Although many models of ad processing and response have been developed, most experimental tests of these models have exposed subjects only to advertising stimuli. In the marketplace, however, consumers often receive negative brand information in addition to advertising. In this study, we explored whether traditional models accurately predict ad processing and response when consumers integrate advertising with negative word-of-mouth (WOM) communications about the brand. A test was conducted using four experimental groups: ad only, negative WOM only, advertising then negative WOM, and negative WOM then advertising. Results show that (a) advertising mitigates the detrimental cognitive effects of negative WOM communication (when the ad is processed first) and the detrimental affective and conative effects (when the ad is processed last), (b) integrating ad content with negative WOM communication causes significant changes in the message processing of both, (c) negative WOM communication significantly reduces the perceived credibility of advertising as well as brand attitudes and purchase intentions, and (d) the effect of attitude toward the ad on brand attitude becomes nonsignificant when subjects process both types of information. Implications for marketing research and practice are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology