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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Young Consumers, Volume 16, Issue 3
Welcome to the third issue of volume 16 of Young Consumers. We have our usual international mix of nations and nationalities represented here with authors from The Netherlands, India, Ireland, Finland, France and New Zealand. There are a range of issues covered from new media to brands and religion. Methods used range over several qualitative investigations, as well as more traditional quantitative ones.
I have chosen as lead paper a contribution by Eva van Reijmersdal from the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, together with her colleagues Esther Rozendaal and Moniek Buijzen at the Behavioral Science Institute in Nijmegen. This research group has made an important contribution to the growing field of research into children and new media. Much advertising in this genre is embedded in an integrated mix of advergames, branded Web Sites and brand-integrated magazines, and these pose particular issues for children and, particularly, what the role of the understanding of advertising intent is in children’s processing of these messages. Using print advertising and using boys as participants, these researchers found unexpected results which raise future questions about this complex area.
Abhigyan Sarkar, Juhi Gahlot Sarkar and Abhilash Ponnam from IBS (Hyderabad) in India provide a stimulating paper on brand sacralization in young Indian consumers. The effect of brands on the emotions of consumers is taken to a higher level in this process, where the brand is seen as providing a quasi-religious experience. The analysis using qualitative techniques provide consumer insights into the different ways young consumers talk about and provide accounts of these experiences.
Kevina Cody from Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland has given us an imaginative and thoughtful description of both theory and practice that does justice to the changing and different positions from which children speak. These stories of consumption are framed in a process called the crystallization approach to research design. Using qualitative techniques, the shopping experience of tween girls in Ireland come alive in the quotes she uses.
Henna Syrjälä, Hanna Leipämaa-Leskinen and Pirjo Laaksonen from the University of Vaasa in Finland were interested in social needs in young adult consumers at the University. They argue that there are two – being similar to others (need for integration) and also different (need for distinctiveness) – and that both underpin everyday consumption. This paper is theoretically strong and achieves a depth of understanding using an interpretive approach, so we are introduced to finer distinctions within the two basic needs of integration and distinctiveness that emerge from a sophisticated analysis of the accounts provided by over 50 participants.
Valérie Hemar-Nicolas from Paris Sud University in France, together with her colleagues Mathilde Gollety from Pantheon Assas University, Coralie Damay from ISC Paris and Pascale Ezane from the University of Rouen, are interested in children consuming food together. Using focus groups and observation, they sampled 7-11 year olds and found that children were driven largely by taste preference rather than brand name and peer influence was low. Although food brands were used as names to designate products, there was no evidence that they used these brands to integrate socially or convey their self-identity.
Finally, we have two papers with a strong emphasis on quantitative methodologies. Yalim and Ozlem Ozdinc from Whitireia Community Polytechnic in New Zealand investigated celebrity endorsement, when the celebrity is associated with bad news – drug use for example. They used a large sample of teenage footballers and identified and selected four kinds of “celebrity engendered negative messages”, such as moral conduct or physical condition. The results were interesting and complex and will provide valuable information for the academic and practitioner alike.
Ruppal Sharma from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in New Delhi looks at a complex question which involves the interrelationships between various marketing indices, such as attitude toward the ad and the brand, brand recall and purchase intention and considers them as a function of age. A large sample of over 650 respondents meant that the relationships and a model can be tested, and the marketing implications can be explored.
I hope you enjoy each and every one of them. Finally many thanks to all our reviewers and contributors without whom these regular issues would not be possible.
Brian Young, Editor