This paper aims to explore content-related factors that can foster beneficial consumer responses to one kind of native advertising: in-feed sponsored articles. Specifically, studies examine how informational versus entertaining content interact with the content’s brand image congruity to affect brand attitudes through brand trustworthiness and identify the roles played by advertising value and perceived deceptiveness.
Experimental survey-based research with a between-subjects design was conducted, manipulating the content type (entertaining/informational) and brand image congruity (low/high) and measuring brand attitude, brand trustworthiness, advertising value and perceived deceptiveness. Participants were recruited via Amazon’s MTurk, and data were collected via online surveys in Qualtrics.
Results reveal that high brand image congruity generates more favorable brand attitudes for informational in-feed sponsored articles, and low brand image congruity generates more favorable brand attitudes for entertaining in-feed sponsored articles, through perceptions of brand trustworthiness. Enhanced brand trustworthiness results from increased advertising value for informational in-feed sponsored articles that are high in brand image congruity. Reduced brand trustworthiness results from increased perceptions of deceptiveness for entertaining in-feed sponsored articles that are high in brand image congruity.
While much academic research on native advertising focuses on its negative aspects, the present research identifies content-related factors that foster beneficial consumer responses to in-feed sponsored articles, including enhanced perceptions of brand trustworthiness and more favorable brand attitudes, due to differences in consumers’ perceptions of advertising value and deceptiveness. Managerially, this work can help branded content creators design effective in-feed sponsored articles.
Saenger, C. and Song, D. (2019), "Fostering beneficial consumer responses to in-feed sponsored articles", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 643-654. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-12-2017-2475
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