Dr. Joe Phua
About: Dr. Phua’s research examines the impact of new and emerging communication technologies, including social media, on advertising and branding, social marketing campaigns for public health issues like obesity and smoking cessation, and sports marketing. His teaching specialties include digital and social communication strategies, advertising and communication management, and digital advertising at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Ph.D., Communication, University of Southern California
M.A., Communication Management, University of Southern California
B.A., Cinema-Television Critical Studies, University of Southern California
Research Interests and Activities
Dr. Phua’s research examines the impact of new and emerging communication technologies, including social media, on advertising and branding, social marketing campaigns for public health issues like obesity and smoking cessation, and sports marketing. His research has been published in top journals in the field, including Journal of Communication, Journal of Advertising, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Health Psychology, Journal of Smoking Cessation, Asian Journal of Communication, International Journal of Sport Communication, Journal of Sports Media, and Social Influence. His research has also received coverage in publications including Newsweek, Men’s Health, Huffington Post, Men’s Fitness, and WebMD magazine, as well as in news outlets like ABC News, Yahoo! News, and NPR Marketplace Tech.
Paper accepted for presentation at the International Communication Association Annual Conference, Gold Coast, Australia, May 2020. Abstract: Through two experiments, this study assessed source and message effects of Instagram-based pro-veganism messages. Experiment 1 (N = 294) examined effects of organization (brand versus non-profit) and message types (egoistic versus altruistic), while experiment 2 (N = 288) […]Read More
Accepted for presentation at the 2020 American Academy of Advertising (AAA) Annual Conference, March 2020, San Diego, CA. Abstract: This study examined effects of match versus mismatch of message concreteness (abstract/concrete) and sender distance (far/close) in Facebook-based posts about energy saving on attitudes and behavior intentions. An online experiment (N=183) revealed that participants in the […]Read More
Abstract: This study posits that human values can be used to identify and segment audiences for social media‐based valuable brand activities. Three online surveys were conducted with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram users (ages 18–34) on Amazon Mechanical Turk (N = 491). The relationship between social media users’ values and their reported social media activities was […]Read More
Abstract: Companies consider social media‐based consumer engagement behaviors such as sharing, content creation, and reviews for brands as more valuable than “liking” or consuming brand content. Studies show that branded content shared or created by consumers on social media may drive more brand awareness and loyalty than “likes” (Adweek, 2013). Global companies are increasingly focusing […]Read More
Abstract: This study examined the effects of joining and actively participating in e-cigarette-related social media communities (SMCs), along with e-cigarette-related subjective norms, and social identification with other e-cigarette users, on current e-cigarette users’ attitudes towards quitting, self-efficacy, and intention to quit. Results (N=1016) indicated that greater e-cigarette-related social media use, more positive e-cigarette-related subjective norms […]Read More
Abstract: Social media-based consumer engagement behaviors, such as sharing, content creation and reviews for brands as more valuable than “liking” or consuming brand content. As consumers trust consumer-driven recommendations more than advertising, brand content shared or created by consumers on social media may drive brand awareness and loyalty. Marketing researchers and practitioners are only recently […]Read More
Abstract: A between-subjects 2 (source type: celebrity versus non-celebrity) x 2 (message valence: positive versus negative) factorial experiment (N = 288) examined the effects of source type and message valence on various outcomes of Instagram-based advertising messages about veganism. Results of data analyses indicate significant main effects of message valence on perceived information value of […]Read More
Abstract: This study examined exposure to three types of e-cigarette marketing—sponsored advertisements, brand pages, and user-created groups—on social networking sites and their influence on health-related outcomes. Results (N = 1,016) indicated that e-cigarette users who joined user-created groups had significantly more negative attitudes toward quitting and lower behavioral control, intention to quit, and self-efficacy than […]Read More
Abstract: Celebrities endorsing veganism may exert social influence on consumers’ attitude toward veganism and behavioral intention to become vegan. A between-subjects online experiment (N = 303) examined the effects of consumers’ eating habits (meat eater versus non-meat eater) and celebrities’ vegan identity (altruistic motivation versus egoistic motivation) on various outcomes of health communication about veganism. […]Read More
Abstract: With an estimated 10.8 million adult users, particularly amongst 18 to 24-year olds, e-cigarette use is an increasingly serious health issue within the United States. These products are often promoted as smoking cessation devices for use in quitting smoking and nicotine replacement therapy. JUUL, a leading brand of e-cigarettes, is also heavily featured in […]Read More
Abstract: This study examined effects of hashtag type (brand name versus empowering campaign hashtag) on information value and attitude towards hashtags. Results indicated that consumers showed more favorable attitudes towards empowering campaign hashtags than brand name hashtags, and that perceived information value of hashtags meditated the relationship between hashtag type and attitude toward the hashtags. […]Read More
Abstract: Through a 2×3 between-subjects experiment, this study examined effects of health warning labels (presence or absence) and advertising message claims (“Quit smoking using e-cigarettes,” “Healthier than regular cigarettes” or none) in celebrity-endorsed Instagram e-cigarette brand advertisements. Results indicated health warning labels exerted significant main effects on attitude towards e-cigarettes, intention to use e-cigarettes, and […]Read More
Abstract: Snapchat geofilter advertisements use augmented reality (AR) technology to place consumers in photographs embellished with branded content. This study examined the joint influence of self-brand congruity, self-referencing and perceived humor in these self-endorsed geofilter brand advertisements on consumers’ brand-related preferences. Results revealed that self-brand congruity, self-referencing and perceived humor exerted significant main effects on […]Read More
Abstract: Celebrities endorsing e-cigarette brands on social media may exert a strong influence on e-cigarette uptake. Using a between-subject experiment, this study examines the effects of endorser type (celebrities, non-celebrities and products only) in e-cigarette brand Instagram advertisements on e-cigarette attitudes and smoking intentions. Results showed that celebrity endorsers significantly increased positive attitudes towards e-cigarettes […]Read More
Abstract: Purpose – Applying social identity theory, the social identity-brand equity model and excitation-transfer theory, the purpose of this paper is to examine effects of game outcome (win/loss) and location (home/away) on sport fans’ brand attitude and purchase intention toward a brand endorsed by their favorite sport team on Facebook, as well as the mediating […]Read More
Abstract: This study examined effects of Facebook reaction icons and user comments on brand attitude, trust, information seeking, purchase intention, and eWOM intention towards a health brand, as well as potential moderating effects of SNS use. Results of a 3 (reaction icons: positive/neutral/negative) x 3 (valence of comments: positive/neutral/negative) between-subjects experiment (N = 306) indicated […]Read More
Dr. Phua’s teaching specialties include digital and social communication strategies, advertising and communication management, and digital advertising at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Dr. Phua has worked in corporate communications at MTV networks, account management at Dailey and Associates Advertising, and in film production at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, California, before attending the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, where he earned his Ph.D. in 2011.
Awards and Fellowships
Dissertation of the Year Award 2012, NCA Health Communication Division, National Communication Association (NCA) Conference, Orlando, Florida, November 2012
Dissertation of the Year Award 2012, ICA Health Communication Division, International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, May 2012
CTL Lilly Teaching Fellows 2012-2014, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
International Dissertation Research Award 2010-2011, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Top Student Paper, Human Communication and Technology Division, National Communication Association (NCA) Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2009
Top Student Paper, Intergroup Communication Interest Group, International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, Montreal, Canada, May 2008