Title: Consumer response to technology product ads containing irrelevant cues: the role of consumer characteristics

Authors: Edward Shih-Tse Wang

Addresses: National Chung Hsing University, 250, Kuo Kuang Rd., Taichung 40227, Taiwan

Abstract: As technology product features become more similar, consumers are often unable to differentiate between technology brands. The marketplace is filled with brands differentiating themselves based on irrelevant cues, whereas the effects of consumer characteristics on the irrelevant cues have yet to be addressed. No prior study has attempted to explore the characteristic differences in consumers (i.e., gender or the level of product involvement), which might influence their responses to irrelevant cues. This study conducted an experiment to investigate gender differences and the level of product involvement in response to technology product ads with only relevant cues versus those containing irrelevant cues. A sample of 160 university students participated in the experiment, and the findings show that female participants exposed to technology product ads containing irrelevant cues had a better positive emotional response to the ads than did men. Consumers who have higher involvement with a specific product category have a more positive attitude toward the advertising in the ads containing only relevant cues, whereas irrelevant cues mitigate the effect of product involvement. The findings of this study provide insight for both academics and management regarding the effect of irrelevant cues on technology product advertising.

Keywords: irrelevant cues; positive emotions; advertising attitudes; product involvement; technology products; product adverts; product ads; technology brands; gender; emotional response.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2012.049593

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2012 Vol.7 No.4, pp.379 - 391

Received: 14 May 2012
Accepted: 31 Jul 2012

Published online: 29 Aug 2014 *

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