Reexamining Health Messages in the Digital Age: A Fresh Look at Source Credibility Effects

49 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2015 Last revised: 5 Aug 2015

Ioannis Kareklas

State University of New York at Albany

Darrel D. Muehling

Washington State University - Department of Marketing

T. J. Weber

Washington State University - Department of Marketing

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

This paper investigates the influence of perceived source credibility on the effectiveness of health-related public service announcements (PSAs) and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) communications. Findings indicate that online commenters who are perceived to be credible are instrumental in influencing consumers’ responses to pro- vs. anti-vaccination online PSAs. Results further suggest that it is not the advertising message (i.e., the PSA advocated position) alone that influences consumers’ responses (even when consumers perceive the PSA sponsor to be highly credible) but rather, the commenters’ reactions to the claims presented in the PSA that also independently contribute to consumers’ vaccination attitudes and behavioral intentions. Finally, results also show that when the relevant expertise of online commenters is identified, the effectiveness of the PSA’s advertising message is moderated by the interactive effect of the online comments and their associated perceived credibility.

Keywords: electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), online comments, vaccination attitudes, vaccination behavioral intentions, vaccines, source effects, credibility, trustworthiness

JEL Classification: D18, D11, D12

Suggested Citation

Kareklas, Ioannis and Muehling, Darrel D. and Weber, T. J., Reexamining Health Messages in the Digital Age: A Fresh Look at Source Credibility Effects (2015). Journal of Advertising (2015), 44(2), 88–104. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2556998

Ioannis Kareklas (Contact Author)

State University of New York at Albany ( email )

1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12222
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ioanniskareklas.com/

Darrel D. Muehling

Washington State University - Department of Marketing ( email )

367C Todd Addition
Pullman, WA 99164
United States
509-335-7302 (Phone)
509-335-3865 (Fax)

T. J. Weber

Washington State University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Todd Addition 386
Pullman, WA 99164
United States
9063608970 (Phone)

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