Advertising's Impact on Category Substitution

Wansink, Brian (1994), “Advertising’s Impact on Category Substitution,” Journal of Marketing Research, 21:4 (November), 95-105

29 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2016

Date Written: January 1, 1994

Abstract

Usage of a mature brand can be increased by encouraging people to substitute it in situations for which it is not normally used. They are most likely to do so if they perceive the target product as neither too similar to nor too dissimilar from the product it is replacing. Study 1 shows that ads are most likely to change usage attitudes by either (1) advertising common attributes when the comparison product is dissimilar or (2) advertising distinct attributes when the comparison product is similar. Regardless of the specific situation and the specific products being considered, this study shows that it is important for consumers to consider both common and distinct attributes when making any comparison across products. Study 2, replicating the design of study 1, demonstrates that ads which have a positive impact on usage attitudes toward the target product can have a corresponding negative impact on usage attitudes toward the comparison product. Hence, the effectiveness of an expansion advertising campaign depends on its positive impact on the target product and its negative impact on the comparison product.

Keywords: substitution, advertising, marketing, consumer attitudes. product usage, advertising campaigns, consumer behavior

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian, Advertising's Impact on Category Substitution (January 1, 1994). Wansink, Brian (1994), “Advertising’s Impact on Category Substitution,” Journal of Marketing Research, 21:4 (November), 95-105, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2712735

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