Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Marketing and Analysis

First Advisor

Laura Flurry


Advertising has gone from magazines, to television, and now social media. However, unlike the robust advertisement literature, the influencer marketing literature has not caught up to explain how social media sponsored content can perform its best. While companies rely on follower count and interaction (i.e., likes) to determine who to partner with, the need for clarity on how to best predict digital advertisement success is needed. This study brings the literature of advertising and cognitive psychology, and applies the associative memory, visual persuasion, and remote conveyor theories into the influencer marketing context. This study specifically looks at how creativity through remoteness in sponsored social media images affects purchase intentions and upward social comparison. This study then reaffirms the literature relationships between upward social comparison and purchase intentions through envy, while establishing a psychological boundary condition of self-esteem. Between two studies, this dissertation tests the conceptual model through fabricated Instagram posts, and with the partnership of a lifestyle influencer and their following.