General and special interest magazine advertising and the Elaboration Likelihood Model: A comparative content analysis and investigation of the effects of differential route processing execution strategies
Szczepanski, Christopher Michael
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This investigation examined both the presence and application of the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) as a strategic model of advertising effectiveness in general and special interest magazines. In particular, this investigation argued matching ELM-based executional strategies (central or peripheral) to a message receiver's expected message processing route (central or peripheral) should enhance advertising effectiveness. It was suggested that the broad hierarchies of consumer magazines, general interest and special interest, should allow advertisers to predict consumers message route processing based upon the inherent motivation and ability (M&A) levels of the reader population the magazine attracts. Subsequently, special interest magazine were reasoned to, generally, attract a reader population with inherently high M&A levels, while general interest magazines were reasoned to, generally, attract a reader population with inherently low M&A levels. Consequently, advertising effectiveness was reasoned to be enhanced by the strategic design and implementation of ads featuring central executional strategies in special interest magazines and ads featuring peripheral executional strategies in general interest magazines. The results of this investigation did not favor employing the ELM as an applied model of strategic advertising in currently in practice. However, the small sample population of the study tempers this finding. Moreover, limited evidence of advertisers currently employing the ELM as a strategic model of advertising was found.