Shut-up I Don't Care: Understanding the Role of Relevance and Interactivity on Customer Attitudes Toward Repetitive Online Advertising

Ryan T. Wright, University of San Francisco
Damon E. Campbell

Article published in Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2008.


Many streams of research have shown that familiarity influences positive attitudes. Such research streams have driven marketing strategies with the explicit goal of exposing potential customers to repeated stimuli, specifically to advertisements. These marketing strategies have been employed in many contexts, including online. This research paper argues that the online environment, being far richer than traditional means of conveyance, has a different constellation of constructs affecting attitudes. Due to this richness, simply applying the principle of repetition does not make logical sense. Further, this research hopes to extend the traditional view of advertising to the online environment by proposing two additional constructs, other than repetition, that influence attitudes of advertisements. These two factors are personal relevance and interactivity. To explore this idea, two empirical studies are undertaken to test the relationships between interactivity, personal relevance and attitudes. The first is a survey study (N=97), and the second employs a laboratory experiment (N=118). Results support that advertisement interactivity significantly affects attitudes toward the online ads, the website, and the product featured in the advertisement. Personal relevance was also shown to significantly affect attitude toward the ad in both studies.