Congratulations to new Grady Advertising professor, Dr. Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, who just published a peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Advertising. She coauthored the study with Stanford University professor, Dr. Jeremy Bailenson. The article is titled, "Self-endorsing versus other-endorsing in virtual environments: The effect on brand attitude and purchase intention."
Dr. Ahn used virtual reality and avatars to study the effects of self-endorsement: "The incorporation of the consumer within an advertisement by depicting the self endorsing a brand or a product."
The researchers conducted three related studies to explore the effect of self-endorsement (individual's avatars using an unfamiliar brand) on brand attitudes and purchase intention.
According to Dr. Ahn, the results of these studies, "revealed that seeing the self's avatar endorse a brand by using it in a virtual space triggers individuals to develop a greater affinity for an unfamiliar brand compared to seeing another avatar use an unfamiliar brand."
She explains that, "overall, these studies implied that merely seeing digital self-representations arbitrarily linked with a brand is persuasive enough to elicit favorable brand attitude and purchasing intention. Furthermore, they suggest that the link between the self and brands may not be as elaborate as was once thought."
Dr. Ahn will be conducting additional virtual reality research in Grady's new virtual reality lab. This year she'll be teaching an advertising research course, as well as the advertising and society course.
Read the full article here.