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The lead paper I have chosen for this issue is by Anna McAlister and Danielle Bargh, both from the USA. Anna is at Endicott College and Danielle is from Michigan State University. I was impressed by this paper, as it took an issue that will be familiar to many readers with a consumer psychology background and explored it with young children. Elaboration likelihood is well-known in the consumer psychology literature but rarely gets a mention in the children and advertising literature. Using an empirical methodology with sophisticated theorising, the authors have provided us with some startling insights into the mental world of the preschool child when faced with commercial communications.
Next, we have another paper from the USA. Sidharth Muralidharan and Fei Xue from Southern Methodist University and the University of Southern Mississippi, respectively, have looked at green consumer socialisation in young millennials in both India and China. These massive potential markets are also concerned citizens, but this strong environmental concern often fails to be translated into pro-environmental behaviour. Why? In general, the authors found the results indicated that the millennials’ social networks influenced millennials more than their exposure to mass media, although there are interesting cross-cultural differences.
Social media is becoming the medium of choice for college students, and being online most of the time is second nature for these Young Consumers. The smartphone is an extension of the palm, and marketing using this medium with the consequent change in perceived brand equity is an important metric for marketers. Mathew Joseph from St Mary’s University in Texas and his colleagues in a carefully constructed and sophisticated quantitative piece of research have explored this area and underscored the importance of marketing using this medium with Young Consumers.
Attachment to brands is one way of adding value to these ubiquitous elements of the marketing process. Young adults fall in love, break up and experience strong attachments to people, and the question of the extent to which these emotional, cognitive and motivational aspects of our psychology can be transferred to brands is a natural query and requires an answer. Abhigyan Sarkar and Juhi Gahlot Sarkar from the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, and the IFHE University, respectively – both in India – have provided us with some answers in this fascinating paper.
When shopping these days, young adults often use “the mall”, and this paper by from are keen to provide practical solutions for mall managers. For too long, “kids in the mall” have been seen as a problem for managers (although a valuable group for consumption ethnographers), but now young adults constitute a valuable sector, and this paper will help them to consider how best to evaluate these Young Consumers’ mall preferences.
Finally, we have our regular paper looking at regulatory aspects of advertising to children on a country-by-country basis. This quarter, we look at the Bahamas with a paper by Dianne Daley McClure from the Intellectual Property Department, Foga Daley, Kingston, Jamaica. As usual, these are coordinated by GALA, the Global Advertising Lawyer’s Alliance, and I am grateful to Stacy Bess from their New York office for all the help and assistance she provides with each issue.
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.