Title page for ETD etd-04022004-161418

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Bellizaire, Arianne Parker
Author's Email Address aparke3@lsu.edu
URN etd-04022004-161418
Title Country Roads Magazine: Has the Move from the "Country" Influenced Baton Rouge Advertisers' Buying Habits?
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Gene Sands Committee Chair
Lori Boyer Committee Member
Richard Nelson Committee Member
  • mass communication
  • marketing
  • public relations
  • advertising
  • magazine
  • country-of-origin effect
Date of Defense 2004-03-05
Availability unrestricted
Country Roads magazine celebrated its 20th anniversary in September of 2003. Founded by Dorcas Woods Brown in 1983, the publication prides itself on offering its readers a cultural events guide showcasing events, festivals and destinations from Natchez, Mississippi, to New Orleans, Louisiana. Readers have watched the magazine evolve over the years. However, nearly two years ago, readers experienced one of the biggest changes. The magazine moved its headquarters from St. Francisville to Baton Rouge. This study evaluated Baton Rouge advertisers' reactions the move.

The researcher modified and tested the Country-of-Origin Effects (COO) on a smaller scale by examining City-of-Origin effects. The following research questions were posed:

RQ1: What dimensions do Baton Rouge advertisers use when evaluating magazine brands?

RQ2: To what extent is COO an influence on the decision to buy advertising with a magazine?

Based on the researcher's review of the literature on the subjects of branding, country-of-origin effects and brand image, the following hypotheses were proposed:

H1: City-of-Origin is a dimension used in the consideration of whether to buy or continue to buy advertising with the magazine.

H2: The more experience that an advertiser has with the magazine, the less influence COO has on the buyers' perception of the brand.

H3: The more experience that an advertiser has with the magazine, the less influence COO has on the buyers' intention to buy.

The researcher conducted fourteen personal interviews. The first seven interviews were conducted with Baton Rouge advertisers who have been with the magazine consistently before, during and after the move. The second set of interviews were with advertisers who began advertising after the move.

Ultimately, although advertisers insisted that there is no direct correlation between where Country Roads is headquartered and whether or not they advertise, the underlying tone in most of the participants' responses was that the name "Country Roads" lends a certain amount of credibility to a magazine that is about "country things." Contrary to the concerns of the staff, having the "country" connotation actually works as a positive for the company rather than a negative.

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