Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Viral advertising: Conceptual and empirical examination of antecedents, context and its influence on purchase intentions
by Petrescu, Maria, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2012, 199; 3520014
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this paper is to focus on viral advertising and study the conditions under which ads become viral, how they are intentionally transmitted by consumers to their social network and their relationship with classical advertising variables, such as attitude toward the ad, attitude toward the brand and purchase intention of the consumer.

We first analyze studies focusing on different aspects of the viral communication, “electronic word-of-mouth”, “word-of-mouse”, “viral marketing” and “buzz” in order to clarify the concept of viral advertising.

After clarifying the viral advertising concept, the project analyzes the viral process and its main antecedents and influencers, by taking into consideration emotional and ad appeals theories. The results show that ad appeals influence attitude toward the ad and viral intentions, with humor being the most significant appeal in the context of viral advertising.

The study also focuses on the social aspects of advertising and consumption, including influential differences related to the source of the message, social influencers analyzed in the socialization literature, such as family and peers, the tie strength element from the social network theory and consumer market maven traits. The findings show the significance of family communication and market maven characteristics in relation to consumers’ viral intentions.

We then integrate our key variable, viral intentions, in a classical advertising framework based on attitudes theory and their influence on behavioral intentions. The results confirm previously studied relationships between attitude toward the ad, attitude toward the brand and purchase intentions. The findings bring into attention two key new relationships: the significant effect of attitude toward the brand on viral intentions, and the positive relationship between viral intentions and purchase intentions, a very important relationship for marketing research and practice.

Overall, this study clarifies the viral advertising concept, analyzes its key antecedents, and studies the relationship between attitudes and behavioral intentions in a viral advertising context. The paper also establishes a key positive relationship between viral intentions and purchase intentions regarding the advertised product.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Korgaonkar, Pradeep K.
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Marketing, Mass communications
Keywords: Advertising, Consumer socialization, Market maven, Purchase intentions, Viral advertising
Publication Number: 3520014
ISBN: 978-1-267-47500-8
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