An Eye for an Eye: Impact of Sequelization and Comparison in Advertisements on Consumer’s Perception of Brands
In this paper we demonstrate that the positive effects of comparative advertising are significantly diluted when a compared-to brand retaliates. Retaliation introduces sequencing in advertisements. We therefore evaluate sequelized advertisements (both comparative and noncomparative) alongside comparative advertisements and ordinary advertisements. We show that, given no threat of comparative advertising from competitors, sequelizing a popular advertisement may be as potent as comparative advertising, in terms of improving consumers’ recall as well as preference for the sponsored brand. Furthermore, an advertisement message may be directed at core benefits (and/or attributes) that a brand promises, or at a stylized theme or storyline that use peripheral cues to indirectly convey the brand’s deliverables. We incorporate this dimension of communication focus and conclude that while comparative advertisements are more effective with objective messages, noncomparative sequelized advertisements work better with thematic or story based messages.
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