In the context of influencer marketing, this study examines the effects of explicit advertising disclosure on consumers' inference regarding influencers' sincere recommendation intent, and its consequences for consumers' purchase intentions.
In Study 1, participants were randomly assigned to the conditions of explicit advertising disclosure (e.g. #AD, #Sponsored) and subtle advertising disclosure (e.g. #ThankYou), and indicated their inference regarding influencers' recommendation motives and their own purchase intentions. One-way ANOVA analysis reveals the effect of advertising disclosure on consumers' purchase intentions and the PROCESS model indicates the mediating role of consumers' inferences regarding influencers' sincere recommendation intent. In Study 2, we implemented a 2 (explicit vs. subtle advertising disclosure) × 2 (moderate vs. large size of followers) between-subjects design, using a two-way ANOVA analysis. We analyzed the moderated mediation effect via the PROCESS model.
Consumers are less inclined to purchase products when influencers express explicit advertising disclosures, compared to when the advertising disclosures are subtle (Study 1). These negative effects of advertising disclosure can be caused by consumers' inferences regarding influencers' sincere recommendation intent in terms of posting content (Studies 1 and 2). Additionally, the negative effect is particularly prominent when an influencer has a large (vs. moderate) number of followers (Study 2).
By examining (1) the effects of explicit advertising disclosure on consumers' inference regarding influencers' persuasion motives and (2) the role of the influencer's number of followers, this research provides both theoretical and practical insights for understanding how best to implement influencer marketing.
Han, H., Yi, J., Jun, S. and Ahn, S. (2021), "How do followers infer the motives behind an influencer's advertising disclosures?", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 1159-1174. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-06-2019-0397
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