed consum ers are less likely to change their attitude when negative information about the committed brand is presented. Raju and Unnava (2006) found that this attitudinal difference is mediat ed by differences in counterargumentation. Prior studies suggested that highly co mmitted and less committed people ac t differently and their ways of processing the same information or the sa me messages are different Based on these findings, it is expected that commitment or attachment to a brand will influence how consumers perceive marketer-generated information compared to non-marketer generated information. The brand attachment concept was recently refined by Thomson and colleagues (2005) by focusing on its emotional dimensions. Emotional attachment is a measure that allows marketers to estimate the strength of the relationship between consumers and their brands (Thomson, MacInnis, & Park, 2005). Consumers emotional attachments to a brand may predict their commitment to the brand and their willingness to make financial sacrifices in order to obtain it (Thomson et al., 2005). Therefore, gaining understa nding of consumers who ha ve different levels of emotional attachment to a brand will allow ma rketers to concentrate their resources on the most effective sources of information with which to reach their target audience.

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13 The aim of this study is to determine whether the level of emotional attachment to a brand has a moderating effect on the credibility of di fferent sources of advertisement, specifically company-generated and consumer-generated sour ce of advertisement. While experts in the marketing industry tout consumer-generated adve rtisements, no research to date has compared consumer-created advertising to traditional corporate-created a dvertising. The results of this study will contribute to the literature on emoti onal attachment to a brand, a relationship-based construct that reflects the em otional bond between an individual and a brand (Park & MacInnis, 2006). In addition, the results will provide practical implications for advertisers and marketers that help them understand how consumers with high or low emotional attachment to their brands respond to different sources of an advertisement.

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14 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Source of Information Given the overwhelm ing number of marke ting communications with which todays consumers are confronted, effectively disseminating brand and product-re lated information to them is a challenge for every marketer (Geiss ler & Edison, 2005). Nevert heless, all marketers recognize that the pre-purchase information sear ch is a critical step in consumers buying processes (Mourali, Laroche, & Pons, 2005). Thus it is critical that marketers seek more understanding on how consumers search informati on and how influential different information sources are. In a study on cred ibility of human-computer inte raction, Burgoon et al. (2000) found that understanding a message a nd assigning credibility to it or its information source are a prerequisite to message or information acceptance (p. 554). Therefore, how different sources of information affect the credibility of a message is well worth exploring. Research has suggested that non-marketer-generat ed information is more credible than is marketer-generated information. Unlike producer s of commercial adve rtising, non-marketer communicators are perceived as in terpersonal sources independent of sellers, and thus their recommendations are not considered biased or exaggerated (Moural i et al., 2005). Hence, interpersonal sources are regarded as more credib le and more influential on consumer decisions than are commercial sources. One of the strengths of public relations efforts in marketing is their ability to generate positive publicity for a brand. Since publicity is deemed a form of communication from a non-corporat e source, consumers find it more credible than advertising, which represents a corporategenerated source (Stammerjo han, Wood, Chang, & Thorson, 2005). Most studies on source credibility are fo cused on examining under what conditions endorsers such as celebrities, experts, and c onsumers are appropriate for certain products (Till &

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15 Busler, 2000). The effects of third-party endorsement have been mu ch studied in the literature on advertising. When Dean and Biswas (2001) comp ared advertisements containing endorsements by a third-party organization and a celebrity, they found that thirdparty organizational endorsement resulted in greater perceived pr oduct quality and info rmation value of the advertisement than did celebrity endorsement. However, advertising in which consumers endorse a product or a brand is still considered a corporate-generated source on the grounds that the a dvertiser or marketer is the author of the message. Considering that consumers are increa singly skeptical of sources of information controlled by companies, what if endorsers, such as consumers, are the basis of information; would they be a valid source of information for a brand? Customer feedback on Web sites is a type of endorsement that can perform a variety of marketing functions, including advertising, public relations, and market research (Wang, 2005). Past research has confirmed that the main mo tivating factor for accessi ng a product review on a Web site, a form of consumer-generated conten t, is to use it as an additional source of information prior to prod uct purchase (Bailey, 2005). Consumer-generated content (CGC) refers to online conten t about a specific product or a brand produced by consumers rather than advertisers or marketers. For example, print or video advertisements created by consumers, spoofs of r eal ads, and reviews of a product or a brand are considered CGC. CGC are often called homemade ads or homebrew ad s (Kahney, 2004), open source branding (Garfield, 2005), or vigilante marketing (Ives, 2004). Defining a vigilante as a self-appointed doer of justice (p. 35) Muiz and Schau (2007) argued that the term vigilante marketing accurately describes the phenomenon of CGC because consumers creating CGC assume the role of self-appointed promoters of the brand. Thus, vigilante marketing can be

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16 defined as unpaid advertising and marketing efforts, including one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many commercially oriented communicati ons, undertaken by brand loyalists on behalf of the brand (p. 35). Much CGC that does not pr ovide information on its author or offer much information is still diffused rapidly via e-mail (Muiz & Schau, 2007), blogs, video-sharing Web sites, and Web-based communities. When consumers create blogs about advertising, create their own advertisements, or remix brands, they influence others in their communities and naturally create a word-of-mouth culture (Eastman, 2007). According to Nutley (2007a), Age ncies are latching on to the idea that they can get consumers who love a par ticular brand to create advertising for it. Again, this is cheap, but audiences also see it as authentic (or ideally should) in a way that they dont always with traditional advertising (p. 18). Mourali et al (2005) found that non-commercial sources are important in consumers search for informa tion. In comparison to advertising, publicity is regarded as an effective tool of marketing communication becau se the message does not come from the company or advertiser. The credibility of publicity arises from the fact that the message is sent by an independent trusted source. Source credibility is one of the reasons why marketers are increasingly putting their efforts into publ ic relations. However, no research has yet compared the credibility of consumer-generated content and commercial-generated content. Source Credibility Prior studies generally support the m ain effect of source cr edibility. A highly credible source is more effective than a less credible source in causing positive attitude change and behavioral intentions (Yoon, Kim, & Kim, 1998). Lafferty and Goldsmith (1999) suggested that endorser credibility has a greate r impact on attitude toward th e advertisement while corporate credibility has a greater effect on attitude to ward the brand and purchase intentions. Some

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17 researchers suggest that this positive relationship is strengthe ned or attenuated under certain situations. Recognizing differences between the trad itional and new media environments, recent research on Web site credibility has developed new dimensions for gauging credibility. Warnick (2004) attributed this new focus to Web environments where authorship, credentials, and information sources are frequently not readily available for examination. Often, the source or author of online content is unknown, as is the cas e of much CGC. Theref ore, revision of the theoretical models on perceptions of Web site credibility is n eeded. Schweiger (2000) suggested that because the creator is often unknown or di fficult to identify, cr edibility becomes an important heuristic for content selection. Schweiger (2000) proposed six levels of refere nce objects for credib ility attributions presenter, source/actor, ed itorial units, media product, subsystem of media type and media type. CGC, by definition, can be shown in any platfo rm of the Web. In most cases, users are only aware that it is from others with whom they do not have any relationship. Therefore, the first level, the presenter or author of a message, is unknown. In the pres ent study, the researcher refers to the presenter of an advertisement as a consumer or corporation. Flanagin and Metzger (2007) found that diffe rences in perceived credibility across different types of Web sites (media organiza tion, electronic commerce, special interest group, and personal) result from a combination of site design elements and differences in the genre of the sites. In their study, they measured the three separate dimensions of message, site, and sponsor credibility. Their results confirmed that Web site users disti nguish between the three types of credibility. Especiall y, the sponsor and message of th e media organization Web site were rated more credible than we re those of other types of sites, and the sponsor of the personal

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18 Web site was rated as the least credible. Th is implies that consumers do indeed make a distinction between different (med ia versus personal) Web sources. According to Yoon et al. (1998), previ ous credibility res earch considered expertise and trustworthiness as core dimensions of credibility. Expertise refers to the knowledge of the subject and trustworthiness to th e honesty and believability of the source (Goldsmith, Lafferty, & Newell, 2000). In the context of advertising, attractiveness is often included as a component of source credibility. Ohanian (1990) included attractiveness as a dimension of source credibility, which is appropriate in the context where the communicator (endorse r) is shown in the advertisement. However, this study did not include attractiv eness and expertise dimensions because the endorser was not explicitly shown in the advertisement shown to the subjects and the sources of information clearly differed in their level of expe rtise. Because prior rese arch has found that trust is a significant factor in building a lasting re lationship between a brand and consumers (Dwyer, Schurr, & Oh, 1987; Elliott & Yannopoulou, 2007), s ource credibility is conceptualized as consisting of a trustworthiness dimension only for th e purpose of this study. On this basis, this study attempts to examine the sour ce credibility and effect of an advertising message created by controllable and uncontrollable sources, spec ifically a company and a consumer. Positivity Effect Research into consumer behavior has s uggested that negative information is more valuable to the receiver than is positive in formation (Sen & Lerman, 2007). The phenomenon of placing more weight on negative than positive information in evaluation is termed the negativity effect Although the negativity effect is a widely observed pheno menon (Herr, Kardes, & Kim, 1991), its reverse effect, wherein more weight is placed on positive than negative information, has also been observed.

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19 Ahluwalia and colleagues (2000) suggested that consumers commitment toward a brand is a moderator of negative information effects. Their study found that low-commitment consumers exhibited attitude change when given negative rather than positive information. However, the high-commitment group did not show a negativit y effect; rather, this group counterargued negative information more extensively than they did positive information and exhibited more attitude change with the presentation of positive information than they did with negative information. Other studies have found that hi gh-commitment consumers perceive positive information as more diagnostic than they do ne gative information (Ahluwalia et al., 2000). Defense motivation the desire to hold attitudes and be liefs that are congruent with ones perceived material interest or existing self-definitional attitu des and beliefs (Chen & Chaiken, 1999, p. 77), can be one explanation for this positiv ity effect. Chen and Chaiken (1999) proposed that defense-motivated systematic processing is characterized by biased scrutiny and evaluation of judgment-relevant informati on, and therefore the degree of commitment toward a brand has a positive relationship with the level of defense motivation. Consumers who are highly committed to a brand counterargue negative information about the brand more than do less committed consumers because defense-motivated systematic pr ocessing allows them to maintain their prior attitudes and behaviors (Ahluwa lia et al., 2000). Furthermore, highly committed consumers place more weight on the positive information that is consistent with their notion of the brand. Commitment and Emotional Attachment to a Brand Commitment is the degree to which an individual views a relationship from a long-term perspective and is willingness to sacrifice to m aintain the relationship (Gar barino & Johnson, 1999; Van Lange, Rusbult, Drigotas, Arriaga, Witcher, & Cox, 1997). Prior research on commitment mainly focused on the protective ro le of commitment against negative messages. Raju and Unnava (2006) showed that commitment to an object may cause an individual to resist

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20 persuasive attempts to undermine the object. High-commitment subjects resist attitude change even when they do not have the opportunity to process the message due to source derogation (Raju & Unnava, 2006). Likewise, motivated reasoning enhances the use of information and strategies considered most likely to yield the desired c onclusion (Desai & Raju, 2007). The general definition of attachment is the extent to which an object which is owned, expected to be owned, or prev iously owned by an individual, is used by that individual to maintain his or her self-c oncept (Ball & Tasaki, 1992, p. 158). Although people can form attachments to many different objects, they especia lly do so to objects that are socially visible; expensive; reflective of the individuals roles, relationships, accomplis hments, and experiences; and usually personalized by the e fforts of their owners (p. 159). Because people can also become emoti onally attached to brands (Schouten & McAlexander, 2005), it is importa nt for marketers to understand how consumers do so; emotional attachment to a brand and its cons equences are believed to be a predictor of consumers commitment to the brand and their willingness to pay a pri ce premium (Thomson et al., 2005). A consumers emotional attachment to an entity induces a state of emotion-laden mental readiness that influences his or her a llocation of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral resources toward a particular target (Park & MacInnis, 2006, p. 17). With this in mind, this study will examine how emotionally attached co nsumers respond emotionally and cognitively to different sources of information. The most recent literature on attachment to a brand and consumer behavior defined brand attachment as strength of the cognitive and emoti onal bond connecting the brand with the self (Park, MacInnis, & Priester, 2006, p. 9). However, there is no scale known to date that measures

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21 both cognitive and emotional aspects of brand attach ment. Thus, this study is limited to the affect component of the relationship be tween a consumer and a brand. Based on the literature review, this study as ks the following research questions: 1) Do consumers respond differently to corporate-genera ted advertisements than they do to consumergenerated advertisements? and 2) Do consumers perceive corporate-generated and consumergenerated information sources diffe rently according to their prior emotional attachment to the brand? The conceptual relationship between in formation source and emotional attachment is depicted in Figure 2-1. Hypotheses Generally, consum ers are skeptical about adve rtisements because they are aware that advertisers pay for their advertisements. Publicity is likely to have a stronger effect than advertising due to source credib ility. Past studies have shown th at audiences are predisposed to more positively process messages provided by pr oduct publicity than to messages provided by advertising (Wang, 2006). Among the different spokespersons used in a dvertisements, satisfied typical users who provide positive product testimonials are mostly likely to lead pot ential customers to read and believe the advertisements and purchase products (Appiah, 2007). Ho wever, when a consumer is the author of an advertisement, the source is not physically present to deliver the message (Stern, 1994, p. 7). Thus, this study is conceptually different from source credibility studies that evaluated the effects of a spokespers on or endorser in an advertisement. Sundar and Nass (2001) found that different source attribution levels (in this case, the author) affect receivers reactions to online news stories. Flanag in and Metzger (2007) suggested that information receivers distinguish sources, an d perceived credibility varies accordingly. They found that information from a media organization is considered relatively more credible than is

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22 information from an individual. The reason is that messages from an organization or a company are regarded official and the receiver is awar e that the company is accountable for messages sent to consumers, while information from individuals with whom the receiver has no relationship highly reflect the authors opinions. Based on Fl anagin and Metzgers (2007) findings, it is hypothesized that H1: Corporate-generated advertisement is more credible than is consumer-generated. The source of a message is a complex institutio nal structure that conveys past experience and information (Flanagin & Metzger, 2007). One study suggested that an individuals evaluation of information credibility is affect ed by the perceived source of the information (Newhagen & Nass, 1989). In genera l, studies on source credibility have concluded that there is a positive relationship between perceived sour ce credibility and message persuasiveness (Hovland & Weiss, 1951). Both perceived source expertise and trustwor thiness are known to have a positive impact on persuasion. More recen t researches has suggested that this positive relationship can be strengthened or weakened under certain conditions such as high or low commitment (Ahluwalia et al., 2000), high or lo w need to evaluate, and the timing of source identification (before or after message exposure; Nan, 2007). Emotional attachment to a brand rather than commitment was chosen as the focus of this study for several reasons. First, strong attachment is a result of trust deve loped from personal experiences (Park et al., 2006). Second, emotional attachment predicts commitment (Thomson et al., 2005). While attachment describes the rela tionship between an individual and a brand, commitment is an outcome of the relationship. Lastly, individuals with strong attachments are generally committed to preserving their relationshi p with it; therefore, emotional attachment

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23 should predict individuals invest ment in a brand (Thomson et al., 2005). Accordingly, emotional attachment is expected to predict an individu als behavior better than is commitment. People who are committed to a brand may engage in biased processing (Ahluwalia et al., 2000). Similarly, emotional attachment to a bran d is expected to in fluence processing of information from an attached source and an unfamiliar source. Therefore, it is predicted that the level of emotional attachment to a brand will accentuate the perceived differences between corporate-generated and consumer-generated ad vertisement. MacKenzie and Lutz (1989) found that advertiser credibility affects advertisement credibility, and advertisem ent credibility in turn influences attitude toward the advertisement and brand. Consequently, the following hypothesis is proposed: H2: There is an interaction between the s ource of an advertisement and emotional attachment to a brand. Individuals with high (low ) emotional attachment to a brand will (a) find corporate-generated (consumer-generated) sour ce more credible than they do consumergenerated (corporate-generated) source, demons trate stronger (b) message believability, (c) attitude toward the advertisemen t, (d) attitude toward the brand, and (e) purchase intention in response to corporate-generated (consumer-generat ed) advertisement than they do to consumergenerated (corporate-gene rated) advertisement. A considerable number of studies have f ound a relationship between credibility and attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention (Goldsmith, Lafferty, & Newell, 2000). Many researchers have suggested that perceived source credibility could have an impact on persuasion by biasing cognitive thoughts generated during message processing (Chaiken & Maheswaran, 1994). As higher perceived source credibility can lead to higher perceived message believab ility, it is hypothesized that:

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24 H3: Source credibility positively re lates to message believability. H4: Message believability positively relates to attitude toward the advertisement. Attitude toward the message and attitude toward the advertisement are often necessary conditions for persuasion (Laczniak, Kempf, & Muehling, 1999). In addition, MacKenzie and Lutz (1986) pointed out that attitude toward th e advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intentions are the principle outcomes in st udies of advertising effe ctiveness. Thus, it is hypothesized that: H5: Attitude toward the advertisement positiv ely relates to attitude toward the brand. H6: Attitude toward the brand positiv ely relates to purchase intention. Figure 2-1. Overview of the study Source of advertisement Consumer-generated ad Corporate-generated ad Message believability Attitude toward brand Attitude toward ad Emotional attachment to abrand Source credibility Purchase intention

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25 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Based on th e theoretical concepts review ed, a 2x2 one within-subject (emotional attachment to a brand; high and low) and one between-subject (corporate-generated and consumer-generated advertisement) factorial de sign was employed to test the hypotheses. Prior to the main experiment, a pretest was conducted in a search for the brand most appropriate for the main study. Pretest The purpose of the pretest was to identify a brand that e licited different levels of emotional attachment among the participants. An individual can have an attitude toward a brand without any experiences with it, but at tachment develops over time (T homson et al., 2005). Thus, a real brand was used instead of a fictitious stimulus because interaction between an individual and the brand is a prerequisite to deve lop strong or weak attachment. Brands used in the pretest were selected considering their perceived popularity among college students. The brand that will be used as a stimulus required a well known brand among students since experience with the brand is ne cessary to form emotional attachments. Thus, brand trial was used as a screening question. In addition, the researcher focused on selecting hedonic brands because emotional attachment scores for symbolic or hedonic brands tend to be higher than for low involvement or functional brands. This is due to the fact that the concept of attachment is connected to the self, and symbo lic products are valued for what they say about the self (Thomson et al., 2005, p. 89). In addi tion, Sen and Lerman (2007) suggested that product type moderates the effect of review valence (positive versus negative) on usefulness; consumers are likely to place more weight on negative information and therefore, show a

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26 negativity bias for utilitarian product because th e goal of utilitarian cons umption is to maximize utility. Eight brands that are most liked among co llege students were selected. According to GenX2Z College Brand Study released by Anderson Analytics in October 2007, the most popular brand among 1,000 college students was Appl e iPod (65%). In soft drink category, their favorite brand was Coca-Cola (17%), and Old Navy was the most liked clothing brand (6.9%) (Bulik, 2007). In addition to iPod, Coca-Cola, Ol d Navy, and other brands that may have both brand enthusiasts and brand-haters such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Red Bull, Starbucks, Crocs, and Nike were tested. Procedure In the pretest, 42 subjects ra ted a set of brands on brand awareness, brand experience, brand attitude, and emotional attachment to a brand. Emotional attachment to a brand was measured using a 10-item scale adopted from Thomson et al. (2005). The respondents were asked to describe their feeli ngs about the brand on a scale from 1 (describes poorly) to 7 (describes well). Then the emotional attachment score was calculated by averaging the ten items: affectionate, friendly, loved, peaceful, passionat e, delighted, captivated, connected, bonded, and attached. To avoid fatigue, two questionnaires with four different brands were developed, and the participants were randomly assigne d to one of the questionnaires. Pretest Results Nike (M=4.24) was selected because it exhibi ted the highest standard deviation (1.41) and range (5.10) in em otional attachment among the sample (Table 3-1, Figure 3-1).

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27 Main Study Experimental Design A 2x2 one within-subject (em otional attachme nt; high and low) and one between-subject (corporate-generated and consumer-generated advertisement) factorial design was designed. The experiment involved two versions of the que stionnaire for respondents; one with an advertisement made by the corporate company of a brand (corporate-gene rated) and the other containing the same advertisement attributed to a consumer (consumer-generated). The questionnaire was randomly distribute d among the participating subjects. Participants On the basis of convenience sam pling, undergraduate students attending a large southeastern university were recruited, and an extr a credit was given for their participations in data collection. College students were appropriate sample for this study because they have the purchasing power to keep the brands that they love, which makes them among the most soughtafter segment by marketers. A total of 209 st udents in communications courses voluntarily participated in the study. The participants were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions to review either a corporate-generated or consumer-generated advertisement. Research Stimuli In a f orm of a print advertisement, the stimul us featured a picture of Nike athletic shoes with a logo of Nike brand. The body copy had a description of the product with a positive tone. Since the purpose of the study was to test whether strong attachment to a br and result in a biased processing of an advertisement created by the company of the attached brand, only positive information were used. Defense motivation refers to the desire to hold attitudes and beliefs that are congruent with ones perceived material inte rest or existing self-definitional attitudes and beliefs (Chen & Chaiken, 1999, p. 77). When this defense motivation is high and cognitive

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28 resources are available, defense motivated systematic processing is likely to emerge, characterized by effortful but bi ased scrutiny and evaluation of judgment-relevant information (p. 77). A detailed product desc ription was provided in the a dvertisement for the purpose of examining biased processing. To make the advertisement look similar to a typical Nike ad, the la yout and parts of the body copy were adopted from a previous Nike ca mpaign. To differentiate between a corporategenerated advertisement and a consumer-generat ed advertisement, the corporate-generated advertisement contained an extra line: For more information on Nikes new products, visit www.Nike.com. Manipulation of the source of information was straightforward. Before examining the ad, participants were required to r ead an instruction describing what the advertisement is about and who created it. For the advertisement created by a company, subjects were instructed that as a part of a new campaign, the advertisement was recen tly created by Nike. They were also told that Nike, Inc. is planning to launc h the advertisement next month. For the advertisement created by a consumer, respondents were told, using a free service that allows people to design professional-quality ads of their favorite brands, the advertisement was created and published by a consumer who is an enthusiast of the brand Nike. To make certain that the advertisement was created as intended, the researcher added manipulation check items in the qu estionnaire. First, they were specifically asked to choose the source of the advertisement that they review ed: Nike or a consumer. Second, the respondents were asked to rate the valence of the advertisement towards th e brand Nike using a 10-point semantic differential scale ranging from 1 (unfavorable) to 10 (favorable).

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29 Independent Variables For the purpose of a m anipulation check a nd as one of the independent variables, participants chose the source of advertisemen t (company and consumer) that they reviewed. Emotional attachment to a brand was measured using a 10-item scale adopted from Thomson et al. (2005). The respondents were asked to describe their feelings about th e brand Nike on a scale from 1 (describes poorly) to 7 (describes well) The emotional attachment score was calculated by averaging the ten items: affectionate, frie ndly, loved, peaceful, passionate, delighted, captivated, connected, bonded, and attached. Subj ects were later categorized as high and low emotional attachment groups via a median split. Dependent Variables Five dependent variables were m easured in this study: source credibility, message believability, attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention. The set of items for each construct was aver aged into a single measure for analyses. Using a scale from a past study (Trifts & H ubl, 2003), source cred ibility was measured using a five-item scale composed of undependable/dependable, dishonest/honest, unreliable/reliable, insincere/sinc ere, not trustworthy/trustwort hy. On a 7-point bipolar scale, respondents were asked to rate their perceptions on the source of the advertisement. Message believability was measured using a three 7-point semantic differential scales composed of not at all believable/highly believable, not at all true/absol utely true, not at all acceptable/acceptable (Hallahan, 1999). To measure attitude toward the advertisemen t, the respondents were asked to rate their impressions of the information on a three 7point semantic differential scale (bad/good, unfavorable/favorable, unpleas ant/pleasant) adopted from MacKenzie and Lutz (1989).

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30 Attitude toward the brand was measured by using a four 7-point semantic differential scale. The scale ranged from 1 to 7 with items bad/ good, unfavorable/favorable dislikeable/likeable, and disagreeable/agreeable. Purchase intention was measured using a thr ee 7-point semantic differential scale: very unlikely/very likely, improbable/probable, and impossible/possible (La fferty & Goldsmith, 1999). Covarites Prior brand attitude, produc t involvem ent, and brand knowledge were measured as covariates. These are constructs that have m odest correlations with emotional attachment (Thomson et al., 2005) and thus may influence th e dependent variables. In addition, Xue and Phelps (2004) found that the persuasive eff ects of consumer-generated comments online are moderated by receivers product involvemen t and offline WOM experience, and product knowledge is an important factor in info rmation processing (Park, Lee, & Han, 2007). Brand attitude was measured using a scale that Thomson and colleagues (2005) employed in their study. A four 7-point semantic differential scale ranging from 1 to 7 with items bad/good, unfavorable/favorable, dislikeable/likeable, a nd disagreeable/agreeable were averaged to measure prior brand attitude. Product involvement was measured using Zaichkowskys (1994) reduced personal involvement inventory. Usi ng a 7-point semantic differential sc ale, ten items were measured and averaged for a single measure: unimportant/important, boring/interesting, irrelevant/relevant, unexciting/exciting, means nothing/means a lo t, unappealing/appealing, mundane/fascinating, worthless/valuable, uninvolving/ involving, not needed/needed. For brand knowledge, subjects were asked to rate their opinions on I know very little about Nike and I consider myself informed about Nike using a scale from 1 (strongly

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31 disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) (Lee, 2000). The first item was reverse-coded, and a mean score was computed. Table 3-1. Descriptive statistics for brands included in the pre-test Brand N M S.D. Range iPod 19 4.89 1.07 4.10 Coca-Cola 19 4.84 1.33 4.60 Old Navy 22 4.48 .91 3.40 Abercrombie & Fitch 23 3.61 .97 4.20 Red Bull 23 3.07 1.40 4.80 Starbucks 23 4.67 1.29 5.00 Crocs 18 3.15 1.10 3.70 Nike 19 4.24 1.41 5.10 Figure 3-1. Histogram of emotional atta chment to Nike with normal curve

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32 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Initial Sample Analysis A total of 209 subjects participated in th e study. In the data anal ysis, 2 subjects were elim inated for incomplete responses on a number of questions. All of th e participants had an experience with the brand Nike. Participants perception toward the favorability of the message in the stimuli was checked, and 17 subjects who did not find the information favorable toward the brand (scores from 1 to 5 in a 10-point semantic differential scale) were eliminated. A prior research (Ahluwalia et al., 2000) showed that consumers with different levels of commitment toward a brand respond differently to positive and negative information. Thus, this study focused on only positive information chiefly because it was not appropriate to create a negative advertisement generated by an advertiser. Lastly, participants who misiden tified the source of an advertisement were removed for subsequent anal yses. These participants were either given a consumer-generated advertisement but chose Nike as the source of the advertisement (n=11) or were given a corporate-generated advertisement but chose a consumer as the source of the advertisement (n=10). The total valid sample was 169. The mean score for emotional attachment to Nike was 4.39 with a standard deviation of 1.05 and a range of 6. The scores for emotional a ttachment to the brand were categorized into high and low emotional attachment groups via median split. Those who scored 4.50 and lower (48.5%) were classified as low emotional attachment group ( M =3.60, SD =.88) and participants with 4.60 and higher scores (51.5%) were la beled high emotional attachment group ( M =5.16, SD =.45). The mean difference of the two groups was statistically si gnificant [F(1,167)=213.26, p<.01] (Table 4-1). Table 4-2 shows the number of participants in each of the four conditions.

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33 Data Analysis Sample Profile Am ong 169 valid samples, 35.7% (n=60) were male and 64.3% (n=108) were female with 1 no response on gender. The subjects age ranged from 18 to 29 years old (M =20.17, SD =1.73), but the majority of the participants were between 18 to 22 (92.3%) years old. Reliability Check The results s howed that the scales used in th e study were reliable according to Cronbachs alpha levels. Cronbachs alpha for emotional at tachment to the brand was .89. Reliability measures suggested high internal consistenc y for dependent variables: source credibility (Cronbachs alpha=.88), message believability (Cronbachs al pha=.81), attitude toward the advertisement (Cronbachs alpha=.90), attitude toward the brand (Cronbachs alpha=.95), and purchase intention (Cronbachs alpha=.94). The cova riate measures, prior attitude toward a brand (Cronbachs alpha=.93), produc t involvement (Cronbachs alpha=.91), and brand knowledge (Cronbachs alpha=.76), also had high internal consistency (Table 4-3). Correlation Check To conduct MANCOVA testing, the dependent variables, source credibility, m essage believability, attitude toward an advertisement, attitude toward a brand, and purchase intention, should be conceptually correlated. Pearsons corr elation coefficients s uggested that there are some degree of significant correl ations among the dependent variable s, thus it is appropriate to use MANCOVA (Table 4-4). Covariates While participants brand know ledge was not sta tistically significan t [F(5,158)=.82, p<.05], prior brand attitude [F(5,158) =10.08, p<.05] and product invo lvem ent [F(5,158)=4.09, p<.05]

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34 had statistically significant effects on the depe ndent variables combined. However, these were controlled since they were included in the data as covariates in the following analyses. Hypotheses Testing Hypothesis 1 predicted the effect of the source of an advertisement, and hypothesis 2 tested the interaction effect between the source of an advertisement and the emotional attachment to a brand. To test the main effect and an interact ion effect, this study used MANCOVA with source of information (company-generated and consumer-generated) and emotional attachment (high and low) as the two fixed variables. The a dvantage of performing MANCOVA is that it considers the correlations among the set of dependent variable s, and thus consider them simultaneously. Respondents source credibility message believability, attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention were used as dependent variables. Prior attitude toward the brand, pr oduct involvement, and brand knowledge were used as covariates. Prior to analysis, the assumption of the e quivalence of covariance matrices across the groups was checked. Boxs M test was signifi cant (p=.00), which means that there are differences in the amount of variance of the groups for the dependent variables. However, the violation of equal variance assumption has minima l impact if the groups are of approximately equal size (Hair et al., 2006, p. 409). Since the largest group had 45 samples and the smallest group had 38 samples, the groups are considered relatively equal in sample sizes. Thus, it is appropriate to further interpret the results. The multivariate test result and between-subjects effects based on the individual univariate tests are reported in Tables 4-5 and 4-6.

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35 Source of Information Effect MANCOVA results sh owed that the effect of source of information on all five dependent variables combined was not st atistically signific ant [Wilks Lambda=.972, F(5,158), p>.05]. H1 predicted that a corporat e-generated advertisement is more cr edible than a consumer-generated advertisement. Further univariate analysis indi cated that there was only a marginal difference between two different sources of advertisemen t [F(1, 162)=3.57, p<.10]. As in the predicted direction of H1, corporate-ge nerated advertisement was considered more credible than consumer-generated advertisement. Participants exposed to corporate-generated advertisement ( M =5.28, SD =1.01) exhibited higher source credibility than the particip ants exposed to consumer-generated advertisement ( M =5.10, SD =1.03). Interaction Effect Em otional attachment to a brand was expected to influence the perceived credibility of the source of an advertisement. There was a signi ficant interaction effect [Wilks Lambda=.931, F(5,158)=2.35, p<.05]. Further univ ariate analyses showed that there was a significant interaction effect between the s ource of an advertisement and the emotional attachment to a brand on source credibility [F(1, 162)=9.56, p<.0 5] and message believability [F(1,162)=6.05, p<.05]. As predicted in H2(a), individuals with high emotional attachme nt to the brand found corporate-generated source more credible ( M =5.80, SD =.57) than they did consumer-generated source ( M =5.21, SD =.96), and individuals with low emoti onal attachment to the brand rated consumer-generated source more credible ( M =4.97, SD=1.10) than they did corporate-generated source ( M =4.80, SD=1.09). Also as expected in H2 (b), individuals with high emotional attachment to brand found information in corpor ate-generated advertisem ent more believable ( M =5.27, SD =.87) than they did consume r-generated advertisement ( M =4.89, SD =.93), and individuals with low emotional attachment to brand rated info rmation in consumer-generated

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36 advertisement more believable ( M =4.92, SD =.86) than they did corporate-generated advertisement ( M =4.63, SD =.99). The results of interaction e ffects are shown in Figures 4-1 and 4-2. The results indicated no significant interac tion effect between the source of an advertisement and the emotional attachment to a brand on attitude towa rd the advertisement [F(1,162)=1.64, p>.05], attitude toward the bran d [F(1,162)=1.60, p>.05], and purchase intention [F(1,162)=.15, p>.05]. Thus, hypotheses H2(c), H2(d), and H2(e) were not supported. Effect of Source Credibility on Message Believability H3 expected that source credibility positivel y influences message believability. A simple regression was performed to see how well source credibility explains message believability (Table 4-8). The relationship was statistically significant [F(1, 167)=57.87, p<.01], and indicated that 25.7% of variance in message believability was expl ained by source credibility. Effect of Message Believability on Attitude to ward the Advertisement To inspect the relationship between message believability and at titude toward the advertisement, a bivariate regression was conducte d. As the result shows in Table 4-9, there was a positive relationship between the two variables. The higher message belie vability resulted in more positive attitude toward the advertisem ent. Message believability explained 22% of variance in attitude toward advertisement, and the result was statistically significant [F(1,167)=47.16, p<.01]. Effect of Attitude toward Advertis ement on Attitude toward the Brand Following the previous procedure, 50.6% of variance in attitude toward the brand was explain ed by attitude toward the advertisemen t (Table 4-10). The result was statistically significant [F(1,167)=170.92, p<.01]. Thus, attitu de toward the advertisement positively enhances to attitude toward the brand.

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37 Effect of Attitude toward Brand on Purchase Intention As shown in Table 4-11, attitude toward th e b rand positively affected purchase intention. Attitude toward the brand explained 41.1% of variance in purchase intention, which was statistically significan t [F(1,167)=116.65, p<.01].

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38 Table 4-1. Between-groups comparison of emotional attachment to a brand M SD N F Sig. Low emotional attachment 3.59 .88 83 High emotional attachment 5.16 .45 86 213.26 (1,167) .00* Total 4.39 1.05 169 N=169, *p<.01 Table 4-2. Measured conditions Source Nike Consumer Total Low N=45 N=38 N=83 Emotional attachment High N=41 N=45 N=86 Total N=86 N=83 N=169 Table 4-3. Reliability check Variables Cronbachs alpha Independent variable 1.Emotional attachment .89 1. Source credibility .88 2. Message believability .81 3. Attitude toward advertisement .90 4. Attitude toward brand .95 Dependent variables 5. Purchase intention .94 1. Prior attitude toward brand .93 2. Product involvement .91 Covariates 3. Brand knowledge .76 N=169 Table 4-4. Correlation of dependent variables Source credibility Message believability Attitude toward ad Attitude toward brand Purchase intention Source credibility 1.00 Message believability .51* 1.00 Attitude toward ad .47* .47* 1.00 Attitude toward brand .64* .55* .71* 1.00 Purchase intention .46* .30* .38* .64* 1.00 N=169, *p<.01

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39 Table 4-5. MANCOVA results Effect Wilks Lambda F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. Prior attitude toward brand .76 10.08 5 158 .00* Product involvement .89 4.09 5 158 .00* Brand knowledge .98 .82 5 158 .54 Emotional attachment .96 1.25 5 158 .29 Source .97 .93 5 158 .47 Emotional attachment x source .93 2.35 5 158 .04* N=169, *p<.05 Table 4-6. Between-subjects effects Source Dependent variable SS df MS F Sig. Source credibility 3.01 1 3.01 3.97 .05* Message believability 1.05 1 1.05 1.31 .26 Attitude toward ad 6.64 1 6.64 5.83 .02** Attitude toward brand 21.25 1 21.25 31.44 .00** Prior attitude toward brand Purchase intention 28.12 1 28.12 32.38 .00** Source credibility 9.35 1 9.35 12.33 .00** Message believability 2.58 1 2.58 3.22 .08* Attitude toward ad 1.38 1 1.38 1.21 .27 Attitude toward brand 3.74 1 3.74 5.53 .02** Product involvement Purchase intention 11.08 1 11.08 12.76 .00** Source credibility .76 1 .755 1.00 .32 Message believability 2.75 1 2.747 3.43 .07* Attitude toward ad .10 1 .101 .09 .77 Attitude toward brand .38 1 .375 .56 .46 Brand knowledge Purchase intention .64 1 .642 .74 .39 Source credibility 1.31 1 1.31 1.73 .19 Message believability .41 1 .41 .52 .47 Attitude toward ad 5.16 1 5.16 4.53 .04** Attitude toward brand 3.06 1 3.06 4.53 .04** Emotional attachment Purchase intention 1.56 1 1.56 1.79 .18 Source credibility 2.71 1 2.71 3.57 .06* Message believability .23 1 .23 .29 .59 Attitude toward ad 1.64 1 1.64 1.44 .23 Attitude toward brand 1.02 1 1.02 1.51 .22 Source Purchase intention .04 1 .04 .04 .84 Source credibility 7.25 1 7.25 9.56 .00** Message believability 4.85 1 4.85 6.05 .02** Attitude toward ad 1.87 1 1.87 1.64 .20 Attitude toward brand 1.08 1 1.08 1.60 .21 Emotional attachment x source Purchase intention .13 1 .13 .15 .70 N=169, *p<.10, **p<.05

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40 Table 4-7. Descriptive statistics for measures Dependent variable Source Emotional attachment Mean SD N High 5.80 .57 41 Low 4.80 1.09 45 Nike Total 5.28 1.00 86 High 5.21 .96 45 Low 4.97 1.11 38 Credibility Consumer Total 5.10 1.02 83 High 5.27 .86 41 Low 4.63 .99 45 Nike Total 4.94 .98 86 High 4.89 .93 45 Low 4.92 .86 38 Message believability Consumer Total 4.90 .90 83 High 5.70 .87 41 Low 4.84 1.17 45 Nike Total 5.25 1.12 86 High 5.36 1.02 45 Low 4.86 1.33 38 Attitude toward ad Consumer Total 5.13 1.19 83 High 6.16 .70 41 Low 5.26 1.03 45 Nike Total 5.69 .99 86 High 5.96 .83 45 Low 5.29 1.33 38 Attitude toward brand Consumer Total 5.65 1.13 83 High 6.23 .88 41 Low 5.35 1.41 45 Nike Total 5.77 1.26 86 High 6.35 .74 45 Low 5.45 1.53 38 Purchase intention Consumer Total 5.85 1.25 83

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41 Table 4-8. Source credibility-message believabil ity, result of bivariat e linear regression, Effect B Beta t Sig. (Constant) 2.49 7.67 .00 Source credibility .47 .51 7.61 .00 Dependent variable: Message believability N=169, R=.51, R=.26, F(1, 167)=57.87*, *p<.01 Table 4-9. Message believability-Aad, re sult of bivariate linear regression Effect B Beta t Sig. (Constant) 2.35 5.59 .00 Message believability .58 .47 6.87 .00 Dependent variable: Attitude toward advertisement N=169, R=.47, R=.22, F(1, 167)=47.16*, *p<.01 Table 4-10. Aad-Ab, result of bivariate linear regression Effect B Beta t Sig. (Constant) 2.28 8.56 .00 Attitude toward advertisement .65 .71 13.07 .00 Dependent variable: Attitude toward brand N=169, R=.71, R=.51, F(1, 167)=170.92*, *p<.01 Table 4-11. Ab-PI, result of bivariate linear regression Effect B Beta t Sig. (Constant) 1.55 3.82 .00 Attitude toward brand .76 .64 10.80 .00 Dependent variable: Purchase intention N=169, R=.64, R=.41, F(1, 167)=116.65*, *p<.01

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42 Figure 4-1. Significant inte raction effect (Source Emotional attachment) on source credibility Figure 4-2. Significant inte raction effect (Source Emotional attachment) on message believability

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43 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This study had two prim ary objectives. Fi rst, this study sough t to understand how consumers respond to two different sources (authors) of message, a company and a consumer. Attachment refers to how loyal an individual is toward an object. In this respect, a consumers attachment to a brand can form a tie between the consumer and the company (brand). This tie can result in the biased processing of informa tion because an attached individual seeks to maintain proximity to the attachment figure (Mik ulincer, Shaver, & Pereg, 2003). Attachment to a brand is expected to influen ce the credibility of the source of an advertisement so that consumers attached to a brand find it or the company that produced it credible. Brand attachment is believed to be reflected in consumer message be lievability, attitude toward an advertisement, attitude toward a bran d, and purchase intention. Hence, the second goal of this study was to identify the relationship between the credibility of the source of an advertisement and the level of emotional attachment to a brand. Specifically, consumers who are emotionally attached to a brand were anticipat ed to find information from a company more credible compared than information from a consumer and consumers not emotionally attached to a brand were anticipated to find information from a consumer more credible than information from a company. From a practical perspective, em otionally attached consumers are important to marketers because they exhibit loyalty to the brand and are willing to pay a price premium to obtain it (Thomson et al., 2005). The study participants were exposed to an adve rtisement created by either a consumer or a company. To make certain that any perceptiona l differences were solely due to the source (author) of the advertisement, both advertisem ents had an identical layout and display an

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44 identical brand logo, visual illustration of the pr oduct, and text. However, the description of the authorship of the advertisement given befo re its review varied for each condition. The research found a marginal difference betwee n the source credibility (trustworthiness) of a consumer-generated and a corporate-generate d advertisement. Overall, the participants of perceived a message from a company as more credible than a message from a consumer. Interestingly, the effect of the source of the a dvertisement on credibility was affected by the level of emotional attachment to the brand. The hi ghly emotionally attached group found the company information more credible than they did the co nsumer information whereas the less emotionally attached group found the consumer information more credible than they did the company information. Likewise, message believability va ried according to th e level of emotional attachment to the brand. Those highly attached to the brand believed more strongly in information from the company than in informati on from the consumer. Thus, the results of this experiment confirmed that emotional attachment to a brand can be a modera tor of the credibility of the source of an advertisement and message be lievability. However, the interaction effect of emotional attachment to the brand and the s ource of an advertisement was not found to significantly affect attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention. The results of a series of simple regression an alyses showed that source credibility has a significant effect on message believability and messa ge believability in turn influences attitude toward an advertisement. Therefore, it is suggest ed that higher perceived source credibility leads to higher message believability, and higher messa ge believability results in stronger attitude toward the advertisement. In accordance with the dual-mediat ion hypothesis (MacKenzie, Lutz,

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45 and Belch, 1986), attitude toward the advertisement influenced attitude toward the brand, and attitude toward the brand in fluenced purchase intention. General Discussion The dynam ic media environment is providing new opportunities for interaction between advertisers and consumers. While numerous pr actitioners have put forth opinions on the differential effects of consumer-generated conten t as a type of an advertisement (Garfield, 2005; Nutley, 2007a; Nutley, 2007b), few researchers ha ve empirically sought to determine how consumers perceive traditional corporate-gene rated advertisements compared to consumergenerated advertisements. In this study, emotional attachment to a bra nd was examined as one of the factors that affect how consumers perceive two sources of advertisements in different ways. Bowlby (1980) suggested that the desire to ma ke strong emotional attachments to particular others is a basic human need (as cited in Thomson et al., 2005). The bond formed through such an attachment is beyond ones volitional control (Thomson et al ., 2005, p. 79). The most important finding of this study is that stronger attachment to a bra nd can bias individual pe rception of the message created by the company of the brand in a positive direction. Thus, this study contributes to the literature of advertising pro cessing chiefly by investigating how the concept of emotional attachment can be applied to a dvertising perception. A dvertisers seeking to reach their audiences more effectively and efficiently must understa nd how consumers process their advertisements and information. Regarding the study hypotheses, Hypothesis 1 was supported. The data showed that there is a marginal main effect of source of inform ation on source credibility, with company-generated advertisement perceived as more credible than consumer-generated advertisement. This finding supports Flanagin and Metzgers (2007) study th at found that information originating from a

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46 media organization is considered re latively more credible than is information from an individual on a personal Web site. The reason is that information from an organization is usually the result of rigorous fact-checking whereas information from an individual is not quite representative of others views. Hypothesis 2 was only partially supported. Th e interaction effect of the source of information and emotional attachment to a bra nd on source credibility and message believability were supported. Above of all, this result supports pr ior studies that demonstrated that the strength of credibility is susceptible to different indivi dual factors. On the other hand, the interaction effect on attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention were not supported. The results imply that the so urce of information and emotional attachment to a brand do not have a direct effect on attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention. A lthough the information presented in the advertisement provided a strong positive message about th e product, the source and emotiona l attachment did not affect the overall perception of the advertisement. This may be explained by the fact many other factors may influence consumers perception to ward an advertisement or the brand. In particular, while a real brand was used in this study for various reasons, the stimulus ad might have not fulfilled what is expected of the Nike brand. Despite its potential impact on the general pub lic, an advertisement is not perceived as credible as is publicity when the two are comp ared side by side. Thus, another possible reason that source credibility and emotional attachment to a brand were not found to have an effect on some of the dependent measures is because co nsumers in general do not believe that their attitudes could change simply by exposure to one advertisement.

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47 As did the current study, Lafferty and Goldsmith (2004) found that corporate credibility is not related to purchase intention; corporate credibility influences attitude toward the brand but does not positively influence purchase intention. They argued that when making a purchase decision, the strength of the information about the product and its features play a critical role, to a great extent than the cred ibility of the company (Lafferty & Goldsmith, 2004, p. 33). Hypothesis 3, source credibility predicts messa ge believability and Hypothesis 4, message believability predicts attitude toward an advertisement, were supported. When attitude toward the advertisement was regressed on message belie vability, the results showed that message believability positively increases attitude toward the advertisement. This is in accordance with the theoretical framework suggested by Fishbein and Ajzen that proposes individuals are more likely to accept message claims presented by a highly credible source (Goldberg & Hartwick, 1990). Hypothesis 5, attitude toward an advertisement predicts a ttitude toward a brand and Hypothesis 6, attitude toward a br and predicts purchase intenti on, were also supported. The study results demonstrated the strong a nd highly predictable relationships between attitude toward an advertisement, attitude toward a brand, and purchas e intention. An important implication of these findings is that if considered credible among consumers, explicitly revealing the source of an advertisement or information may be a means to increase message believability in an authorless environment. Managerial Implications The W eb 2.0 platform permits much interact ion between companies and consumers and among consumers themselves. With this consider ation, it is anticipated that collaboration between consumers and companies in content crea tion will be one of the key trends that will have a substantial impact on the future busine ss and the economy (Manyika, Roberts, & Sprague,

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48 2007). In comparison with publicity, advertising is considered a marketing communication activity controlled by an advertiser. However, CG C, especially content that resembles typical forms of advertising, is blurring the boundaries of traditional concept of advertising. The immediate implication of this study is th at advertisers should understand the impact of CGC compared to that of their advertisements. In particular, a company can be to some extent free of concerns about dispersi on of uncontrollable information. Wh en presented with the same advertisement (information) about a brand, study participants attached to the brand (brand loyalists) found company information more trus tworthy than they did consumer information. This is because the stronger ones attachment to an object, the more likely one is to maintain proximity to the object (Thomson et al., 2005). Alternatively, individu als with weak emotional attachme nt to the brand regarded the consumer-generated advertisement as more credible and its message more believable than that of the corporate-generated advertisement. This fi nding suggests that emotional attachment to a brand can be used as a criterion when segmen ting consumers. Highly emotionally attached consumers are brand loyalists while less emoti onally attached consumer s are individuals who have experienced the brand but not yet formed a strong bond with it, and thus brand loyalists. Thus, this finding may have a substantial impact on how advertisers target their advertisements to different segments of consumers. In the realm of this study, when developing a strategic plan for a relatively new product of a brand to which few consumers have a strong emotional attachment, it is recommended that marketers include the development and use of CGC. Creating brand communities and encouraging consumers to create advertisemen ts for brands can draw consumers who do not have a strong interaction with the brand. However, the findings of this study suggest that CGC

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49 may not be appropriate for consumers already st rongly attached to a br and (brand loyalists). Instead, company-generated advert ising messages should be directed at brand loyalists because the companys words are important to them. Limitations and Future Research A num ber of study limitations need to be noted. First, this study focused only on trustworthiness as an indicator of perceived source credibility. Nan (2007) argued that when an advertisement is used as a stimulus, perceive d trustworthiness have a significant effect on persuasion. This study confirmed that source credibility (trustworthi ness) has a significant effect on message believability, and message believability influences attitude toward an advertisement. Nevertheless, when interpreting th e results of this study, caution mu st be taken because expertise was not considered as a dime nsion of source credibility. Secondly, 18% of the collected responses had to be eliminated from the data analysis because they were received from subjects who had either misidentified the sources of the advertisement or found the adver tising message unfavorable toward the brand. To avoid this setback, a more pronounced way of manipulating s ources of information should be identified. In this particular study, the partic ipants were not informed dir ectly about the source of the advertisement that they were to review in order to create as natural a setting as possible. Instead, the source was only reported in the questionnaire in the description of the advertisement. If the participants had been specifically told by a proctor that they were to review an advertisement created by a specific source, fewer participants may have incorrectly identified a consumergenerated advertisement as a corporate-genera ted advertisement and a corporate-generated advertisement as a consumer-generated advertisem ent. In turn, the results might have shown a more significant difference between the two s ources. In addition, while an item asking the favorability of the advertisement toward the br and was added because the purpose of this study

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50 was to only examine positive valence of informa tion, a different scale could have reduced the portion of subjects who were taken out from th e study for rating the advertisement unfavorable toward the brand. For example, a scale measurin g positivity and negativity of the advertisement could be used. While the researchers intention was to examine positive information toward the brand, favorability of information was more of an attitudinal construct. Thus, subjects who are skeptical about advertising in ge neral is likely to rate any ad vertisement unfavorable toward a brand. Third, emotional attachment was measured wi th a real brand with which all of the participants were familiar. Based on a pretest, the Nike brand was chosen because it showed a wide range and relatively not too high or low mean average among the sample. The advantage of this is that the brand can be constant across both high and low emotiona l attachment conditions (Thomson et al., 2005) and thus enhance the external validity of this research. However, it is possible that some confoundi ng variables were overlooked. Fourth, according to Boxs M test, the homos cedasticity assumption among the groups was violated. In spite of this result, the researcher determined that th e impact of this breach of the assumption was minimal because the four groups contained a similar number of samples and because many dependent variables were involved in the analyses. Nonetheless, it is necessary to check for univariate normality of all dependent measures and further investigate which group had unequal variance. Fifth, emotional attachment to the brand was measured using the brand Nike yet the researcher did not specify whether the brand refe rred to the company Nike or a specific product of Nike. In the advertisement, a specific product of Nike (athletic shoes) was used. Thomson et al. (2005) suggested that an em pirical study examining whether th e level of the brand (corporate

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51 brand versus individual product br and) is relevant to the leve l of emotional attachment is necessary. Thus, there is a possibili ty that the level of the brand influenced how the participants processed the advertisements. Lastly, only college students participated in the study. Although this was an exploratory study seeking to explain the relati onship between emotional attachment to a brand and credibility regarding different sources of information, the use of a non-representative sample limits the interpretation of the findi ngs to the general population. Based on the findings and limitations of the cu rrent study, several initiatives for future research in the current area are suggested. First, since this study was limited to only one brand, future studies should employ differe nt brands in differe nt product categories to examine whether the findings of this study can be generalized to other brands. Second, future studies should investigate whether produc t category and product at tributes have an impact on the relationships examined in this study. In a study proposing inte ractions between source characteristics and product category, Lynch and Schuler (1994) found th at the source (spokespe rson) is effective when its characteristics are matched with product attributes. Similarly, emotional attachment to the brand of a hedonic product may have a stronger effect on the source when an affective rather than cognitive message is given. Third, the effect of the valence of the message in the advertisement was not explored due to the limitations imposed by the simple research design of the study. The next stage in research on how emotional attachment to a brand affects consumers information processing could be exploration of the valence effect. Information may be positive, ne gative, or neutral. In particular, advertising, publicity, and all other information available online has a valence and the receiver of the messages may respond differently. As prior re search on commitment has demonstrated that

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52 high-commitment consumers counterargue negative information more than they do positive information (Ahluwalia, Burnkrant, & Unnava, 2000), the level of emoti onal attachment should influence how consumers respond to the valence of the message. Therefore, research comparing negative and positive consumer-generated advertisements and two-sided messages of corporate advertisements is suggested. Lastly, future study should examine cross-cultu ral differences on the emotional attachment to a brand and its potential e ffect on processing advertisements For example, sensory brand images are more emphasized in countries with high power distance orientation while functional brand images are more effective in low pow er distance countries (Roth, 1995). Thus, the emotional attachment to a brand, which reflects affect-based relationship between a consumer and a brand, may be more apparent in high th an in low cultural power distance environments.

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53 APPENDIX A EXPERIMENT STIMULI Consumer-Generated Advertisement AdDesigner.com is a free service that allows you to design professional-quality ads for your favorite brands. Using this service, the followi ng advertisement was created and published by a consumer who is an enthusia st of the brand. >>>Please read the ad CAREFULLY and answer the following questions.<<< www.AdDesigner.com

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54 Corporate-Generated Advertisement As a part of their new campaign, the follo wing advertisement was recently created by Nike Nike, Inc. is planning to launch the ad next month. >>>Please read the ad CAREFULLY and answer the following questions.<<< Nike, Inc.

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55 APPENDIX B QUESTIONNAIRE Please read the following questions carefully, an d check one choice from the scale that most closely reflects your opinion or feeling. 1. Have you ever used a product from Nike? (1) Yes (2) No (If (2) No, STOP. Ask for assistance.) 2. How do you feel about the brand Nike? Bad (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Good Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Favorable Dislikeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Likeable Disagreeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Agreeable 3. To me, the brand Nike is: Unimportant (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Important Boring (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Interesting Irrelevant (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Relevant Unexciting (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Exciting Means nothing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Means a lot Unappealing (1) (2) (3) (4 ) (5) (6) (7) Appealing Mundane (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Fascinating Worthless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Valuable Uninvolving (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Involving Not needed (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Needed

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56 4. 5. How do the following adjectives describe the brand Nike? describes poorly describes very well Affectionate (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Friendly (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Loved (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Peaceful (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Passionate (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Delighted (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Captivated (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Connected (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Bonded (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Attached (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Strongly disagree Strongly agree I know very little about Nike (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) I consider myself informed about Nike(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

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57 Please read the following questions carefully, an d check one choice from the scale that most closely reflects your opinion or feeling. 6. Have you ever used Google? (1) Yes (2) No (If (2) No, STOP. Go to next page.) 7. How do you feel about the brand Google? Bad (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Good Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Favorable Dislikeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Likeable Disagreeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Agreeable 8. How do the following adjectives describe the brand Google? describes poorly describes very well Affectionate (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Friendly (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Loved (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Peaceful (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Passionate (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Delighted (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Captivated (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Connected (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Bonded (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Attached (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

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58 (One of the experiment stimuli goes here)

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59 Instructions: The following questionnaire asks you to i ndicate your opinion about the ad that you just saw. If necessary, please go back to previous page to see the ad again. 9. Please check one. The ad was created by : (1) Nike, Inc. (2) A consumer of Nike 10. How favorable or unfavorable was the advertisement towards Nike? Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) Favorable 11. How would you rate the source (i.e., a consumer of Nike/the company Nike) of the information? Undependable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Dependable Dishonest (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Honest Unreliable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Reliable Insincere (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Sincere Not trustworthy (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Trustworthy Not an expert (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Expert Inexperienced (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Experienced Unknowledgeable (1) (2) (3) (4 ) (5) (6) (7) Knowledgeable Unqualified (1) (2) (3) (4 ) (5) (6) (7) Qualified Unskilled (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Skilled 12. How did you find the advertisement ? Bad (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Good Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Favorable Unpleasant (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Pleasant

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60 13. The information in the advertisement is: Not at all believable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Highly believable Not at all true (1) (2) (3) (4 ) (5) (6) (7) Absolutely true Not at all acceptable (1) (2) (3 ) (4) (5) (6) (7) Acceptable 14. After reviewing the ad how do you feel about the brand Nike? Bad (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Good Unfavorable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Favorable Dislikeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Likeable Disagreeable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Agreeable 15. Would you consider buying Nike the next time you purch ase sports-related product? Very unlikely (1) (2) (3) (4 ) (5) (6) (7) Very likely Improbable (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Probable Impossible (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Possible 16. What is your gender? (1) Male (2) Female 17. What is your age? ( ) years old Thank you for your participation. Debriefing Statement The ad in this study was fictional. Although it was created only for the purpose of this study, the message in the ad was based on facts.

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61 LIST OF REFERENCES Ahluwalia, R., Burnkrant, R. E., & Unnava, H. R. (2000). Consum er response to negative publicity: The moderating role of commitment. Journal of Marketing Research 37(2), 203-214. Ahluwalia, R., Unnava, H. R., & Burnkrant, R. E. (2001). The moderating role of commitment on the spillover effect of marketing communications. Journal of Marketing Research 38(4), 458-470. Appiah, O. (2007). The effectiven ess of typical-user testimonia l advertisements on black and white browsers evaluations of products on co mmercial websites: Do they really work? Journal of Advertising Research, 47(1), 14-27. Bailey, A. A. (2005). Consumer awareness and use of product review websites. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 6(1), 90-108. Ball, A. D., & Tasaki, L. H. (1992). The role and measurement of attachment in consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 1(2), 155-172. Bulik, B. S. (2007, October 8). Apple, Facebook tops for college students. Advertising Age, 12. Burgoon, J. K., Bonito, J. A., Bengtsson, B., Ce derberg, C., Lundeberg, M., & Allspach, L. (2000). Interactivity in humancomputer interaction: A study of credibility, understanding, and influence. Computers in Human Behavior, 16(6), 553-574. Chaiken, S., & Maheswaran, D. (1994). Heuristic processing can bias systematic processing: Effects of source credibility, argument ambi guity, and task importance on attitude judgment. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 66(3), 460-473. Chen, S., & Chaiken, S. (1999). The heuristic-sys tematic model in its broader context. In Chaiken, S. & Trope, Y., Dual-Process Theori es in Social Psychology (pp. 73-96). New York: The Guilford Press. Dean, D. H., & Biswas, A. (2001). Third-part y organization endorsement of products: An advertising cue affecting consumer pre purchase evaluation of goods and services. Journal of Advertising, 30(4), 41-57. Desai, K. K., & Raju, S. (2007). Adverse influence of brand commitment on consideration of and preference for competing brands. Psychology & Marketing 24(7), 595-614. Dwyer, F. R., Shurr, P. H., & Oh, S. ( 1987). Developing buyer-seller relationships. Journal of Marketing 51(2), 11-27. Eastman, D. (2007, February 15). Why this Supe r Bowl was no watershed for UGC advertising. New Media Age 19.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Yeuseung Kim is from Seoul, Korea. She earne d a Bachelor of Adve rtising and Public Relations and a minor in business administrati on at Chung-Ang University in Korea. After graduation in February 2004, Yeuseung worked as an assistant researcher at Korea Advertisers Association (KAA) for 2 years. While working at KAA, she found interests in media effects and consumer behavior, which propelled her to unde rgo further studies in the United States. She joined the Master of Advertising program at the University of Florida in fall 2006. In fall 2008, she will pursue doctoral study at the Sc hool of Journalism a nd Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She plans to continue her research in advertising especially on how brands and new media a ffect consumers information processing and consumers perceptions on different advertising media platforms.