This study examines how product attribute typicality and brand commitment influence the effects of comparative versus non-comparative ads on brand attitudes. Employing perspectives from the literatures on typicality and commitment, the study examines the effects of commitment to the comparison brand on the effectiveness of comparative versus non-comparative advertising. A between-informants experiment uses data from 466 student informants. It is hypothesized that (a) when the attribute under consideration is typical (atypical), among comparison brand committed informants, a non-comparative ad is more (no more) persuasive than a comparative ad, (b) when the attribute under consideration is typical, among comparison brand non-committed informants, a comparative ad is more persuasive than a non-comparative ad, and (c) when the attribute under consideration is atypical, among comparison brand non-committed informants, a comparative ad is likely to be more persuasive than a non-comparative ad, but the effect will be weaker than in the case of a typical attribute. Hypothesis (a) is supported while (b) has directional support. The results support a three-way interaction between consumer commitment, attribute typicality, and type of advertisement. The findings are relevant to a variety of contexts, such as markets characterized by high levels of market share and commitment for the market leader as well as fragmented markets where market share and commitment levels are low.
- Attribute typicality
- Comparative advertising