The influence of adult attachment style and advertising appeals on consumer brand attachment and measures of advertising effectiveness
Flowers, Jason Jerome
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The relationship consumers form with products and brands is well researched. Products provide consumers with a way to create a sense of stability, comfort and expression and can serve as an actual or psychological extension of the consumer. The theoretical idea that consumers form relationships with brands that often mimic interpersonal relationships is the foundational assumption this dissertation operates under. The common thread that ties various transitions of branding scholarship together is the notion of attachment. In the domain of consumer behavior, current research that examines attachment fails to address the impact advertising plays in the effective communication of brand messages. The purpose of this research is to further examine the role advertising plays in the formation of consumer emotional brand attachment. But specifically, this research examines how various types of advertising appeals and adult attachment interact to influence advertising effectiveness. Two studies were conducted. Study 1 examined the impact of adult attachment and one advertising appeal on participants’ emotional attachment to a brand that was perceived to have a sincere personality. Also, participants were asked to rate the effectiveness of the ad by reporting their attitude toward the ad, attitude toward the brand and purchase intention. Study 2 further examined the anxiety dimension of attachment by looking at the affects of secure and preoccupied attachment styles and two advertising appeals. The study sought to understand how participants with varying levels of anxiety coupled with seeing two advertising appeals would report their emotional brand attachment and their perception of the advertisement shown. Overall, this research seeks to bring attention to the importance of the role attachment and advertising play in fulfilling consumers’ needs. Consumers with different attachment styles often have different consumption goals that need to be taken into account when trying to craft effective strategic communications that help build strong consumer brand relationships.