Disclosure-Driven Recognition of Native Advertising: A Test of Two Competing Mechanisms

Eline Brussee, Eva Van Reijmersdal, Nathaniel Evans, and Bart Wojdynski (forthcoming), “Disclosure-Driven Recognition of Native Advertising: A Test of Two Competing Mechanisms,” Journal of Interactive Advertising

Abstract: This study aims to contribute to the literature by examining how two opposite-valanced mechanisms (activation of conceptual persuasion knowledge and perceived transparency of the native advertising) explain positive and negative effects of sponsorship disclosures on brand responses (i.e., brand attitude and purchase intentions) and by examining the role of message source. An experiment (N = 133) showed that disclosures of native advertising decreased persuasion via activated persuasion knowledge: Readers who understood that a blog post was a form of advertising due to a disclosure, showed more attitudinal persuasion knowledge, which in turn led to less positive brand attitudes and lower purchase intention. However, the disclosure also enhanced persuasion via perceptions of transparency of the blog post: due to the disclosure, the blog post was perceived as more transparent, which resulted in less attitudinal persuasion knowledge and in more positive attitudes toward the brand and higher purchase intentions. Source did not moderate these mediation effects. By incorporating two competing mechanisms this study offers important new insights into the theoretical mechanisms that explain advertising disclosure effects.

Native advertising relevance effects and the moderating role of attitudes toward social networking sites

Hye Jin Yoon, Yan Huang, and Mark Yi-Cheon Yim (2022), “Native advertising relevance effects and the moderating role of attitudes toward social networking sites,” Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

Abstract: Native advertising on social media continues to be a popular ad placement for marketers. With native ad-content relevance in need of further exploration regarding individual differences and social media public sentiment waning, this study set out to test the effects of ad-content relevance of native ads varying by users’ pre-existing social networking site (SNS) attitude. Two experiments were conducted with native ads relevant and irrelevant to the surrounding media content with SNS attitude as a measured moderator and perceived ad importance as the mediator. Across Instagram and Twitter, SNS attitude moderated the effect of ad relevance on ad responses. Users that had lower SNS attitudes had significantly higher ad ratings that were relevant (vs. irrelevant) to the media content, while those that had higher SNS attitudes did not show differences. The lower SNS attitude individuals showed a greater appreciation for the relevant ads through the mediating effect of perceived importance. Marketers need to look beyond traditional ad attitude models and craft ad content strategies that consider target audiences’ SNS preferences. Layering targeting tactics on Instagram and Twitter such as “interests” and “life events” with demographic targeting could help increase the chances of ad-content relevance. SNSs should advance their ad placement tools and utilize image, speech, and text recognition algorithms to help achieve ad-content relevance for greater ad effectiveness. This study adds to the literature by identifying SNS attitude as a qualifier of ad-content relevance effect for SNS native ads and uncovering perceived ad importance as the underlying psychological mechanism. 

Exploring how disclosure works for listicle-style native advertising: the role of persuasion knowledge, persuasion appropriateness and supplementary disclosure effect of brand social media

Abstract: Listicles are a new media phenomenon that appear on a news organization’s website; they are articles that use a ranked list and offer concise details about a topic to readers. The study explores how consumers recognize and understand native ad forms that mimic listicle-style online news articles. We investigated whether the inclusion of a disclosure or a companion brand social media post triggers the same effect and process provoked by conceptual persuasion knowledge. Through a between-subject design experiment, we show that the presence of disclosures and branded social media posts influence consumer’s perception of persuasion appropriateness, which correlates to the affective and behavioral evaluation of the brand and publisher.

Invisible transparency: Visual attention to disclosures and source recognition in Facebook political advertising

Abstract: In an effort to improve transparency, Facebook changed its disclosures on in-feed native political advertisements in 2018 to include language that identifies who paid for the ad to appear. The present study (N = 120) utilized a between-participants eye-tracking experiment to assess the impact of three different disclosure conditions on Facebook users’ visual attention to the disclosure, recall of the disclosure, and the ability to identify the sponsor of the advertisement. Findings suggest that while users do give visual attention to Facebook’s new political ad disclosure, the disclosure language is not effective at enhancing users’ comprehension of who paid the political advertisements.

Reducing native advertising deception: Revisiting the antecedents and consequences of persuasion knowledge in digital news contexts.

ABSTRACT: Building on the persuasion knowledge model, this study examines how audience characteristics and native advertising recognition influence the covert persuasion process. Among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults (N = 738), we examined digital news readers’ recognition of a sponsored news article as advertising. Although fewer than 1 in 10 readers recognized the article as advertising, recognition was most likely among younger, more educated consumers who engaged with news media for informational purposes. Recognition led to greater counterarguing, and higher levels of informational motivation also led to less favorable evaluations of the content among recognizers. News consumers were most receptive to native advertising in a digital news context when publishers were more transparent about its commercial nature. Beyond theoretical insights into the covert persuasion process, this study offers practical utility to the advertisers, publishers, and policymakers who wish to better understand who is more likely to be confused by this type of advertising so that they can take steps to minimize deception.

Advertising Nativeness as a Function of Content and Design Congruence

Abstract: Despite high interest in native advertising, the definition and effectiveness of native advertising remain subjects of debate. To address this problem, we explored the nature of perceived advertising nativeness as experienced by media users, developed a scale to measure this perception, and examined how it influence advertising outcomes. Using survey data about 32 ad stimuli from three studies, we examined the nature and role of perceived advertising nativeness. The 6-item ad nativeness scale, consisting of two congruence dimensions (i.e., content nativeness and design nativeness), was reliable and valid, and the construct significantly influenced attitude toward the advertisement (Aad), attitude toward the brand (Ab), and purchase intention (PI). Content and design nativeness had different effects on these advertising outcomes at different levels (high vs. low) of consumer involvement. This study contributes to the theoretical knowledge of native advertising and offers an empirical method for optimizing the performance of native advertising.