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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Pleasure of a Battle: How Competitive Advertising Increases the Perceived Hedonic Value of Products

Published: May 28, 2019


Shirin Gatter, University of Hohenheim; Verena Hüttl-Maack, University of Hohenheim


competitive advertising; comparative advertising; hedonic value


We investigate advertising forms characterized by competitiveness and argue that the fun derived from competitions is also inherent in such advertisements. Thus, competitive ads can induce hedonic value that might influence advertising outcomes. However, we assume that when the level of perceived competitiveness is too high, hedonic value creation is inhibited. In our first study, we compare directly comparative ads (i.e., those naming a competitor) and indirectly comparative ads (i.e., those directed towards all competitors). We show that indirectly comparative ads induce a higher level of hedonic value perception than non-comparative ads and directly comparative ads. In our second and third studies, we show that advertisements using a competitive slogan also elicit more fun than ads using neutral slogans. We further show that the fun elicited by competitive ads also contributes to a more positive attitude towards the ad and the product.