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Title: Authentic Ethnic Advertisements (AEA) : $$b scale development and validation
Authors: Alomar, Nora
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis aims to investigate the factors that constitute authentic ethnic advertisements and to highlight consumers’ perceptions of authentic ethnic advertisements. There is currently no widely accepted measure of authentic ethnic advertisements. This is surprising as this notion provides meaning to advertisements, making them unique and successfully communicating ethnic authenticity to the targeted audience. Advertisements that feature ethnic cues have been rising in popularity throughout recent years, with multiple brands incorporating ethnic cues to target audiences, such as Air France, Pringles, Dove, and Liberty of London. Ethnic advertising has been proven to be successful at attracting consumers’ interest as it is attention-grabbing and provides unique content (Sierra, Hyman, & Torres, 2009; Martin et al. 2004; Zungia, 2016). Moreover, the use of ethnic advertising has been proven to increase favourability towards the brand and advertisement (Jamal, 2003; Martin et al., 2004; Xu et al., 2004; Sierra et al., 2009; Ting et al., 2015), increase purchase intention levels (Sierra et al., 2009; Appiah and Liu, 2009; Michelle, 2011; Fowler & Carlson, 2015; Ting et al., 2015) and increase recall and likeability (Sierra et al., 2009; Ting et al., 2015). However, this is not always the case in the practical world due to the misuse of ethnic cues. The misuse of ethnic cues by practitioners has created stereotypical and non-representative advertisements that provoke a negative response towards the brand and the advertisement itself. This is true for both global brands and small brands such as Air France, Dove, and Nivea, to name a few. This is due to the lack of authentic portrayal of ethnicity within the advertisements (which Sky Media and the Transportation of London have called for) (London City Hall, 2020). Therefore, it is important to portray authentic ethnic advertisements to consumers because they can identify authenticity within an ethnic advertisement. Understanding what constitutes an authentic ethnic advertisement will provide key elements for the literature to expand on and practitioners can use this knowledge to improve their ethnic advertising. The notion of authenticity is an ever-changing perception of how genuine a product/service is (Olsen, 2002; Grayson and Martinec, 2004; Peterson, 2005; Steiner and Reisinge, 2006; Leigh, Peters and Shelton, 2006; Chiu et al., 2012). Newman and Bloom (2012) have stated that the higher the perception of authenticity within a product/service the higher the positive attitudes and outcomes towards the product/services. Thus, when advertisements are deemed to be authentic, consumers have an overall positive response towards the advertisement itself, increasing positive outcomes such as purchase intentions and v positive attitudes (Miller, 2015). Regardless of the recognised importance of the notion of authenticity within advertisements, it has received very little attention within the ethnic advertising domain; moreover, there has been limited development of valid and comprehensive measures of authentic ethnic advertisements. The research aims and objectives are driven and generated from the lack of literature on authenticity within ethnic advertisements. Today’s era is transcending global boundaries and areas of the world are becoming more connected with one another. More individuals are migrating and integrating themselves within new cultures and societies, due to several factors such as the free movement of labour and the use of social media, where brands are targeting consumers on a global scale. Thus, having successful authentic ethnic advertisements is key not only to targeting the correct consumer group but also to understanding different ethnic groups. This is vital as ethnic minorities are not only increasing exponentially but also becoming one of the strongest sources of consumer purchasing power (Mail Online, 2017). Attaining authenticity within ethnic advertisements will present a clear competitive advantage for a brand, creating a strong communication pathway and positioning strategy. Understanding the effects of authenticity in ethnic advertisements is needed to uncover the effects it has on consumers’ perceptions, attitudes, and purchase intentions. It will also highlight the success factors of creating an authentic ethnic advertisement that appeals to a wide range of consumers from different ethnic backgrounds. Before examining how ethnic authenticity is perceived by consumers in an advertisement, the study must go back to the beginning of the construction of the anatomy of ‘authentic’ ethnic advertisements. It must ask: what constitutes an authentic ethnic advertisement? What is the makeup of authentic ethnic advertisements? Therefore, this research aims firstly to review and refine the notion of authentic ethnic advertisements from the consumers' perspective and then to develop a scale to measure authentic ethnic advertising. To achieve the research aims, Churchill’s (1979) paradigm, DeVellis (2003), and other scale development studies were followed (Brakus et al., 2009; Lundstorm & Lamont, 1976). This research adopted a mixed-method research approach where both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to fulfil the research aims. Qualitative methods were implemented to gain insight into what constitutes authentic ethnic advertisements (from a consumer’s perspective), in order to identify and understand the key dimensions that make up authentic ethnic advertisements (AEA) and to generate and purify scale items. Quantitative methods were implemented to validate and establish the final scale (AEA). Following the vi above-mentioned research design, this thesis has generated an AEA scale compromised of four dimensions: Atmospherics, Personal Attributes, Symbols and Distinctiveness. The quantitative analysis confirms that the scale is valid and reliable. In addition, the scale application is shown by measuring and empirically establishing the connection between AEA and purchase intention, attitude towards advertisements and word of mouth. The results confirm that incorporating authentic ethnic cues within advertisements successfully enhances consumers' perceptions of the advert, thus, positively increasing the behavioural response. This research extends the literature from both authentic advertising and ethnic advertising domains; it develops a scale measuring AEA as well as suggesting what constitutes an authentic ethnic advertisement. Moreover, this research extends the literature on ethnic advertising by identifying dimensions of authenticity that need to be included in order to transmit an accurate authentic perception of ethnic advertising, thus increasing positive consumer perceptions and attitudes towards the advertisement. Furthermore, this research highlights the importance of consumers’ perceptions when constructing advertisements, specifically authentic ethnic advertisements, as they are the consumers of the advertisement and the advertised product/service. Moreover, it highlights the authentic cues that consumers deem to be important and which transmit positive attitudes towards the AEA. In addition, this study contributes to a much-needed domain of integrating authenticity within advertising, adding to consumers’ perceptions of marketing domains (travel, food, television) (Lu and Fine, 1995; Freedman and Jurafky, 2011; Jang, Ha and Park, 2012; Tasi and Lu, 2012; Moran, 2015). In this regard, this research is among the first to empirically integrate authenticity and ethnicity within advertisements from a consumer point of view into an AEA scale.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:Newcastle University Business School

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