IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

What's Advertising Content Worth? Evidence from a Consumer Credit Marketing Field Experiment

  • Marianne Bertrand

    (University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and Jameel Poverty Action Lab)

  • Sendhil Mullainathan

    (University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and Jameel Poverty Action Lab)

  • Dean Karlan

    ()

    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Eldar Shafir

    (Princeton University, Innovations for Poverty Action, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and Jameel Poverty Action Lab)

  • Jonathan Zinman

    (Dartmouth College and Innovations for Poverty Action)

Registered author(s):

    Firms spend billions of dollars each year advertising consumer products in order to influence demand. Much of these outlays are on the creative design of advertising content. Creative content often uses nuances of presentation and framing that have large effects on consumer decision making in laboratory studies. But there is little field evidence on the effect of advertising content as it compares in magnitude to the effect of price. We analyze a direct mail field experiment in South Africa implemented by a consumer lender that randomized creative content and loan price simultaneously. We find that content has significant effects on demand. There is also some evidence that the magnitude of content sensitivity is large relative to price sensitivity. However, it was difficult to predict which particular types of content would significantly impact demand. This fits with a central premise of psychology— context matters— and highlights the importance of testing the robustness of laboratory findings in the field.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp968.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 968.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:968
    Contact details of provider: Postal: PO Box 8269, New Haven CT 06520-8269
    Phone: (203) 432-3610
    Fax: (203) 432-3898
    Web page: http://www.econ.yale.edu/

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Haigh, Michael S. & List, John A., 2002. "Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 28554, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    2. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    3. Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Saving, Fungibility, and Mental Accounts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 193-205, Winter.
    4. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
    5. Dean S. Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Observing Unobservables: Identifying Information Asymmetries with a Consumer Credit Field Experiment," Working Papers 911, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    6. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Elasticities of Demand for Consumer Credit," Working Papers 926, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    7. Laibson, David I., 2000. "A Cue-Theory of Consumption," Scholarly Articles 4481496, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Observing unobservables: identifying information asymmetries with a consumer-credit field experiment," Proceedings 961, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672, May.
    10. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
    11. John Liechty & Min Ding & Rajdeep Grewal, 2005. "Incentive-aligned conjoint analysis," Framed Field Experiments 00139, The Field Experiments Website.
    12. Fehr, Ernst & Götte, Lorenz, 2004. "Do Workers Work More When Wages Are High? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 1002, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," Scholarly Articles 3043406, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    14. Malmendier, Ulrike M. & Della Vigna, Stefano, 2003. "Contract Design and Self Control: Theory and Evidence," Research Papers 1801, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    15. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
    16. Nava Ashraf & Dean S. Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2005. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," Working Papers 917, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    17. Alan Gerber & Anton Orlich & Jennifer Smith, 2003. "Self-prophecy effects and voter turnout: An experimental replication," Natural Field Experiments 00333, The Field Experiments Website.
    18. Fitzsimons, Gavan J & Shiv, Baba, 2001. " Nonconscious and Contaminative Effects of Hypothetical Questions on Subsequent Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 224-38, September.
    19. John A. List, 2003. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," NBER Working Papers 9736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Andreas Lange & Craig Landry & John List & Michael Price & Nicholas Rupp, 2006. "Toward an understanding of the economics of charity: Evidence from a field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00292, The Field Experiments Website.
    21. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2002. "Wealth Accumulation and the Propensity to Plan," NBER Working Papers 8920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens, 2003. "What You Don't Know Can't Help You: Pension Knowledge and Retirement Decision Making," NBER Working Papers 10185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71, February.
    24. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Elasticities of demand for consumer credit," Natural Field Experiments 00280, The Field Experiments Website.
    25. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
    26. Itamar Simonson & Ziv Carmon & Suzanne O'Curry, 1994. "Experimental Evidence on the Negative Effect of Product Features and Sales Promotions on Brand Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 23-40.
    27. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
    28. Mandel, Naomi & Johnson, Eric J, 2002. " When Web Pages Influence Choice: Effects of Visual Primes on Experts and Novices," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 235-45, September.
    29. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
    30. Jonathan Zinman, 2004. "Why use debit instead of credit? Consumer choice in a trillion-dollar market," Staff Reports 191, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    31. Eugenio J. Miravete, 2003. "Choosing the Wrong Calling Plan? Ignorance and Learning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 297-310, March.
    32. Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Richard Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
    34. Ganzach, Yoav & Karsahi, Nili, 1995. "Message framing and buying behavior: A field experiment," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 11-17, January.
    35. Morwitz, Vicki G & Johnson, Eric J & Schmittlein, David C, 1993. " Does Measuring Intent Change Behavior?," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 46-61, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:968. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Louise Danishevsky)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.