Chilean scholars make breakthrough in advertising research, take home top honors at BALAS 2022

Interview to Dania Castro, Nicolás Gallardo and Cristóbal Barra,

winners of the BALAS Presidents' Award for Best Academic Paper, BALAS 2022 Annual Conference

Dania Castro (Universidad Finis Terrae, Chile), Nicolás Gallardo (Universidad Finis Terrae, Chile), and Cristóbal Barra (Universidad de Chile), were the winners of the BALAS Presidents' Award for Best Academic Paper, for their paper "The Effect of Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Avoidance on Social Network Ads Effectiveness", which they presented at BALAS 2022 Annual Conference, held in Lisbon-Carcavelos (at NOVA Business School).

Dania Castro

(Universidad Finis Terrae, Chile)

Nicolás Gallardo

(Universidad Finis Terrae, Chile)

Cristóbal Barra

(Universidad de Chile)

Please, tell us, in a few sentences, what your paper is about.

Our paper explores how social media ads (specifically on Instagram) could be perceived as intrusive, and thus, impact negatively on consumer-brand interactions. We also propose that these unwanted effects are different when the brand is a well-known one versus a new or unknown brand. The main mechanism to explain process on these effects are based on Irritation and Avoidance. We expand the existent literature in digital advertising by proposing a model that disentangle the role of Avoidance, considering three facets of the construct (cognitive, behavioral and affective).

How did you conduct your study? (empirical strategy)

We tested our proposed model with a sample of Instagram users in Chile, that were exposed to a fictitious ad in a 2 conditions between-subjects experimental design. The ads, category of product, brands and message were previously pretested. Using validated scales, we measured the relevant constructs and then we performed our analysis using covariance-based structural equation modeling.

What are the main results of the study that you conduct (with participants who are users of the social media Instagram)?

Our main contribution comes from the differentiated effect that different types of avoidance have on Trust and Purchase Intention. We can see in the main model that Trust is more affected by affective avoidance, while purchase intention is more affected by behavioral and cognitive avoidance. Also, our effect differs in the known Brand scenario, compared with the unknown one. In the first case, the effect of behavioral avoidance is significant, while in the second case, the other two facets of avoidance are the ones driving the effect.

You comment that the strategy for digital marketing can generate unwanted reactions, including negative feelings. What are those feelings and what consequences could those feelings have?

It is actually in the case that the strategy is perceived as intrusive when those feelings will most likely appear. Those feelings and consequences that we talked about are most notably anger, irritation towards the brand, frustration and a perception of intrusiveness coming from the ad (McCoy, Everald, Polak & Galleatta, 2007), leading to avoidance towards the ad. This might directly interfere with a digital campaign´s objectives and results showed detrimental effects over purchase intentions or even a negative effect over trust towards the brand in some cases.

Your study seems to have many practical implications. Could you please comment about that?

Supporting findings from previous research, the effect of perceived intrusion is detrimental for brands, so, in general filters for the appearance of ads in social media should be more strict and have a focus on people already interested in the category of product. People tend to have a more behavioral-based reaction for well-known brands and a more cognitive/affective-based reaction for unknown brands. The effect over Purchase intention is lesser on unknown brands, meaning that unfamiliar brands can still be “forgiven” for potential intrusion in this kind of advertising.

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