Information or Persuasion? An Empirical Investigation of the Effect of Advertising on Brand Awareness and Perceived Quality using Panel Data
We investigate the dominant role of advertising - whether it provides information or changes consumers' brand perceptions - for a wide range of product categories. For the empirical analysis, we assembled a panel data set that combines annual brand-level advertising expenditures for over three hundred brands with measures of brand awareness and perceived quality from a large-scale consumer survey. Advertising is modeled as a dynamic investment in a brand's stocks of awareness and perceived quality and we ask how such an investment changes brand awareness and quality perceptions. Our panel data allow us to control for unobserved heterogeneity across brands and to identify the effect of advertising from the time-series variation within brands. They also allow us to account for the endogeneity of advertising through recently developed dynamic panel data estimation techniques. We find that advertising has consistently a significant positive effect on brand awareness but no significant effect on perceived quality.
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