Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

Generation Y Consumers' Value Perceptions toward Apparel Mobile Advertising: Functions of Modality and Culture

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

Generation Y Consumers' Value Perceptions toward Apparel Mobile Advertising: Functions of Modality and Culture

Article excerpt


This study investigates Generation Y consumers` different value perceptions toward apparelmobile advertising according to cultures (i.e., The United States vs. South Korea) and modalities (short message service vs. multimedia messaging service). Results indicate that the entertainment value was perceived differently for two modalities: short message service (SMS) versus multimedia messaging service (MMS). In addition, the values of entertainment, informativeness, irritation, and credibility were perceived differently by two cultures U.S. and Korea.

Keywords: Mobile advertising, SMS, MMS, Cross culture, Entertainment, Informativeness, Irritation, Credibility, Modality

1. Introduction

The Internet continues to transform the retail industry (Ngai & Gunasekaran, 2007), and E-commerce has grown exponentially due to the advantages of transactional convenience, ease of renewing information, and highly interactional features. Despite its advantages, e-commerce is constrained due to fixed Internet lines and the restricted range of wireless. Mobile phones, however, overcome these limitations through unlimited wireless capability (Ngai & Gunasekaran, 2007), which frees consumers from the limitations of fixed-line personal computers (Clarke, 2001). By 2008, there were approximately four billionmobile phone subscribers around the world ("Internet indicators: Subscribers, users, and broadband subscribers," 2009). Worldwide mobile phone distribution and severaladvantagessuch as personalization, ubiquity, convenience, and localization indicate the growth potential of mobile advertising. In fact, mobile advertising (hereafter, M-advertising) expenditure reached US$743.1 million in 2010, an increase of 79 percent over the previous year, and is expected to increase to US$1.1 billion in 2011 ("Industry trends spur big mobile ad spending," 2010).

Gen Y consumers, born between 1977 and 1997 (Dulin, 2005), have widely been studied for the mobile technology because this consumer cohort who has never had a chance without modern electronic devices is highly sophisticated in technology (Herbison & Boseman, 2009). Not surprisingly, the mobile phone is the favorite device for Gen Y consumers worldwide (Venkatacharya, Rice, & Bezuayehu, 2009). These technologically savvy consumers receive remarkable attention from apparel retailersbecause of their heavy expenditure on apparel and consumer behavior related to apparel purchase (Sullivan & Heitmeyer, 2008). In 2008, Gen Y consumers spent US$33.7 billions on apparel, and this spending was approximately US$4-$17 billions higher than that of any other age group (Tran, 2008). These consumers are knowledgeable about brands, tend to be fashion conscious (Sullivan & Heitmeyer, 2008), and influence about 81 percent of their families` apparel purchases (O`Donnell, 2006).

M-advertising uses both modalities to communicate with consumers: short message service (SMS) and multimedia message service (MMS) (Jaffee, 2007). SMS and MMS are quite different in that SMS can only support text, while MMS can support not only text but also image, audio, and video. Numerous researchers have examined consumers` attitudes toward SMS advertising (Cheng et al., 2009; Tsang, Ho, & Liang, 2004; Carroll et al., 2007; Rettie, Grandcolas, & Deakins, 2005). However, MMS advertising has attracted less empirical attention because of newness and relatively lower usage than SMS advertising (Cheng et al., 2009). In the case of apparel advertising, MMS advertisingcan well depict images of apparel in magazines and newspapers. Furthermore, because consumer involvement with M-advertising differs for different modalities (Nasco & Bruner, 2008), academics need to turn critical attention to whether and how modality (SMS vs. MMS) of M-advertising influences Gen Y consumers' attitudes.

Due to the intensively saturated domestic market, U.S. apparel retailers have expanded into international marketswhere markets are less saturated (Ng, 2010). …

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