Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Bruce Alford


The bombardment with ads that consumers face daily has led to increased Skepticism toward Advertising. This increased advertising costs billions of dollars, yet, the research has shown conflicting results (Stafford and Day 1995) (Obermiller and Spangenberg 1998) (Obermiller, Spangenberg and MacLachlan 2005) regarding which strategies work best for reducing the negative influence of Skepticism toward Advertising.

For over a decade, retailers have ranked #2 in television advertising spending (Advertising Age 2002-2012). Television advertising research has focused on advertising by manufacturers. These findings should not be generalized to retailers because retailers and manufacturers have different goals, use different promotional tools, and measure different outcome variables (Ailawadi, et al. 2009). Advertising research that has focused on retailers has also used print as the medium tested rather than television. This research also cannot be generalized due to the differences in the ways consumers process print and TV advertising.

The appeal type is a strategic decision that advertisers must make yet, the previous research has yielded conflicting results regarding whether an informational or emotional appeal is more favorably received by consumers. This research utilized a three-stage approach to investigate the different creative strategies used by retailers.

During the first stage, a content analysis of 179 retailer ads was conducted using the methodology suggested by (Kassarjian 1977). A modified matrix of the Informational/Transformational matrix proposed by Puto and Wells (1984) that exchanged emotional for transformational was tested.

Stage two confirmed the results of Stage one by testing four ads categorized by the judges. Participants evaluated the ads using the thinking/feeling scale by De Pelsmacker, Gueuns and Ackaert (2002).

Using an online panel of 802 participants, stage three tested the proposed model that included an interaction between the type of ad and the level of skepticism and its influence on attitudes toward the ad and advertiser as well as retail patronage intentions and perceived retailer credibility. Skepticism toward Advertising had been conceptualized as a moderator (Obermiller and Spangenberg 1998) but in this research which tested the model only the main effects were found to be significant and not the moderator.

Included in

Marketing Commons