The Role of Spokescharacters as Advertisement and Package Cues in Integrated Marketing Communications

Abstract
Marketers often use verbal claims to highlight brand benefits in marketing communication campaigns. However, spokescharacters may also be incorporated into campaigns and are often featured both in advertisements and on product packages. The authors use three studies to examine various integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategic combinations, including the effects related to the use of spokescharacters versus verbal attributes; advertisement㤼㸶package coordination; character relevancy; and the presence of new, favorable brand information that may compete for cognitive resources on packages. Based on conceptual rationales drawn from encoding specificity, network associations, and the elaboration likelihood model, the findings offer empirical evidence that pertains to the potential benefits of including spokescharacters in IMC campaigns. Specifically, the use of spokescharacters results in more favorable brand attitudes, even when brand attribute recall is affected adversely by deviations from the primary message conveyed in the IMC campaigns. The authors offer some implications of these and other findings for marketers attempting to affect consumer evaluations favorably with spokescharacters in IMC campaigns.

Keywords: spokescharacters, characters, advertising, integrated marketing communications, brand attributes

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