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Investors’ reactions to company advertisements: the persuasive effect of product-featuring ads

Jaakko Aspara (Department of Marketing, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland and Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland)
Amitav Chakravarti (Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK AND University of California, Riverside, California, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 11 May 2015




This article aims to focus on product-featuring advertising targeted to stock investors – that is, ads that provide investors with impressions about the company’s products, over and above financial information. The purpose is to explicate and test the psychological mechanisms by which such ads may exert influence on investors.


An experiment is conducted with a representative sample of real investors, to test the effect and explore the underlying mechanisms. Two additional laboratory experiments reveal moderating factors of this effect.


The results show that highlighting the company’s product features in an investor ad increases investors’ interest in investing in the company’s stock, by enhancing investors’ subjective evaluations of the company’s products. This effect emerges independent of factors related to preexisting brand perceptions (e.g. brand recognizability and likeability) and is mediated by dual causal channels: by increasing expectations about the company’s financial returns and by increasing affective attachment with the company’s products.

Research limitations/implications

The findings identify and confirm different mechanisms of the effect of investor ads, but the relative magnitude of the effects is not generalizable.

Practical implications

The results provide corporate marketing, corporate communications and investor relations professionals insights into how investors may be attracted by product-featuring advertisements.


The study is the first to explicate the different channels of influence through which product-featuring ads may affect investors’ willingness to invest in companies.



The authors wish to thank Miikka Tölö for research assistance.


Aspara, J. and Chakravarti, A. (2015), "Investors’ reactions to company advertisements: the persuasive effect of product-featuring ads", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 49 No. 5/6, pp. 943-967.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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