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Effective framing strategies for service advertising: The impact of narrative, rhetorical tropes and argument on consumer response across different service categories

McGinn, K. (2013). Effective framing strategies for service advertising: The impact of narrative, rhetorical tropes and argument on consumer response across different service categories. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This thesis investigates the role of information framing strategies for services advertising. The framing strategy refers to the distinguishable pattern in the manifest advertisement (McQuarrie and Mick 1996) and represents the structural composition of the information presented (Tsai 2007). Focusing on services is an important line of enquiry which is in keeping with global economic developments and the evolution of services marketing as a distinct discipline within marketing. Despite the ever increasing importance of services for global economies, services advertising research remains underdeveloped compared to goods (Stafford et al. 2011). Information framing is important because how messages are presented to consumers has both direct effects on consumer responses, as well as mediated effects via the specific information processing styles triggered. This thesis is divided into three papers, each of which work towards improving our currently impoverished understanding of the effectiveness of different framing strategies for services. The first paper is a literature review, mwhich offers a comprehensive review of the traditional and contemporary literature informing our knowledge of the impact of framing strategies on consumer responses to advertising. The next paper employs a content analysis methodology to shed light on the different framing strategies viewed as alternatives by modern services and to offer an overall perspective on the most frequently used framing strategies in practice. This paper also examines trends in the muse of framing strategies across service types and identifies if any disparity exists between the mfindings of this study and optimal framing strategies as dictated by the theoretical background. The third and final paper in this thesis is a 3(framing strategy: argument v. metaphor v. narrative) x 2(mental intangibility: high v. low) x 2(customization: high v. low) between-subjects web-experiment (n = 663). This paper develops and empirically tests hypotheses related to the moderating impact of service characteristics on consumer response to framing strategies. This study raises interesting findings on the effectiveness of different framing strategies in enhancing comprehension and attitudes towards different types of services. Further, comparing the content analysis and experimental findings brings the disparity between how service practitioners are framing their advertisements versus effective framing strategies to light. This thesis therefore has important managerial implications.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Doctoral Theses
Bayes Business School > Bayes Business School Doctoral Theses
Text - Accepted Version
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