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Consumers’ responses to mobile app advertisements during holiday periods

Eunyoung (Christine) Sung (Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 12 February 2020

Issue publication date: 24 April 2020




This paper aims to investigate factors affecting the relationship between consumers’ brand trust and purchase intentions after exposure to targeted mobile app ads during holiday periods, including the mediating roles of consumers’ ad attitudes, different discount levels and their interactions; and the moderating roles of the anticipated gain (loss) (i.e. access to discounts) associated with mobile app usage (non-usage).


Data were collected from 559 respondents who were randomly assigned to six groups based on a 2 (ad type: new, holiday-themed vs regular product) × 3 (promotion level: 0% vs 20% vs 40%) between-subjects design. Regression analysis and structural equation modeling techniques are used to test the hypothesized mediators and moderators.


Consumers with high brand trust are likely to purchase both new and regular products. Consumers with low brand trust are most responsive to mobile app ads for regular products when offered a high discount. Ad attitudes across all discount rates and product types mediate the relationship between brand trust and purchase intentions; the anticipated gain associated with using a mobile app (i.e. access to discounts) moderates the effect of attitudes toward ads promoting regular products when a high discount is offered.


To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is one of the first studies to explore how interactions among important factors in contexts involving mobile apps and holiday promotions influence and mediate the relationship between brand trust and purchase intentions. This study also reveals an important boundary condition that moderates consumers’ responses to targeted mobile app ads in the context of holiday marketing.



Dr Huddleston's comments during the 1st round R&R (Professor in Advertising and Public Relations at Michigan State University) was immensely appreciated.Funding: This research was supported by Montana State University (funding from Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship).


Sung, E.(C). (2020), "Consumers’ responses to mobile app advertisements during holiday periods", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 341-352.



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