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Title: Affect transfer from multiple product categories : The case of comparative brand extension advertising and the moderating role of self-construal 
Author: Merz, Michael A
Date: 2008
Description: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008. Companies are increasingly extending their brands into related or distant product categories to capitalize on their existing brand equity (called similar and dissimilar brand extensions, respectively). While prior research has extensively examined antecedent and moderating variables of brand extension success, only very limited research has investigated communication strategies that help promote brand extensions effectively. Moreover, the few existing studies focused on an advertising format where no comparison is made between the advertised brand extension and a competing brand (called noncomparative advertising). Surprisingly, no research to date has examined how an advertising format where a newly introduced brand extension is compared to a competing brand (called comparative advertising) affects consumers' brand extension evaluations. Overall, the findings of this dissertation uncovered a hitherto unidentified means of improving a brand's equity and suggest that the greater cognitive flexibility of interdependent versus independent selves does not constitute a processing advantage per se. The results hold significant implications for national and international marketing managers. The primarily objective of this dissertation is to close this gap in the existing marketing literature by integrating, for the first time, the brand extension and the comparative advertising research streams. Specifically, this dissertation aims to examine how consumers categorize and evaluate similar versus dissimilar brand extensions when promoted in a comparative versus noncomparative advertising format and whether self-construal differences exist across these conditions. To examine these research questions, a series of three studies were conducted. The results of Study 1 indicated that consumers evaluate similar (dissimilar) brand extensions similarly (significantly more favorably) when promoted in a comparative versus noncomparative ad format. Further analyses revealed that consumers' dissimilar brand extension evaluations in the comparative ad format condition were driven by an affect transfer from the comparison brand to the dissimilar brand extension. The results of Studies 2 and 3 provided further evidence for the affect transfer notion by introducing conditions in which the parent and comparison brands were either known or unknown. Moreover, Studies 2 and 3 revealed for certain conditions that self-construal constitutes an important moderator of consumers' evaluation of dissimilar brand extensions. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 186-200). Also available by subscription via World Wide Web 200 leaves, bound 29 cm
ISBN: 9780549596967
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/20650
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.

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