Constituents of Advertising Effectiveness: A Study of Select Service Advertisements
Keshari, Pragya, Jain, Asha, Jain, Sangeeta, Journal of Services Research
Conventional research into how advertising works and its effect on consumers shifted the focus on the importance of advertising message and/or the executional strategy, and moderated this with the concepts such as involvement, motivation, and intentionality (Brown and Stayman, 1992; Bloom et al., 1994). Various research findings have suggested that consumers pay attention to only those advertisements that match with their purchase needs and respond to these advertisements according to the cognitive or affective appeals used in the advertisements. There are many information processing models which explains that consumer passes through a series of reception stages in a sequential order while responding to the advertising message. According to Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty and Cacioppo, 1986), consumer passes through central route or peripheral route for evaluating advertising message. Information processing through both these routes leads to formation of attitude, which, in turn affects buying interest or buying decisions. Advertisers have always been interested in knowing how advertising affects buying decision of custom ers. Many research studies have been conducted to know the factors that make advertising more effective. But very few research studies focus on the effectiveness of service advertisements specifically for print media.
Although the ultimate objective of advertising is to increase the sale, but it should not be the only criteria for measuring advertising effectiveness as consumer purchases depends upon a number of factors. The effectiveness of advertising can be measured on a variety of factors such as awareness and knowledge about the service, intention to buy the service, more information desired for the service, etc. Many researches on advertising effectiveness prioritize the dynamic nature of the relationships between the audiences and the advertising information and imagery they choose to interact with (Ritson and Elliot, 1999; Hackley, 2001). Advertising effectiveness refers to the measurement of the results of an advertising campaign or a particular advertisement, which in turn be defined in terms of the achievement of the advertising objectives which the advertiser set for their campaign or advertisement (Beerli and Santana, 1999). Advertisers of intangible products i.e. services face unique challenge of effectively communicating the information about service attributes and benefits because of its intangible nature (Mittal, 2002). Early research into service marketing highlighted this uniqueness and discussed the importance of communicating the relationship of tangible assets to service operation in order to make the service visible to the prospective customers (George and Berry, 1981).
But how to tangibilize services always remained a challenge for the advertisers, especially for pure services such as airlines, banking or insurance. Since services are different from goods, effective advertising strategies for goods cannot be automatically applied to services (Zeithaml, Parasuraman, and Berry 1985; Zinkhan, Johnson, and Zinkhan 1992). Therefore, the unique attributes of services, combined with the inherent differences across cultures, present specific challenges for service providers. Services are abstract in nature, they do not have physical characteristics and therefore, pictorial representations of services are not possible. Therefore, to make service advertising effective is a big challenge before the advertisers.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
One of the most popular and common ways through which services are communicated to customers is advertising. Advertising has the potential to inform current and prospective customers about the goods and services of a company and force them to visit the company's distribution centers for further information and making purchase decisions (Kola and Akinyele, 2010). The intangible nature of the services creates problems for both customers as well as service providers. …