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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Ad Creativity in B2B Contexts: An Exploratory Study and Conceptual Framework

Published: May 25, 2021


Brian Brown, Virginia Commonwealth University; Jodie Ferguson, Virginia Commonwealth University; Kunal Swani, Wright State University; Naveen Donthu, Georgia State University


Business-to-business (B2B) advertising tends to be product- and function-oriented. It generally lacks much in terms of creativity. This is not surprising considering classic organizational behavior theory. But when might a creative ad be more appropriate and effective than an informative ad? B2B scholars have been slow to study advertising or ad creativity. This research explores ad creativity in B2B contexts and aims to determine the factors that influence buyers’ perceptions of ad creativity and the relative effectiveness of ad creativity. By building on information processing theories and implementing an ongoing 4-stage research study, it seeks to offer a comprehensive overview of ad creativity from the buyer and ad agency perspectives. Initial findings suggest a conceptual framework of B2B ad creativity, and offer advertising agency and business managers guidance related to when ad creativity is likely to “break through the clutter” and impact brand and firm performance.