Is a Bigger Picture Better? The Impact of Product-Model Ratio and Brand-Consumer Relationship on Advertising Effectiveness

Chang, C. T., and Wang, H. Y. 2020. Is a Bigger Picture Better? The Impact of Product-Model Ratio and Brand-Consumer Relationship on Advertising Effectiveness. NTU Management Review, 30 (1): 131-162. doi:10.6226/NTUMR.202004_30(1).0005

Chun-Tuan Chang, Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-sen University
Hsin-Yi Wang, Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-sen University

Abstract

In advertising, visuals play an important role in drawing the attention of consumers to promoted brands or products. Recent research suggests that the spatial arrangements of visuals are important. Conceptual metaphors are heavily used to create appropriate visuals in advertising. Elaborating on the conceptual metaphor theory, this research study examines how the product-model ratio (in terms of size) influences advertising effectiveness. The brand-consumer relationship is proposed as a moderator. Three experiments are performed which differ in brands and products. Study 1 uses real brands, while Study 2 and Study 3 use fictitious brands. Study 1 employs a 2 (product-model ratio: large vs. small) x 2 (brand-consumer relationship: leader vs. friendship) full-factorial design. Study 2 takes product type (hedonic vs. utilitarian) into consideration to rule out possible effects on the interaction between product-model ratio and brand-consumer relationship. Study 3 replicates the results of Study 1 by using an Asian model and a brand name in Chinese. Purchase intention and attitude toward the ad serve as dependent measures. The results indicate that ads with a greater product-model ratio (i.e., the product image is well larger than the image of the model) work better when consumers consider the brand as a leader. On the contrary, ads with a small product-model ratio are advantageous when the brand is viewed as the consumer's friend. This study finds that processing fluency is the underlying mechanism that explains this phenomenon. 


Keywords

product-model size ratiobrand-customer relationshipconceptual metaphoradvertising effectiveness


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