Title page for ETD etd-04052006-095507

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Rodrigue, Christina Simmers
URN etd-04052006-095507
Title The Impact of Masking of Persuasive Intent on Persuasive Message Effectiveness
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Marketing (Business Administration)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
William C. Black Committee Chair
Alvin C. Burns Committee Member
Anne C. Osborne Committee Member
Judith-Anne Garretson Folse Committee Member
Ronald W. Niedrich Committee Member
Frances Cogle Lawrence Dean's Representative
  • message form
  • process model
  • resistance to persuasion
  • process amount
  • process style
  • advertising
  • product placement
Date of Defense 2006-01-24
Availability unrestricted
The decreased dependency of marketing managers on traditional message forms (i.e., commercials) has increased the use of nontraditional message forms (i.e., product placement) in marketing communication. These newer message forms are unique because their persuasive intent is concealed by the presentation method and, therefore, may be processed differently than the traditional message forms. Consequently, this paper examines three major issues that arise out of the integration of nontraditional message forms into marketing communication, including (1) incorporating nontraditional message forms into the traditional persuasion literature, (2) introducing a new persuasion element (termed masking of persuasive intent) and its role in the persuasion process, and (3) the inclusion of resistance to persuasion as a related outcome when including nontraditional approaches in a persuasion model.

Message form (masking of persuasive intent) is proposed to serve as both an antecedent to processing and as a moderator of the persuasion model. Two models are generated based on the extant persuasion literature to test the model. The generalized model tests masking of persuasive intent as an antecedent and the message form-specific models test the moderating effect of message form.

Findings confirm that the operation of the traditional persuasion model does not change with the addition of masking of persuasive intent and resistance to persuasion. However, masking of persuasive intent was found to act as an antecedent in the model, influencing processing style. Higher levels of masking of persuasive intent (product placement) involve more affective processing relative to cognitive processing.

Product placement is an effective persuasion technique, but it is losing its uniqueness because of its widespread use. Although product placement is not as impactful as predicted, this research demonstrates that masking of persuasive intent does affect processing style, which ultimately impacts attitude change.

In conclusion, both the traditional and nontraditional message forms can be used effectively to deliver a persuasive message. Product placement has the same benefits as the commercial, but may capture a larger number of people watching the program than commercials, which people may choose not to watch.

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