AR: Boy’s responses to the integration of advertising and entertainment content
What does the article examine?
The article reports findings of a research project which examined the persuasion knowledge of young boys in relation to so called “brand-integrated magazines” and compared them to traditional product catalogues. Brand-integrated magazines are promotional magazines, which contain branded products, but which are not clearly labelled as a catalogue or advertising (for example, many retailers have these types of magazines, e.g. Waitrose Food Magazine for adults).
Which concepts are discussed in the article?
The article focuses largely on Persuasion Knowledge as a background to study how young boys evaluated these two different media forms. Moreover the study reports attitude measures for the products that were used.
Where is the data from and what methodology is being used?
The data that the article draws upon is based on young boys aged between 8 and 12 years old. The reason for choosing boys was that the brand-integrated magazine was targeted towards boys.
What are the main outcomes?
The boys identified the persuasive nature of the catalogue more readily than the persuasive intent of the magazine. However, while for adults identification of a persuasive often is linked to the activation of defence mechanisms, which often includes liking the product less. Conversely, in this study, the boys actually had more positive attitudes towards the products after seeing the catalogue, while also being more aware of the persuasive intention of the catalogue (i.e. they knew the intent was to persuade them to buy the product).
Why should you read it?
The article is interesting because it shows that the popular idea that marketers often implicitly have suggesting that not activating persuasion knowledge is a positive is not true for young children (or at least boys in this case). Rather the findings imply that children, even if they have activated persuasion knowledge, do not necessarily use this to critically evaluate the communication they receive.
Full Reference: van Reijmersdal, E. A., Rozendaal, E., & Buijzen, M. (2015). Boys’ responses to the integration of advertising and entertaining content. Young Consumers,16(3), 251-263.