The paper aims to determine the effectiveness of specific online advertisements, comparing banner ads that are brand‐reinforcing versus ones that are product‐reinforcing.
The research uses three experimental design studies to empirically test the hypotheses based on the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) by manipulating type of online banner advertisement (brand‐type versus product‐type) and measuring individual need for cognition (NFC).
Consumers high in NFC recall product‐type banner ads more readily than those low in NFC, while brand‐type banner ads are more likely to be recalled by low‐NFC consumers. However, high‐NFC consumers recall brand‐type ads under all situational influences tested. And while consumers low in NFC recall product‐type banner ads featuring a directive better than their high‐NFC counterparts, they do not recall directive ads at a greater rate than high‐NFC consumers recall brand‐type ads.
While previous research has found that variations in ad size, color, interactivity, and web site location affect recall, this research only measured static banner ads that appear at the top of the page. However, because it is the first to examine involvement in terms of NFC in combination with brand‐ and product‐type ads, the research sheds new light on consumer awareness of two types of banner ad strategies adopted by marketing managers today.
In an online context, the type of banner ads used by marketing managers should be paired with the web site based on how much time consumers spend at the site and how many pages they click through at the site. All things being equal, however, managers should favor brand‐type banner ads over product‐type banner ads.
The research extends understanding of ELM as it relates to type of banner ad while establishing a potential research stream for better understanding of how consumers process various types of online ads. At the same time, it provides new evidence that can help marketing managers make better strategic decisions regarding their online marketing mix.
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