#Sponsored! How the recognition of sponsoring on Instagram posts affects adolescents’ brand evaluations through source evaluations

Published on Aug 1, 2020in Computers in Human Behavior
· DOI :10.1016/J.CHB.2020.106342
Steffi De Jans7
Estimated H-index: 7
(UGent: Ghent University),
Dieneke Van de Sompel5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UGent: Ghent University)
+ 1 AuthorsLiselot Hudders20
Estimated H-index: 20
(UGent: Ghent University)
Abstract Through sponsored content that appears on Instagram users' feeds, advertisers aim to increase brand awareness and induce brand liking. This study examines whether or not the source of this sponsored content plays a crucial role in determining advertising effectiveness among adolescents (aged twelve to eighteen years, N = 131). In particular, sponsored content can be endorsed by the brand itself or by a social media influencer who has been compensated to promote the brand on his/her Instagram profile. Adolescents are often not aware that the sponsored influencer post is advertising, which thereby obstructs a critical reflection. Although previous research indicates that adding a proper disclosure can slightly increase users' advertising recognition, it is unclear both how this recognition further affects users’ processing of sponsored content and whether or not this process differs for content posted by brands and content posted by influencers. This study therefore experimentally examines the moderating role of advertising recognition on these source effects. The results reveal that influencer posts lead to higher brand liking, whereas brand posts lead to higher brand awareness. Furthermore, influencers are more greatly admired, whereas brands are perceived as more credible (when advertising recognition is high).
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