ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (3): 406-416.doi: 刻板印象内容模型; 广告诉求; 品牌来源国; 信息处理流畅性; 品牌态度

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Congruency between Advertising Appeal and Country-of-Origin Stereotype on Brand Attitude

PANG Jun; BI Sheng   

  1. (Business School, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China)
  • Received:2014-04-02 Published:2015-03-25 Online:2015-03-25
  • Contact: PANG Jun, E-mail:


Country-of-origin (COO) is an informational and affective cue that influences consumers’ brand evaluation. Consumers rely on the “made in” label to infer product quality and attach emotional meanings to brands. While extensive studies have examined the magnitudes and mechanisms of COO effects, little has been understood about how this information influences the impact of other marketing variables on consumer behavior. The present research aimed to close this gap by proposing an advertising appeal-COO stereotype congruency effect on brand attitude and identifying the underlying mechanism from a processing fluency perspective. Based on the Stereotype Content Model, we introduced a new typology of advertising appeals—warmth appeal and competence appeal, and hypothesized that the congruency between advertising appeals and COO stereotype would increase processing fluency, which in turn leads to favorable brand attitudes. We conducted two studies to test these hypotheses. Study 1 examined the interaction between advertising appeal and COO stereotype in influencing brand attitude and the mediating role of processing fluency. A total of 100 students participated in the 2 (advertising appeal: warmth vs. competence) × 2 (COO: Brazil vs. UK) between-subjects experiment. Participants read a print advertisment of a fictitious gum brand and then rated processing fluency and brand attitude. Study 2 examined the underlying process by varying consumers’ attribution of the positive affect induced by processing fluency. A total of 106 students participated in the 2 (advertising appeal) × 2 (COO: Spain vs. Germany) × 2 (attribution) between-subjects experiment. Before reporting their brand attitudes, participants were instructed to attribute either their positive feelings or fluent experiences to the background music and eliminate the influence of music on their judgments. The results of study 1 revealed a two-way interaction between advertising appeal and COO, F(1,96) = 12.54, p = .001. After controlling for the main effect of advertising appeal through Z transformation, we found that in Brazil condition warmth appeal led to more positive brand attitudes than competence appeal (0.28 vs. -0.40, p = 0.014), whereas in UK condition competence appeal led to more positive brand attitudes than warmth appeal (0.39 vs. -0.27, p = 0.016). Additionally, bootstrapping analyses suggested that the mediating effect of processing fluency was significantly different from zero (95% CI = .05 ~ .92). The results of study 2 revealed a significant three-way interaction between advertising appeal, COO, and attribution, F(1,98) = 6.32, p = 0.014. Specifically, the interactive effect between advertising appeal and COO was replicated in the fluency-attribution condition (p = .05) but not in the affect-attribution condition (p > .10). Our research adds to the marketing literatures in several ways. First, we propose a new typology model of advertising appeals and demonstrate the effect of congruency between advertising appeal and COO stereotype on brand attitude. Second, by showing that COO can moderate the persuasiveness of warmth versus competence appeal and that processing fluency plays a mediating role in this effect, our research offers a new perspective to understand the underlying mechanisms of COO effects. In addition to the theoretical contributions, our findings also provide important implications for firms’ advertising strategies in global markets.

Key words: stereotype content model, advertising appeal, country-of-origin, processing fluency, brand attitude