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When does creativity matter: the impact of consumption motive and claim set-size

Ilgım Dara Benoit (Department of Marketing, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA)
Elizabeth G. Miller (Department of Marketing, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 20 May 2019

Issue publication date: 18 June 2019




This paper aims to identify two boundary conditions (consumption motive and claim set-size) affecting the effectiveness of an advertisement’s creativity.


Across two experiments, the authors find support for hypotheses using both hedonic vs utilitarian products (Study 1) and hedonic vs utilitarian decision goals within the same product category (Study 2).


Creativity is more effective for an advertisement when the consumption motive is utilitarian (vs hedonic). Further, using a larger claim set-size within an advertisement increases (decreases) the effectiveness of advertisement creativity for those with hedonic (utilitarian) consumption motives.

Research limitations/implications

This research contributes to the creativity literature by showing when creativity matters depending on the consumption motive and claim set-size. In addition, this research expands the utilitarian vs hedonic consumption literature by highlighting another way in which these two motives differ. Finally, this study expands the claim set-size literature by demonstrating that the effects of claim set-size depend on both consumption motive and features of the ad (i.e. its level of creativity).

Practical implications

These findings help marketers manage their advertising budget more effectively and efficiently knowing when advertisement creativity matters and thus when to invest in creativity.


The present research is the first to explicitly study boundary conditions for when ad creativity matters and shows that creativity matters more (i.e. enhances persuasiveness of the ad and attitudes toward the ad) when the consumption motive is utilitarian, especially when ads have small claim set-size. Additionally, creativity matters for hedonic consumption contexts if the advertisement has a large claim size.



Benoit, I.D. and Miller, E.G. (2019), "When does creativity matter: the impact of consumption motive and claim set-size", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 449-460.



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