Identifier

etd-04152013-134306

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Communications practitioners have long studied factors related to consumers’ impressions of brands as well as their intent to purchase from brands. While early research has focused on traditional advertising methods, newer research is geared towards understanding how interactive features are changing this relationship. The rise of newer computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies, specifically social media, has lead to many changes in the way organizations market their brands as they allow for unique, interactive communication between an organization and its publics. While the notion of interactivity, a core feature of CMC, has no one definition, researchers continue to examine its effects within the digital sphere. This exploratory study investigated the effects of level of interactivity on the social networking site, Facebook, as well as level of product involvement on users’ attitudes towards the brand and perceptions of the brand as well as their intent to purchase from the brand. The study utilized a 2x2 (high interactivity, low interactivity X high involvement, low involvement) factorial design with level of interactivity and level of involvement as independent variables and attitudes toward the brand, perceptions of reputation and purchase intent as dependent variables. To explore these relationships, this study utilized a controlled online experiment with 96 adults. Participants were exposed to one of four possible conditions, and the data were analyzed using a factorial analysis of variance in SPSS. While this study did not find any significant effects for interactivity or product involvement on users’ impressions or intent to purchase from the brand, it did find that interactivity, attitudes toward the brand, perceptions of the brand and purchase intent were all highly, positively correlated with one another. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Date

2013

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sanders, Meghan

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