1 Economics and Management School, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China 2 Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China 3 School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China 4 Development and Planning Office, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China 5 College of Education Science, Xinyang Normal University, Xinyang 464000, China 6 School of Business and Administration, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China
Although there are many studies focusing on competitive advertising, brand advertising, category advertising, advertising clutter, and advertising interference, there has been little research focusing on strong brands competition. The extent literature focuses on Product Crisis Spillover Effect, Umbrella Branding Spillover Effect, Advertising Spillover Effect, and Corporate Social Responsibility Reputation Spillover Effect. However, what is the spillover effect for competition taking place among strong brands on weak brands? What will happen to the weak brands when two strong brands competing in the same category? Is it explained by the spillover effect theory? And what is the mechanism? These are a series of interesting questions that have both theoretical and practical value.
A total of 855 college students (mean age = 22.6 years, SD = 3.4 years) participated in the experiments. First, advertising repetition and advertising length were used as the stimuli indicating competition strength, and perceived competition was used to represent competition strength. Then, the following focus question was investigated: will there be spillover effect on weak brands when two strong brands competing in the same category? Finally, the moderating role of product involvement and product attribute similarity for the main effect was tested. Experimental methods were adopted in these studies and fictitious brands were used to test the research hypotheses.
The results of the present study indicates that, advertising repetition is closely related to perceived competition, and the more repetitions of two brand advertisements, the higher the competition level perceived by the subjects is, which indicated that advertising repetition can be used as a specific means of operating the advertising competition. However, the advertisement length has no effect on the perceived competition. Strong brand advertising competition has a spillover effect on weak brands. With the increase in the competition strength of strong brand advertising, the spillover effect on weak brands has also increased accordingly. The degree of product involvement and similarity of product attributes have a moderating effect on the main effect, and the lower product involvement and the higher similarity of product attributes tended to produce the greater spillover effect.
The current study enriches the existing spillover theory and discovered the spillover effect of strong brand advertising competition within the same category on weak brands for the first time. At the same time, the study found that the product involvement and product attribute similarities have a moderating effect on the spillover effect. The conclusions of the research can be used to guide advertising practice and brand owners and market managers in different market positions.
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