This paper is a summary of the Keynote Address at the American Academy of Advertising (AAA) Asia-Pacific Conference in Beijing, China, May, 2009.
The author contends the teaching of advertising around the world is caught in a time warp, i.e. old concepts which are no longer relevant in a dramatically changed and changing world. Blame for the current situation is placed on (a) out-of-date advertising concepts, structures and methodologies, (b) an inherent western bias in most advertising literature, thus limiting its practicality, (c) a peer-review, publishing system which restricts and constrains advancements in advertising thought, and, (d) reliance on so-called “scientific method” in a dynamic and continuously evolving system.
Five basic questions are raised: (1) is more than one advertising approach possible?, (2) is scientific inquiry the best mode?, (3) is rational, Aristotelian inquiry the only norm?, (4) is everything quantifiable? and (5) is there a better way?
A call for an industry-wide investigation of the issues is made.
Measuring the effectiveness of business communication is traditionally the basic problem of the activity of total business communication. The present contribution presents an innovative solution to this problem, based on the use of the methodology of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Using this method, on the basis of a “conceptual construct” which epitomizes the elements and processes affecting a system of communication, the connections between complex “dimensions” (latent factors) of the affected phenomenon, causally connected, are analyzed and assessed in an integrated way (Path Analysis). This yields a measurement of the effectiveness of the communication activity for a product. The total model of analysis and evaluation of the effects of the advertisement developed consists of: a) two “measurement” sub-models (outer model), which defi ne the relations between the manifest variables (items presented in the questionnaire to record the assessments of consumers concerning various aspects of the product) and the latent variables, obtained by Factor Analysis; b) a sub-model of “structural equations” (inner model), which defi nes the linear causal links between the various “dimensions” of the phenomenon studied and makes it possible to measure the effects of the independent latent factors on the latent dependent variables. The study evaluates, in terms of a chain of cause-effect relationships, the intensity of the effects, direct and indirect (expressed by the coeffi cients of regression and, for ease of interpretation, as percentages) exerted by the different variables “observed” (items in the questionnaire) and by thecorresponding “latent” variables (“dimensions”) on the “act of purchase” (Key Performance Indicator- KPI) of the product considered in the illustrative application of the SEM methodology. With regard to the conceptual model of consumer behavior subtending the application of the SEM methodology, in the paper a hierarchical relationship is hypothesized between the “perception” of the properties of the product, the “preference” for it, and its “purchase” (variable-objective), in accordance with the paradigm: perception-preference-purchase . The conceptual construct, analyzed using the structural model, employs as experimental data the judgments of evaluation assigned on the questionnaire by a probabilistic sample of consumers concerning the properties of a consumer product (a brand of drink). In order to establish this evaluation, a conventional ranking was adopted of an “ordinal” nature, suitably converted in the present contribution into a psychometric scale with equal intervals, suited to understanding the true psychological continuum of the subjective evaluations of the interviewee and to render effectively applicable the SEM methodology by “quantitative” variables. The goodness of fi t of the total model estimated was ascertained on the basis of the statistical tests typical of the SEM methodology. The software used in the application was “Sepath” by StatisticaTm from StatSoft.
This article is a critical analysis of three Hong Kong television commercials of personal loans for credit card debts that target at young adults. Through semiotic analyses, the study examines the consumption values and ideology embedded in the advertisements. In the commercials, credit card debts were portrayed as bombs, stains, and physical loads, respectively. All the three commercials emphasized that credit card debts could be solved instantly and painlessly by using the advertised products. Analyses found that the symbols adopted tend to trivialize the credit card debt problem and attribute it merely to carelessness in money management. Seeking help from financial institutions were shown as being more effective than help from personal sources due to the latter’s lack of expertise, accountability, and empathy. Possible consumer socialization on adolescents generated by the commercials, implications for personal finance companies, and directions for future studies are discussed.
Looking at the market-to-book ratio of stock quoted companies reveals that the major part of a firm’s value is based on intangible assets. Corporate reputation has frequently been denoted as the most valuable intangible asset, not least because of its strong exclusiveness and irreplicability.
Though there is a universal agreement on its importance, a consensus on its measurement is far from being achieved. In 2004, a comprehensive measurement and explanation model was suggested by Schwaiger (2004), based on prior research, qualitative studies and a large multinational data set, conceptualizing corporate reputation as an attitudinal construct and splitting it into an affective and a cognitive component. The model has shown a signifi cant goodness off it within Western cultures, which triggers us to extend the model to different countries with different cultures. Since China is becoming an indispensable part of the world market and because ever more foreign companies are entering this market, corporate reputation management in China seems promising. Our empirical study in the Chinese context shows the applicability of our model in China as well.