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Title:
Relationship advertising investigating the strategic appeal of intimacy (disclosure) in services marketing
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Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Scott, Andrea Diahann Gaye
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla.
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Subjects / Keywords:
television
experiment
psychology
interpersonal
communication
qualitative
Dissertations, Academic -- Marketing -- Doctoral -- USF
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
ABSTRACT: One approach to communicating and thereby building a close relationship with consumers is via advertising. In other words, if service providers can invoke feelings of connection and intimacy--where consumers feel understood, cared for, and validated--through advertising, a stronger bond and sense of loyalty is likely to follow. When intimacy is conceived as knowing and being known by another, which incorporates mutual and reciprocal (though not necessarily equal) liking and vulnerability, its application extends beyond romantic relationships to the current context of relationship and services marketing.This research provides empirical support for the use of intimacy as an appeal in services marketing advertising by operationalizing the concepts presented in Stern's (1997) article "Advertising Intimacy: Relationship Marketing and the Services Consumer." The methods employed range from exploratory focus groups and in-depth interviews to the generation of a ratings scale and experimental testing of intimacy appeals that account for individual differences (i.e., gender, need for affiliation and felt involvement).
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2004.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Andrea Diahann Gaye Scott.
General Note:
Includes vita.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 156 pages.

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Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001498282
oclc - 57724288
notis - AJU6887
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0000572
usfldc handle - e14.572
System ID:
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ABSTRACT: One approach to communicating and thereby building a close relationship with consumers is via advertising. In other words, if service providers can invoke feelings of connection and intimacy--where consumers feel understood, cared for, and validated--through advertising, a stronger bond and sense of loyalty is likely to follow. When intimacy is conceived as knowing and being known by another, which incorporates mutual and reciprocal (though not necessarily equal) liking and vulnerability, its application extends beyond romantic relationships to the current context of relationship and services marketing.This research provides empirical support for the use of intimacy as an appeal in services marketing advertising by operationalizing the concepts presented in Stern's (1997) article "Advertising Intimacy: Relationship Marketing and the Services Consumer." The methods employed range from exploratory focus groups and in-depth interviews to the generation of a ratings scale and experimental testing of intimacy appeals that account for individual differences (i.e., gender, need for affiliation and felt involvement).
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Relationship Advertising: Investigating the Strategic Appeal of Intimacy (Disclosure) in Services Marketing by Andrea Diahann Gaye Scott A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Marketing College of Business University of South Florida Major Professor: Paul J. Solomon, Ph.D. Karen O. Brandon, Ph.D. Barbara Lafferty, Ph.D. William B. Locander, Ph.D. Miriam Stamps, Ph.D. Date of Approval: October 6, 2004 Keywords: television, experiment, psychology, interpersonal, communication, qualitative Copyright 2004, Andrea D. G. Scott

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Dedication I dedicate this work to my wonderful parents Del and Jasper Scott, who have been my greatest cheerleaders and role models since day one. I thank you for instilling a genuine and enthusiastic love of learning, for cultivating a healthy sense of both purpose and obligation, and most importantly, for fostering a keen understanding that the fear of the Lord is indeed the beginning of wisdom. It is an honor to be your daughter and I am humbled by your unconditional love.

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Acknowledgments I am grateful for the numerous individuals who helped me complete this task and for organizations such as Keswick Christian School, Honeywell, Inc., and other welcoming groups in Pinellas County and the Tampa Bay area. My parents offered both practical and emotional insight that was invaluable. I offer thanks to my super-supportive brothers Shane and Quentin, who never lost faith in what I could accomplish. I am appreciative of my many friends, colleagues, and family members who kept rooting me onempathizing with me during the set-backs, and celebrating the mini-victories along the way. I extend a special thank you to Rudy Oswald, Ph.D., who helped me get this degree started and to Robert Williams, who helped me finish well. Finally, I thank my committee for their guidance and input during this process and for their confidence in the value of my work. 1

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TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS .....................................................................................................I LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................IV LIST OF FIGURES ...........................................................................................................V ABSTRACT ......................................................................................................................VI CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ................................................................................1 ORIGIN AND GOALS OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH ............................................................1 IMPORT AND RELEVANCE OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH ...................................................3 DEFINING INTIMACY ...........................................................................................................5 KEY OBSERVATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN STERN (1997) .............................................5 RESEARCH STAGES .............................................................................................................6 CURRENT LITERATURE .......................................................................................................7 1) Intimacy .............................................................................................................8 2) Creative Strategy: Use of Appeals .....................................................................8 3) Individual Differences: Involvement, Desire for Intimacy, and.......................... Gender ....................................................................................................................9 4) Relationship Marketing: Stage-Based Relationship Development ....................9 STUDY CONTEXT .................................................................................................................9 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................................10 Stage 1: Descriptive Checklist Construction .......................................................10 Stage 2: TV Advertising Experiment ...................................................................12 DISCIPLINARY CONTRIBUTION .........................................................................................12 ORGANIZATION OF DISSERTATION ...................................................................................13 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW ...................................................................14 PARALLELS BETWEEN STERN (1997) AND PROPOSED RESEARCH ....................................15 Theoretical support for intimacy ..........................................................................16 Advertising the attributes of intimate relationship ...............................................16 Stage-based relationship development .................................................................17 Intimacy skills ......................................................................................................17 Individual differences ..........................................................................................17 RELEVANT VARIABLES AND PRELIMINARY MODEL. ........................................................18 INTIMACY IN PSYCHOLOGY ..............................................................................................20 Defining Intimacy ................................................................................................20 Analyzing Intimacy: The nature and components of intimacy ............................23 Measuring intimacy .............................................................................................29 INTIMACY AND MARKETING ..............................................................................................35 Adapting the Reis and Shaver (1988) Intimacy Process Model ..........................36 Model Components .................................................................................38 i

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Parallels between Desired Consumer Response and Tenants of Intimate Relationships ........................................................................39 CREATIVE STRATEGY .......................................................................................................43 Contrasting appeals: Sex, Warmth, and Emotions in Advertising .......................43 Sexy Advertising ....................................................................................44 Warm Advertising ..................................................................................45 Rational advertising: contrasting the role of emotions ...........................47 The challenges of communicating intimate relationship .....................................51 The impact of visual imagery ..............................................................................52 INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES: INVOLVEMENT, DESIRE FOR INTIMACY, AND GENDER .....................................................................................................................54 Involvement .........................................................................................................54 Conceptualizing Involvement .................................................................54 Measuring Involvement ..........................................................................57 Applying Involvement ............................................................................58 Desire for Intimacy ..............................................................................................58 Social intimacy .......................................................................................59 Gender Differences in Advertisement Processing and Interpretation ..................60 RELATIONSHIP MARKETING: STAGE-BASED RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT ..................62 The nature of services relationships: commercial friendships .............................62 Themes and tangibility in services advertising ....................................................63 Stage-based of relationship development ............................................................65 CHAPTER TWO SUMMARY ................................................................................................68 CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY .........................................................................70 STUDY CONTEXT ...............................................................................................................71 STAGE 1: QUALITATIVE METHODOLOGY / CHECKLIST CONSTRUCTION ........................72 Emergent Inquiry .................................................................................................72 Study #1: Descriptive Checklist Construction ....................................................73 Scoring the Checklist ..............................................................................74 Creating the Ads .....................................................................................75 Scripts for DIAMOND FINANCIAL SERVICES: ................................76 Scripts for CLOVER HEALTHCARE SERVICES: ..............................77 STAGE 2: QUANTITATIVE METHODOLOGY ......................................................................78 Goals of Quantitative Testing ..............................................................................78 Study #2: TV Advertising Experiment ................................................................79 Sampling Frame ...................................................................................................80 Procedures ............................................................................................................83 Involvement .........................................................................................................84 Independent Variables .........................................................................................85 Dependent Variables ............................................................................................86 Evaluation ...............................................................................................86 Bonding ...................................................................................................87 Data Analysis, Anticipated Outcome, and Research Contribution ......................88 CHAPTER THREE SUMMARY .............................................................................................91 CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS AND RESULTS ...........................................................92 STUDY #1: DESCRIPTIVE CHECKLIST CONSTRUCTION ....................................................92 SCALE RELIABILITY AND VALIDATION .............................................................................93 Evaluation and Bonding .......................................................................................94 Involvement .........................................................................................................94 ii

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Desire for Intimacy ..............................................................................................95 STUDY #2: TV ADVERTISING EXPERIMENT .....................................................................96 Overall Results .....................................................................................................96 Results for Hypotheses ........................................................................................99 CHAPTER FOUR SUMMARY .............................................................................................104 CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION, IMPLICATIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................................................105 ANSWERING THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS .......................................................................106 LIMITATIONS ...................................................................................................................110 FUTURE ANALYSIS ..........................................................................................................111 DISCIPLINARY CONTRIBUTIONS ......................................................................................113 MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS ..........................................................................................114 CONCLUDING REMARKS .................................................................................................115 REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................117 APPENDICES ................................................................................................................130 ABOUT THE AUTHOR ....................................................................................... End Page iii

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LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Operationalizing an Intimacy Appeal: Multi-method Research Design ............................7 Table 2: Parallels Between Stern (1997) and Proposed Research .................................................18 Table 3: Proposed Variables ..........................................................................................................19 Table 4: Definitions of Intimacy ....................................................................................................22 Table 5: Analyzing Intimacy .........................................................................................................27 Table 6: Measuring Intimacy .........................................................................................................32 Table 7: Components of Reis & Shaver (1988) Intimacy Process Model ...........................................41 Table 8: Comparison of Warmth and Intimacys Characteristics ..................................................47 Table 9: Descriptive Comparison of Rational, Warmth, and Intimacy Appeals ............................50 Table 10: Adaptation of Levinger and Snoeks (1972) Relationship Developmental Cycle ......................................................................................................................................67 Table 11: Operationalizing an Intimacy Appeal: Multi-method Research Design ........................71 Table 12: Descriptive Statements for Rational, Warmth, and Intimacy Appeals ..........................75 Table 13: Participant Demographics ..............................................................................................82 Table 14: Sample Size by Treatment and Gender ..........................................................................82 Table 15: Modified PII Scale Items to measure Involvement ........................................................84 Table 16: Scale Items for Evaluation Measures .............................................................................87 Table 17: Scale Items for Bonding Measure ..................................................................................88 Table 18: Anticipated Score Distribution for Appeal on DVs .......................................................89 Table 19: Summary of Research Questions, Hypotheses, & Measures .........................................90 Table 20: ANOVA Comparison of Means for Descriptive Checklist ...........................................93 Table 21: Scale Reliability Measures ............................................................................................95 Table 22: Means and Standard Deviations for DVs.....................................................................97 Table 23: Univariate F-values for the Dependent Variables ..........................................................98 Table 24: Multiple Comparisons of Appeal on DVs: Mean Differences [H1-H3] ......................100 Table 25: Regression analysis of MSIS on DVs ..........................................................................102 iv

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Preliminary ANOVA Model for Relationship Advertising in Services Marketing ...............................................................................................................................19 Figure 2: Ogdens (1974) Basic Dialectical Points of Intimate Relationships ..............................25 Figure 3: Relationship Advertising Adaptation .............................................................................37 Figure 4: Experimental Design: 3 (appeal) x 2 (gender) x 2 (service type) ..................................81 v

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Relationship Advertising: Investigating the Strategic Appeal of Intimacy (Disclosure) in Services Marketing Andrea Diahann Gaye Scott ABSTRACT One approach to communicating and thereby building a close relationship with consumers is via advertising. In other words, if service providers can invoke feelings of connection and intimacywhere consumers feel understood, cared for, and validatedthrough advertising, a stronger bond and sense of loyalty is likely to follow. When intimacy is conceived as knowing and being known by another, which incorporates mutual and reciprocal (though not necessarily equal) liking and vulnerability, its application extends beyond romantic relationships to the current context of relationship and services marketing. This research provides empirical support for the use of intimacy as an appeal in services marketing advertising by operationalizing the concepts presented in Sterns (1997) article Advertising Intimacy: Relationship Marketing and the Services Consumer. The methods employed range from exploratory focus groups and in-depth interviews to the generation of a ratings scale and experimental testing of intimacy appeals that account for individual differences (i.e., gender, need for affiliation and felt involvement). vi

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION While the steady growth of relationship marketing has been well documented in academic and public press, the advertising associated with this phenomenon has only received a passing glance. With recent research touting the power of warm advertising to boost sales of familiar brands given increased media weight (Andrews 2002), additional investigation into advertisings ability to build close consumer relationships is overdue. Employing a multi-method approach, this dissertation seeks to consistently identify advertising that can achieve feelings of intimacy and connection and to measure its relative effectiveness. The streams of literature that provide useful framing are intimacy in psychology; creative strategy (appeal) and involvement in advertising; and relationship development in services marketing. The next few sections in this chapter describe the goals and relevance of the proposed research and provide a working definition of intimacy within this context. ORIGIN AND GOALS OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH The Idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable. --Erich Fromm So begins British broadcaster and educator Dr. Elaine Storkeys (1995) book, The Search for Intimacy that explores the deep and widespread longing in contemporary culture for close relationships. She notes that this need that permeates society is often satisfied via numerous types of relationships (e.g., marriage, friendships, romantic 1

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partnerships), interpersonal activities (e.g., team sports, church attendance, social clubs), and even consumption experiences (e.g., salon appointments; vacations; personal selling; aerobics classes). This last area of consumption is the arena for this discussion as the idea of developing deep and meaningful relationships with customers has been familiar territory for the marketing discipline especially since the emergence of services and relationship marketing in the 1980s (Berry 1983; Zeithaml 1988). More recently, the importance of deep and lasting relationships with end consumers has been highlighted as well (Sheth, Sisodia and Sharma, 2000; Wiersema 1996). One approach to communicating and thereby building a close relationship with consumers is via advertising. In other words, when service marketers can invoke feelings of connection and intimacywhere consumers feel understood, cared for, and validatedthrough advertising, a stronger bond and sense of loyalty is likely to follow. Stern (1997) in an article titled, Advertising Intimacy: Relationship Marketing and the Services Consumer put forth the idea of using intimacy as an appeal in relationship and services marketing. Asserting that the task of relationship marketing advertising is to transform impersonal mass communication into representations of personal discourse, she makes the association between personal selling and advertising by stating the following, Whereas personal sales occur in real time and space and between real people, advertising occurs in the media, where it represents reality. That is, advertising "imitates" (in the Aristotelian term) relationships in instances of communication just as other media artifacts do (movies, television programs, books). In this sense, media (print, electronic, any other that the creative spirit can devise) simulate real-life human thoughts, feelings, and actions (Abrams 1993). 2

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With this perspective, advertising has the potential to transfer warm feelings (affection) from the service marketer to the consumer by employing what is henceforth referred to as an intimacy appeal. The extent to which an intimacy appeal can be successful in strengthening and improving business relationships is the subject of this research. Indeed advertising that successfully invokes the desired feelings of connectionwhere the consumer feels bonded to the advertisercould become a viable positioning strategy that can work in a companys favor (Mizerski and White 1986; Sheth and Pavityar 1995, Gronroos 1994). This sense of connection is present when the consumer feels known, affirmed, and cared for by the advertiser. Since this author defines intimacy as knowing and being known by another, which incorporates mutual and reciprocal (though not necessarily equal) liking and vulnerability, its application extends beyond romantic relationships to the current context of relationship and services marketing. Therefore, the goal of the proposed research is to generate empirical support for the use of intimacy as an appeal in services marketing advertising by operationalizing the concepts presented in Stern (1997). Sterns (1997) Journal of Advertising article, Advertising Intimacy: Relationship Marketing and the Services Consumer is an important starting point for this dissertation; for that reason the key issues that will be addressed and developed in the proposed research are further developed in Chapter Two. The following section offers more description of the potential contribution of this research. IMPORT AND RELEVANCE OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH Relationship marketing has superceded transactional marketing in many marketing exchangesespecially within the services marketing arena (Gronroos 1994). 3

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Accordingly, much of the related literature has explored the nature of close relationships from the manufacturer/retailer (Berry 1983; Gronroos 1994; Morgan 1994; Zeithaml, Berry, and Parasuraman 1996) and employee point of view (Bitner 1990; Arnould and Price 1993; Price, Arnould, and Tierney 1995) with fewer studies exploring close relationships from the consumers perspective (Price and Arnould 1999; Gwinner, Gremler, and Bitner 1998). The benefit of deep customer relationships to manufacturers, retailers, and service providers has been documented via the recognition of additional (new) customers, loyalty from existing customers, as well as input for new product ideas, service offerings and brand/service extensions (Zeithaml, Berry and Parasuraman 1996; Wiersema 1996; Price, Arnould, and Tierney 1995). Similarly consumers reap benefits in the form of confidence, social benefits, and special treatment (Gwinner, Gremler and Bitner 1998). Once the benefits of close relationships within a consumption context has been set as a desirable goal on behalf of both the marketer and the consumer, the quest for achieving and portraying rewarding relationships ensues. Admittedly, the concept of profound consumer connection is not limited to the realm of services and relationship marketing. Indeed consumers have been known to form intense attachments to brands within packaged goods, automobile, and footwear among other sectors (Fournier 1998). Still the context for the proposed study as introduced in Stern (1997) is services marketing since the reality of people forming relationships with people rather than with goods (Berry 1995, p. 237) is a key source of benefits to the firm (Webster 1992). Additionally, services marketing (i.e., financial planning, retail, or healthcare) allows for more of the interpersonal contact that is integral in developing close relationships. Before additional discussion about the use of an 4

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intimacy appeal in fostering a sense of connectedness between consumers and service marketers, a definition of intimacy within the current context is warranted. DEFINING INTIMACY Intimacy has been described as knowing that I am not alone in the universe[it] is the sharing of closeness, of bonding, of reciprocation (Storkey 1995). It is the engulfing of warmth and care. According to psychologist Dan McAdams (1989) intimacy refers to the sharing of ones innermost being, or essence (p. 46). He states that no other desire may be more compelling than the desire for intimacy and asserts that this universal intimacy motive is fundamental to human experiencethough the degree of motivation varies by individual (p. ix-x). Though closely related, intimacy is not the same as love, but rather a component of many forms of love such as affection, friendship, charity, or eros [see McAdams, 1989 p.38-45]. Furthermore, its application extends beyond romantic relationships and so within the current context of relationship and services marketing it should (obviously) not be confused with sex. Rather it is most closely associated with personal disclosure. Following a brief summary of Sterns (1997) key observations, the research stages, relevant literature, proposed methodology, and expected contributions are introduced. KEY OBSERVATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN STERN (1997) Gaining a greater understanding of the limited intimacy relationships present in consumption contexts is a worthwhile pursuit and is well-documented in the literature (Bitner 1990; Arnould and Price 1993; Price, Arnould, and Tierney 1995; Price and Arnould 1999; Gwinner, Gremler and Bitner 1998). While Sterns work explores the 5

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vitality of these relationships via advertising (as mediated communication) and introduces intimacy as a viable construct in explaining the manner in which these prized relationships are portrayed, it offers no empirical support for those ideas. Sterns main conceptualizations can be summarized as follows: The 5 Cs of intimate relationships (communication, caring, commitment, comfort, and conflict resolution) present themselves as benefits and features in relationship advertising. A stage-based developmental approach to relationship advertising is useful to align consumers with a given message. Therapeutic language and individual differences affect the impact of an intimacy appeal. These ideas reveal the potential of strategically designed language and images in advertising to enhance business relationships. In the same way that romantic relationships grow and blossom via series of exchanges and revelations, so do other types of relationshipsincluding consumption-based exchanges. The emanating questions address if and how service marketers communicate and engender close relationships with consumers via advertising. RESEARCH STAGES This dissertation adds to marketings knowledge base by adapting the Reis and Shavers (1988) intimacy process model to explain and test the ideas presented in Stern (1997); thereby uncovering whether or not service marketers can communicate or foster an intimate relationship with consumers via advertising. The three sequential aims are: 1) to study the language and executional framing of intimacy in advertising in order to develop consistent recognition of intimacy appeal in advertising; 2) to test intimacy appeal's comparative effectiveness in a services marketing context; and 6

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3) to account for individual differences toward intimacy appeal by isolating the impact of: gender, personal relevance/involvement, and individual desire for intimacy. It enlists a two-stage multi-method approach that combines discovery (emergent design) with hypothesis testing via sequential studies as shown below in Table 1. Table 1: Operationalizing an Intimacy Appeal: Multi-method Research Design Research Design Sequential studies Stage 1: Qualitative/ Descriptive Study #1: Development of Descriptive Checklist (pre-test) Stage 2: Quantitative/ Measurement Study #2: TV Advertising Experiment Relevant questions include: 1. Is intimacy advertising distinguishable from warm and rational advertising? 2. Does intimacy advertising help the consumer feel more connected to the advertiser than warm or rational advertising? 3. Is intimacy advertising more effective for liking and patronage intention than warm or Rational advertising? 4. What role do individual differences play in consumers evaluation of intimacy advertising? CURRENT LITERATURE As mentioned earlier, the streams of literature that provide useful framing for the current discussion are intimacy in psychology; creative strategy (appeal) and involvement in advertising; and relationship development in services marketing. Each of these four key constructs will be addressed in detail in Chapter Twos literature review. However, the following section briefly introduces the pertinent ideas associated with each construct and offers preliminary expectations. 7

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1) Intimacy Drawing from the psychology literature this dissertation seeks to further introduce intimacy to the realm of marketing by conceptualizing it as an advertising appeal that is particularly applicable to the context of services marketing. Reis and Shavers (1988) intimacy process model serves as the theoretical anchor for an intimacy appeal and it is based on a cross-section of various theories and approaches drawn from psychodynamic (i.e., identity and isolation), communication (i.e., self-disclosure and nonverbal behavior), and social psychology (i.e., equity and meeting needs) research. So advertising that reflects or utilizes the model should yield feelings of intimacy for the viewer and a sense of connection between the advertiser and the consumer. 2) Creative Strategy: Use of Appeals Creative strategy and execution (namely the form and content of an advertisement) plays a critical role in determining the success of a given appeal. It will be important to demonstrate how an intimacy appeal differs from warmth and affection or even sex within the advertising domain by virtue of its increased ability to bond the advertiser with the consumer. In order to master the nuances associated with communicating connection with consumers, creative strategy is reviewed with regards to comparable appeals and the role of emotions, the challenges associated with conveying intimacy in advertising, and the impact of visual imagery. 8

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3) Individual Differences: Involvement, Desire for Intimacy, and Gender Individual differences play a subordinate, but important role in explaining variance across intimate relationships. For the sake of parsimony, three areas to consider when accounting for individual differences in response to an intimacy appeal in advertising, are: 1) the pre-existing level of involvement a consumer has with the advertised subject, 2) a consumers individual desire for intimacy, and 3) the impact of gender in how consumers process and respond to advertising. Each of these difference measures is developed in Chapter Two. 4) Relationship Marketing: Stage-Based Relationship Development Although the concept of an intimacy appeal is conceivable in both goods and services marketing, the services area has been emphasized because of increased level of interpersonal interaction (e.g., professional services, healthcare). These conditions more readily lend themselves to the dyadic communication that is required in intimate exchanges (Reis & Shaver 1988; Stern 1997). One useful approach to exploring the phenomenon of consumer communication is by reviewing stages of relationship development and the corresponding consumer expectations in services marketing. STUDY CONTEXT The proposed context for this study is measuring the effectiveness of intimacy advertising for healthcare and financial services (e.g., Clover Health Solutions, Diamond 9

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Mutual Investments) to average adults. Sample availability surrounding a university setting is a primary factor in this selection; however, using healthcare and financial services provides several benefits. Given the scope of this projectnamely the acquaintance and build-up levels of relationship buildingthe degree of personal exposure and revelation required is sufficient (e.g., medical history; salary disclosure, credit history) with potential for deeper exchange (e.g., medical treatment; financial planning; debt repair). These characteristics of disclosure with repeated interaction (e.g., follow-up visits; monthly statements and semi-annual meetings) provide a fertile environment for inquiry. METHODOLOGY This proposal enlists a two-stage, multi-method approach that combines discovery (emergent designs) with hypothesis testing via two sequential studies. The first stage is qualitative in nature and represents the emergent and discovery components of the research. The procedures and findings for this stage are presented in greater detail in Chapter Three. Chapter Three also provides a full description of the quantitative component of this endeavor by listing the appropriate tests for the hypotheses presented in Chapter Two. Stage 1: Descriptive Checklist Construction The investigation under consideration achieves key research objectives of exploring the creative components of an intimacy appeal from a descriptive, holistic, and integrated perspective by engaging both the consumer and the producer of potentially 10

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intimate advertising in purposeful conversation. In response to a call for more studies that use television advertising and actual (vs. hypothetical) commercials, existing television advertisements will be used whenever possible with content (e.g., copy and voice-overs) manipulated for experimental purposes (Hershey, Clow, and Roy 2001; Leigh 2000). Holding focus groups with consumers, conducting interviews with creative personnel, and analyzing the referenced ads yielded insight into some elemental considerations in an intimacy appeal such as using everyday life moments with real life dialogue and believable models. In the effort to generate feelings of connection and bonding this type of advertising must take added and inventive measures to represent personal discourse in a mass media environment. Copy that reveals some form of personal disclosure is the primary method to accomplish this goal. Upon selecting ads that are suitable for this study (i.e., flexible images to accommodate variation in copy), the pre-testing process involves the development of a ratings checklist to consistently identify an intimacy appeal and to distinguish it from warm and rational appeals. The Cs cited in Waring, et al (1980): communication (self-disclosure), caring, commitment, comfort (compatibility), and conflict resolution (trust) as attributes that are shared by all intimate relationships as well as other elements that present themselves in the literature will constitute the checklist of items that identify various advertising appeals. These are descriptive measures only and will be used to categorize the three types of appeals of interest: rational, warmth (affective), intimacy. Advertising that conclusively demonstrates each of the three appeals for both types of 11

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services (financial planning and healthcare) will be carried into the second stage of research. Stage 2: TV Advertising Experiment The second stage of research is highly dependent on the outcomes of the discovery segments and places the selected advertisements into a service-marketing context experiment with two aims: to determine the comparative effectiveness of ads employing an intimacy appeal versus other types of appeals (e.g., warmth, rational) and to account for individual differences by considering the role of involvement, desire for intimacy, and gender in consumers responses. An intimacy appeal is anticipated to generate a greater sense of connection to the advertiser (feeling understood, validated, and cared for) and greater evaluation of the ad, the service marketer, and the patronage intention than a rational and (to a lesser extent) a warmth appeal. DISCIPLINARY CONTRIBUTION This research makes disciplinary contributions on several levels. Theoretically, it further introduces a new concept to the marketing literature by offering empirical support for intimacy as a strategic advertising appeal. Managerially, it presents a relevant condition by testing an intimacy appeal's comparative effectiveness in a services marketing context since having advertising work in conjunction with other promotion efforts (e.g., consumer events) can boost consumers consumption experience and provide substantial competitive advantage for the service providers. Methodologically, this study embodies inventive approaches to the study of creative expression in three 12

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distinctive ways: 1) it tackles the challenges associated with studying television (vs. print) advertising, 2) it incorporates in-depth conversations with advertising agency creative personnel, which is rarely attempted, and 3) it insists on using a hybrid (descriptive scale) approach to understanding an admittedly ethereal yet ubiquitous construct (intimacy). ORGANIZATION OF DISSERTATION The first chapter has described the fundamental research questions to be explored in this dissertation and has identified the origin and relevance of the proposed research. This chapter also introduced the key constructs of interest, the methodological plan and anticipated contributions. Chapter Two positions this work within existing literature, imparts a significantly more detailed and historically grounded perspective on how this work addresses the relevant gaps, and introduces the relevant hypotheses. Chapter Three covers the analysis associated with the qualitative stage of the dissertation as well as the operationalization of key constructs, tests of hypotheses, analysis plan and other methodological issues linked with the quantitative stage. Chapter Four details the results of the quantitative analysis and Chapter Five concludes this exposition with a discussion of results, managerial implications, limitations, and directions for future research. 13

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CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW The purpose of this dissertation is to offer empirical support for the conceptual understanding of intimacy as an advertising appeal. The aim is to consistently identify advertising that can achieve feelings of intimacy and connection and to measure its relative effectiveness. Service providers who can reap the benefit of intimacy advertising as a surrogate for and supplement to personal interaction with clients put themselves in an enviable position. The last chapter described the key constructs and relevant questions associated with an intimacy appeal in advertising. The purpose of this chapter is to provide background and verification for the constructs introduced in Stern (1997), amplified in this work, and used in the proposed measurement model presented in this chapter. This chapter begins with a brief recollection of key observations in Stern (1997) and their consequent development in the current research. A preliminary measurement model is presented next to help frame the balance of the chapter, which is organized around four main constructs and themes: 1) Intimacy, 2) Creative strategy (i.e., appeals and executional cues), 3) Individual differences (i.e., felt involvement; gender; and need for affiliation), and 4) Relationship marketing (i.e., stage-based relationship development). Each section reviews the pertinent literature in psychology, social psychology, or marketing with regards to the intimacy process and its application to an 14

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advertising context. The chapter closes by recapping the relevant variables and offering summary hypotheses. PARALLELS BETWEEN STERN (1997) AND PROPOSED RESEARCH Because it is not uncommon for marketing insight to originate from theoretical foundations in psychology and social psychology, Stern recalls the following perceptive comparison between personal and commercial relationships: just as the interest in human potential has given rise to information about increasing satisfaction in relationships of full intimacy, so too can the interest in marketing relationships stimulate greater understanding of satisfaction in relationships of limited intimacy (Shaefer and Olson 1981). (p. 16) Nevertheless, the article stops short of offering empirical support for the recognition of an intimacy appeal beyond its author; and because it was never its intent, it also fails to provide a comparative understanding of how effective this appeal is over other approaches. While Stern (1997) gave poised, but cursory mention to various theories, models and frameworks, the current proposal amplifies the potential contribution of her various conceptualizations by delving into each one and operationalizing applicable components. Doing so tackles the outstanding gaps by 1) confirming that intimacy is indeed present, 2) identifying the components of an intimacy appeal consistently, and 3) determining its relative effectiveness. By building on Sterns key conceptualizationsspecifically the theoretical underpinnings for relationship advertising, the 5 Cs of intimate relationships (communication, caring, commitment, comfort, and conflict resolution) as benefits and features in relationship advertising, stage-based relationship development, and the intimacy skills and individual differences research implicationsthis dissertation takes 15

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the original article to the next level of disciplinary contribution through empirical testing of these timely ideas. The following paragraphs explicate how the main conceptualizations in Stern (1997) will be addressed in this work and Table 2 offers a summary. Theoretical support for intimacy In order to confirm intimacy as a suitable theoretical underpinning for relationship advertising, careful review and analysis of intimacy literature in psychology is presented. The starting point is adapting the Reis and Shaver (1988) intimacy process model to relationship advertising so that the components of the model become viable and more easily measurable for our purposes. This is first time that the model has been applied to a mediated communication context. Advertising the attributes of intimate relationship Stern (1997) suggests that the 5 Cs of intimate relationships (communication, caring, commitment, comfort, and conflict resolution) are presented as benefits and features in relationship advertising. She offers sound rationale for this conceptualization; however this dissertation will employ additional qualitative inquiry of creative strategy issues to consider whether or not this conceptualization is sufficient. By focusing on language and framing contexts (text and visual) in advertising, it is possible that additional themes may present themselves. Using a saturation technique (Lincoln and Guba 1985), a final list of identifiers will be used to build a descriptive checklist with 16

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which intimacy appeal advertisements can be consistently classified and distinguished from other types of appeals. Stage-based relationship development Rather than investigate all the stages of relationship development (Acquaintance, Build-up, Continuation, and Dissolution), only the first two will be considered initially. The rationale is that these stages compliment the desire to incorporate individual differences by allowing the promise of intimate relationship with providers to serve as a source of attraction. They also represent critical stages in relationship development since findings can help the provider determine whether or not additional investment in a given consumer is warranted. The involvement construct will be used to gauge the stage of relationship (e.g., acquaintance; continuance, etc.). Intimacy skills Intimacy skills refer to the lessons in human response to disclosure afforded by therapeutic literature. One way to address this is through qualitative inquiry of creative strategy. In keeping with the precedent put forth in Stern (1993) and other studies of literary critique, the focus will primarily be on the language (text) used in the selected advertisements. Individual differences Individual differences such as gender and desire for intimacy are two key issues to keep in mind when providers consider an intimacy appeal. This dissertation adds to 17

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that list by including the involvement construct as a general measure of interest or attraction to the service offering. This is an important addition since the Reis and Shaver (1988) intimacy process model allows for a wider set of factors (named motives, need, goals, and fears) to supplement the desire for intimacy (social intimacy), and gender data that is incorporated into the study design. Table 2: Parallels Between Stern (1997) and Proposed Research Key Conceptualization Operationalized in Dissertation Theoretical underpinnings for relationship advertising Review and analysis of intimacy literature in psychology focusing on the application the Reis and Shaver (1988) intimacy process model to relationship advertising The 5 Cs of intimate relationships as benefits and features in relationship advertising. Qualitative inquiry of creative strategy focusing on language and framing contexts (text and visual) Descriptive checklist development Stage-based relationship development Involvement construct used to gauge stage of relationship (e.g., acquaintance; continuance). Research implications: intimacy skills Qualitative inquiry of creative strategy focusing primarily on language/text employed Research implications: individual differences Involvement, desire for intimacy (social intimacy), and gender data incorporated into the study design RELEVANT VARIABLES AND PRELIMINARY MODEL. Because this proposal seeks to operationalize the concept of an intimacy appeal by applying Reis and Shavers (1988) intimacy process model to services marketing advertising, several variables must be considered. Namely the type of advertising appeal used, the type of service offered and the gender of the participant. The consequences of interest include attitude toward both the ad and the provider, patronage intention and the degree of bonding experienced. Table 3 shows the relevant variables and the preliminary model follows in Figure 1. Note that neither of the remaining variablesinvolvement 18

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nor desire for intimacy (DFI)are incorporated into the ANOVA model as involvement is used as a screening variable and DFI is considered only in light of appeal type. Table 3: Proposed Variables Independent Variables Dependent Variables 1) Creative Appeal 1. Intimacy/ 2. Warmth / 3. Rational 2) Gender 1. Male/ 2. Female 3) Service Type 1. Financial/ 2. Healthcare 1. Attitude towards ad 2. Attitude towards provider 3. Patronage intention 4. Bonding Feeling understood Feeling validated Feeling cared for Figure 1: Preliminary ANOVA Model for Relationship Advertising in Services Marketing Beginning with intimacy each of the following sections reviews the pertinent literature in psychology, social psychology, or marketing with regards to the intimacy process and its application to an advertising context. Rational Warmth Intimac y IV #1: Creative Appeal Female Male IV #2: Gender Healthcare Financial IV #3: Service Type DV #1: Attitude to Ad DV #3: Patronage Intention DV #2: Attitude to Provider DV #4: Bonding Feeling Understood Feeling Validated Feeling Cared for 19

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INTIMACY IN PSYCHOLOGY Psychological literature is the starting point for the discussion of intimacy. The following section offers a relevant definition of intimacy in light of the many conceptualizations, discusses the dynamic yet persistent nature of intimate relationships by considering the components of intimacy, and presents salient themes among the various intimacy measures. The section also focuses on the application of the Reis & Shaver (1988) model of the intimacy process to the realm of services marketing (i.e., relationship) advertising. The purpose of this discourse is to provide a solid anchor for the intimacy construct that will allow for a more flexible adaptation into the realm of relationship marketing and advertising. Tables that catalogue the development of a given intimacy issue are presented throughout this discussion. Defining Intimacy As Chapter One mentioned, intimacy has been described as knowing that I am not alone in the universe[it] is the sharing of closeness, of bonding, of reciprocation. It is the engulfing of warmth and care. It is the experiencing of Another. (Stokey, p. 4; emphasis in original). Marketing academician Barbara Stern (1997) cites the following definition of intimacy: a knowledge of the core of something, an understanding of the inmost parts, that which is indicative of ones deepest nature and marked by close physical, mental, and social association (Oden 1974 p. 3). According to psychologist Dan McAdams (1989) intimacy refers to the sharing of ones innermost being, or essence (p. 46). He states that no other desire may be more compelling that the desire for 20

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intimacy and asserts that this universal intimacy motive is fundamental to human experiencethough the degree of motivation varies by individual (p. ix-x). While closely related, intimacy is not the same as love, but rather a component of many forms of love such as affection, friendship, charity, or eros [see McAdams, 1989 p.38-45]. Furthermore, its application extends beyond romantic relationships and so within the current context of relationship and services marketing it should (obviously) not be confused with sex. In summary and according to this author, intimacy can be conceived as knowing and being known by another, which incorporates mutual and reciprocal (though not necessarily equal) liking and vulnerability. This vulnerability often presents itself in the form of personal disclosure. The literature in psychology tends explores intimacy from the perspective of dyadic, romantic relationships with lesser attention placed on platonic, parental, or friendship relationships. Even though intimacy can be defined along several dimensions including the domains in which intimacy occurs (e.g., sexual, recreational); the nature of the relationship involved (e.g., friends, lovers), and time (e.g., brief interactions, short-term or long-term relationships), Perlman and Fehr (1987) identify three persistent themes across multiple definitions: 1) the closeness and interdependence of partners, 2) the extent of self-disclosure, and 3) the warmth or affection experienced (, p.16). Table 4 replicates the definitions of intimacy catalogued by Perlman and Fehr (1987). 21

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Table 4: Definitions of Intimacy Taken from Perlman and Fehr (1987) (1) Intimacy means the degree of closeness two people achieve (Hendrick & Hendrick, 198, p. 18). (2) Intimate (n): An intimate friend or confidant, (adj.) Marked by a very close association, contact, or familiarity; marked by a warm friendship developing through long association; suggesting informal warmth or privacy. (Websters New Collegiate Dictionary, 1976). (3) Intimate relationships: Relationships between loving persons whose lives are deeply intertwined (Walster, Walster, & Bersheid, 1978, p. 146). (4) Psychologist have evolved their own list of intimacys defining features: openness, honesty, mutual self-disclosure; caring, warmth, protecting, helping; being devoted to each other, mutually attentive, mutually committed; surrendering control, dropping defenses; becoming emotionally attached, feeling distressed when separation occurs (Rubenstein & Shaver, 1982, p. 21). (5) The defining characteristics of an intimate relationship are one or more of the following: behavioral interdependence, need fulfillment, and emotional attachment (Brehm, 1985, pp. 4-5, paraphrased). (6) Emotional intimacy is defined in behavioral terms as mutual self-disclosure and other kinds of verbal sharing, as declarations of liking and loving the other, and as demonstrations of affections (Lewis, 1978, p. 108). (7) We have defined intimacy as a subjective appraisal that emerges out of a rational process between two individuals in which each comes to know the inner-most aspects of the other, and each is known in a like manner (Chelune, Robison, & Kommor, 1984, p. 35). (8) Intimacy: A process in which we attempt to get close to another; to explore similarities (and differences) in the ways we think, feel, and behave (Hartfield, 1984, p. 208). (9) The intimacy motive is a recurrent preference or readiness for warm, close and communicative exchange with othersan interpersonal interaction perceived as an end in itself rather than a means to another end (Mc Adams, 1985, p.87). (10) Intimacy...the capacity to commit [one] self to concrete affiliations and partnerships and to develop the ethical strength to abide by such commitments, even though they may cal for significant sacrifices and compromises (Erikson, 196, p. 263). 22

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Analyzing Intimacy: The nature and components of intimacy Despite the wealth of discussion within the psychology literature on interpersonal, spousal, and familial intimacy, discrepancies among theorists endure as to whether intimacy is a quality of persons or of interactions and whether it is a process or a state. Perlman and Fehr (1987) outline four approaches to intimacy: developmental, motivational, interactive, and relational. The first incorporates life-span development models that are based on psychodynamic theorists such as Sullivan and Erikson. These models emphasize identity development as a perquisite condition and contrast intimacy with isolation. The second approach is a motivational approach espoused by McAdams (1982). The central concept is an individual need for intimacy that is trait-like and enduring. The third approach is based on equilibrium theory (Patterson) and is specific to the interaction. Non-verbal behavior and verbal intimacy are assessed in determining how participants strive for balance in an exchange. The final approach is based on Equity theory (Hatfield) from social psychology and is concerned with the fairness of individual input-outcome ratios as a critical component of the relationship. The first two approaches link intimacy more closely to the individual as an enduring and transsituational trait. It refers to a persons general capacity for intimacy with a particular person. In contrast, the last two approaches position intimacy as a property of relationships. Here the focus is on cultural norms and the nature of specific interactions. Rather than insist that these two ideas are fundamentally opposed, this discussion embraces the virtue of all the approaches and affirms that both person and situation are influential. Sterns (1997) integrative response that borrows from Chelune, Robison, and Komor (1984) is an appropriate metaphor. It compares an intimate 23

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relationship to a movie (versus a photograph), in which numerous single instances (still frames) combine to form an ongoing dynamic entity (p. 9). Here intimacy can be best framed within the context of long-term relationshipswhere the degree or intensity of connection may wax and wane, but the under-girding commitment is constant (Wynne and Wynne 1986). Accordingly, intimacy will be embraced more as a process than a state throughout this discourse and as a quality of situations more than persons. Nevertheless trait-like measures (e.g., gender and desire for intimacy) will be assessed to add texture to our understanding of this phenomenon. Other conceptualizations add terms that build upon these tenants. For example, Waring, Tillman, Russell and Weisz (1980) list Cs as the attributes that are shared by all intimate relationships: communication (self-disclosure), caring, commitment, comfort (compatibility), and conflict resolution (trust). From a slightly different angle, Schaefer and Olson (1981) identify five types of interpersonal intimacy: emotional, social, sexual, intellectual, and recreational, each of which captures a different dimension o he way intimate relationships develop. Ogden (1974) suggests a series of potential contradictions in intimate relationships that exist in creative tension (shown in Figure 2). For example, self disclosure and letting be are often held in tandem. The idea is that in navigating relationships, partners often deliberate between extremes: the vulnerability of complete transparency versus the power of withholding information. The essence of these contradictory pairs can be characterized as time, knowing, unconditionality, vulnerability, and permanence. 24

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Figure 2: Ogdens (1974) Basic Dialectical Points of Intimate Relationships Regardless of the perspective taken, the role of self-disclosure in achieving intimate relationship is critical as is reciprocity, the dynamic nature of exchange, and the impact of gender differences. In one of the earliest studies on this topic, Jourard and Richman (1958) deemed self-disclosure integral to developing intimate relationships. However simply revealing self-relevant information is not enough. Other key findings in the discussion of intimacy show that reciprocity of self-disclosure was also important (Argyle 1965; Cozby 1973; and Orlofsky 1976). In other words, there must be some form of exchange in the sharing processa venerable verbal and nonverbal volley. Basic parameters of self-disclosure such as breadth (amount), depth (degree), and duration (time spent disclosing) are often influenced by personality and gender with women being more likely to self-disclose (Cozby 1973; Bartle-Haring and Strimple 1996 and Thelen, Vander Wal, Thomas and Harmon 2000). Still the properties of intimacy are often episodic and situationally-derived with enough variability to accommodate a broad spectrum of relationships beyond married couples (Wynne and Wynne 1986; Harper and Elliot 1988; and Reis and Shaver 1988). In summary, this discourses definition of intimacy as mutual and reciprocal liking and vulnerability is amply supported by the characteristics presented in the literature. See Duration Ecstasy Accountability Negotiability Empathy Congruence Emotive Warmth Conflict-capability Self-disclosure Letting-be Finitude Transcendence 25

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Table 5 for a selected chronology of key articles that shaped an understanding of intimacy in the psychology literature. 26

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Table 5: Analyzing Intimacy Year; Author (s) Description Main Findings Application 1958; Jourard, S., Richman, P 40-item questionnaire of personal information assessing the amount of self-disclosure to various target persons; Administered to 58 unmarried male and 51 unmarried female undergraduate students Parents and closest friends are the primary targets for self-disclosure. Dyadic effect (e.g., reciprocity) holds in that self-disclosure is commensurate with the amount that targets have disclosed to the study participants. Females self-disclose and are disclosed to more frequently than males. Self-disclosure is an integral component of developing intimate relationships 1965; Argyle Dean Affiliative conflict theory Equilibrium for intimacy is a joint function of eye contact, physical proximity, amount of smiling, and intimacy of topic (i.e., self-disclosure) among other unspecified variables. Physiological indicators help identify intimate relationships 1973; Cozby Literature review of verbal disclosure of personal information; Self-disclosure reviewed as a personality attribute, as having a role in interpersonal relationships, and being facilitated by principle variables Basic parameters of self-disclosure are breadth (amount), depth (degree), and duration (time spent disclosing). Self-disclosing behavior may be seen as the product of two opposing forces, one operating to increase disclosure, the other operating to inhibit disclosure. Although personality is a factor in self-disclosing behavior, situational factors and the degree of reciprocity tend to have greater influence. 1976; Orlofsky, J. 66 male college students, 50 with male partner (25 male dyads) and 16 with female partners (8 mixed dyads) participated in 20minute semistructured interviews evaluating intimacy status and completed 115-item questionnaire tapping self-description and partner perception of self. Subjects with high intimacy status (characterized by having close, deep, peer and heterosexual relationships) shared a greater degree of mutual knowledge and understanding with their partners than mediumor low-level intimacy status subjects. Balanced reciprocity in disclosing behavior is a feature of high intimacy status. Continued on Next Page 27

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Table 6: Analyzing Intimacy (Continued) Year; Author (s) Description Main Findings Application 1980; Waring, Tillman, Frelick, Russel and Weisz A random sample of 50 persons received an open ended interview regarding their concepts of intimacy; 2 sets of 24 couples (random and clinical) completed interview to generate operational definitions of intimacy. Self-disclosure identified as fundamental aspect of intimacy in interpersonal relationships and marriage. Affection, compatibility, cohesion, identity and ability to resolve conflict were other important aspects. Sexual satisfaction was considered less important. The five Cs of intimacy (Stern 1997) are based on these findings. 1986; Wynne and Wynne Conceptual and historical overview of intimate experience in family life; Gender differences acknowledged Intimacy should not be sought or maintained, it is best achieved spontaneously; Intimacy will wax and wane since it is an episodic versus constant experience Homophilic (not homosexual) intimacy grows through communication sharing and contributes to overall intimacy skills Episodic conceptualization of intimacy is helpful within an advertising context (e.g., unexpected disclosure) 1988; Harper and Elliot The relationship of the discrepancy between couples actual vs. desired level of intimacy and marital adjustment for 185 randomly selected couples using PAIR and MAT instruments Discrepancy between actual and desired levels of intimacy was highly predictive of marital adjustment (R 2 =.665) Couples with low intimacy scores who did not desire more intimacy had good marital adjustment High levels of intimacy are not desired for everyonethe role of expectation is key. 1988; Reis and Shaver Conceptual presentation of intimacy as an interpersonal process For an interaction to become intimate, the discloser must feel understood, validated, and cared for. This schema provides a useful model that can be applied to an advertisement. 1996; Bartle-Haring and Strimple First and fourth-year college students (n=135) identity, capacity for intimacy, and sex-role orientation were assessed to study gender differences in resolving, identity and intimacy-isolation crises. When controlling for sex-role orientation, the relationship between identity and intimacy was nonsignificant for men but significant for women. While men progressed more linearly from ideological to interpersonal identity (and correspondingly developed more intimacy skills), women experienced a more fluid development. Given traditional sex-role orientation, womens identity and intimacy scores are more closely linked than mens scores. 2000; Thelen, Vander Wal, Thomas and Harmon 243 college-aged heterosexual dating couples (n=486) completed a 35-item Fear of Intimacy scale (FIS) self-report inventory, the PAIR, and M-CSD (social desirability scale). Males reported higher FIS scores and FIS scores were highly correlated within couples. Men are more likely to fear intimacy than women. 28

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Measuring intimacy Given the consequence of intimacy in meaningful relationships, several scales have been developed to measure the nature and strength of intimate relationships including the popular PAIR Inventory (Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships; Schaefer and Olson 1981), the WIQ (Waring Intimacy Questionnaire; Waring and Reddon 1983), the TAT Intimacy Motive (Thematic Apperception Test; Hinde 1981; McAdams 1982), and the Fear of Intimacy scale (Descunter and Thelen 1991). With the exception of the TAT intimacy motive instrument and other earlier tools that required training to code and interpret the qualitative data, most of the measures are self-reports on Likert-type scales. All are used primarily in family and marital therapy and often involve comparing and contrasting the scores of spouses, partners, or family members. The most prevalent themes across the spectrum of measurements are self-disclosure, time, and liking as each scale incorporates items to assess these variables. Because of the emphasis on marriage relationships, many of the scales available are not directly transferable to a marketing context. Even so, they provide valuable direction in isolating the most salient themes (self disclosure, time, and liking) in measuring intimate relationships. One way to consider the manner in which intimacy has been measured is to cluster the studies in terms of who, when, where, what, and why. Starting with the earliest study reviewed, Taylor and Altman (1966) generated a list of 671 statements that could be used to develop interpersonal and intimacy questionnaires. These statements along with Leinger and Gunners (1967) interpersonal grid and Constanstinoples (1969) 10-item self-report of intimacy versus isolation scale were among the first tools to 29

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measure the where and when questions regarding intimacy in interpersonal relationships. By identifying core experiences, the role of proximity, and the difference between and progression of isolation to intimacy, these early studies helped to establish various contexts for intimacy such as marriage, family or peer relationships. From there, Jourard (1971) and Klos and Loomis (1978) set about uncovering the content (or what) of disclosure. Main findings across these studies showed women were more likely to self-disclose and that the amount and degree of disclosure must be understood as distinct. In other words it is not enough to reveal a lot of personal information, but the kind of information shared is often more important in determining the extent of self-disclosure. For example, sharing less than flattering information or confessing a personal flaw demonstrates more vulnerability than simply sharing a personal goal. McAdams (1980) application of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) to the intimacy motive was instrumental in addressing the why of intimacy by explaining how it was different from Need for Affiliation. Namely, the intimacy motive is more positive than protective in its orientation as it is more focused on the quality of the relationship while affiliation is linked to attaining relationships. The remaining advancements in measuring intimacy deal primarily with addressing the who question since they assess relationships between specific people. In addition to the instruments mentioned earlier (PAIR, WIQ and the Fear of Intimacy scale), Waring, McElraths, Lefcoe, and Weiszs Victoria Hospital Intimacy Review (VHII), Teschs Psychosoical Intimacy Questionnaire (PIQ), and Reis and Shavers (1988) Intimacy Process Questionnaire also deal exclusively with love and marriage relationships. The sole exception is The Miller Social Intimacy Scale (MSIS; Miller and Lefcourt 1982), which provides the option of 30

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measuring intimacy between friends. Table 6 presents a brief chronological description of the studies and findings associated with intimacy measurement. 31

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Table 7: Measuring Intimacy Name of Scale; Year; Author (s) Description MainFindings Application 1966; Taylor and Altman Generated a list of 671 statements that could be used to develop interpersonal and intimacy questionnaires; There was 77% agreement among students and sailors for the 13 topical categories There are core experiences that are fertile ground for intimate exchanges The Interpersonal Grid; 1967; Leinger and Gunner Compared and contrasted using varying methods (tape or felt materials) to test participants interpersonal preferences by asking them to physically place figures on a love/hate and dominance/submission grid. When asked to place friends, strangers, and professors alongside a central figure representing self, students tended to place peers and strangers equal to self, but 71% placed professors as higher Distance between friends, strangers, and professors and self were 20.9mm, 6.6mm, and 40.5 mm respectfully. Findings offer support for the importance of proximity in measuring liking and status dimensions of interpersonal relationships. Inventory of Psychosocial Development; 1969; Constantinople 10-item self-report intimacy versus isolation scale Offers information on general social orientation rather than specific relationships. Offers support for the general progression from isolation to intimacy in adolescence. Jourard Self-disclosure Questionnaire; 1971; Jourard Incorporated a wide range of disclosing opportunities and topics Confounded amount and intimacy of disclosure (Cozby 1973) What is said (content) is more important than the amount that is said in determining the degree of intimate disclosure. Rating Scale of Intimate Disclosure; 1978; Klos and Loomis 128 students (half male/half female; half freshmen/half seniors) were asked to verbally recall an intimate conversation then trained researchers coded the transcripts according to 1) the topic of disclosure, 2) the feeling-content and spontaneity of disclosure, and 3) the receptivity of the target person. ANOVA showed significant differences between males and females and between freshman and seniors with freshman males at the lowest level of intimate disclosure and females (of either age) at the highest. Self-ratings of intimate disclosure are inflated and often inaccurate when compared to objective ratings. Both men and women may overstate their typical degree of self-disclosure, but women seem to be more socialized to self-disclosure at an earlier age than men. Continued on Next Page 32

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Table 6: Measuring Intimacy (Continued) Name of Scale; Year; Author (s) Description MainFindings Application Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) Intimacy Motive ; 1980; McAdams A total of 257 participants in four separate arousal studies were used to develop and validate a measure of an intimacy motive goal state; Participants were shown six pictures in sequence and given 5 minutes to write an imaginative story for each one. Later studies included psychodrama. When coded in contrast to Need for Affiliation, the intimacy motive is more positive than protective in its orientation. Intimacy is more focused on the quality of the relationship while affiliation is linked to attaining relationships. Offers 10 scoring categories that are helpful in framing an intimacy appeal including dialogue (e.g., we), harmony, physical proximity and commitment and concern. Victoria Hospital Intimacy Interview (VHII); 1981; Waring, McElrath, Lefcoe, and Weisz Standardized, structured interview developed to evaluate the level and quality of intimacy in a marriage. The protocol provides behavioral ratings on 5-point scales for 8 operationally defined facets of marital intimacy plus intimate behavior and overall intimacy rating scores. Couples rate between 10 (distant) and 50 (very close) Scales with the highest reliabilities were the sexuality, identity, and overall ratings. Autonomy and intimate behavior scales had the lowest. This scale has limited applicability given its specific measurement of marriages only (vs. other interpersonal relationships) Personal Assessment of intimacy in Relationships (PAIR); 1981; Schaefer and Olson 36-item self-reported, diagnostic assessment of relationships via 5 intimacy scales: emotional, social, sexual, intellectual, and recreational; Scores are compared between couples perceived and expected state of relationship All scales demonstrate high reliability (.70 Cronbachs Alpha) There a limits to self-disclosure; too much can reduce satisfaction with a partner This scale has limited applicability given its specific measurement of marriages only and it requires participation from both partners. Miller Social Intimacy Scales (MSIS); 1982; Miller and Lefcourt 17-item self-reported inventory assessing the maximum level of social intimacy currently experienced in marriage or friendship. Cronbach Alpha scores range from .91 (N=45) to .86 (N=39) Married students had higher mean MSIS intimacy scores than unmarried students; however both the married and unmarried student samples had significantly higher MSIS scores than a married clinic group currently in marital therapy. Study offers support for the importance of close relationships. High MSIS scores are likely to correlate positively with response to an intimacy appeal. Continued on Next Page 33

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Table 6: Measuring Intimacy (Continued) Name of Scale; Year; Author (s) Description MainFindings Application Waring Intimacy Questionnaire (WIQ); 1983; Waring and Reddon 90-item, true-false self-report questionnaire that assesses various aspects of marital intimacy via 8 subscales including affection, cohesion, compatibility, expressiveness and sexuality. Kuder-Richardson coefficients of internal consistency raged from .52 to .86 for males and (N=76) and .59 to .87 for females (N=76) Successful in assessing both quantity and quality of marital itimacy This scale has limited applicability given its specific measurement of marriages only. The Psychosocial Intimacy Questionnaire (PIQ); 1985; Tesch 60-item, self-report questionnaire that tapped involvement, communication, and appreciation in romantic and platonic relationships The instrument demonstrated high internal consistency (alpha = .97) Romantic love, supportiveness and communication ease are key elements in this understanding of intimacy The romantic orientation of the study items disqualify its applicability to this dissertation. Intimacy Process Questionnaire; 1988; Reis and Shaver 18-item self-report questionnaire on feeling understood, validated, and cared for are administered to partners Scales items have proved consistent; however no empirical tests have been performed. The higher the matches on scores, the greater the connection and intimacy between partners. Scale items (modified for advertising context) offer useful language in gauging the degree of connection consumers experience with a given provider. Fear-of-Intimacy Scale; 1991; Descutner and Thelen 35-item self-report questionnaire to measure a specific variable that influences intimacy (fear of intimacy) in close relationship or at the prospect of close relationship. Fear of intimacy is an inhibited capacity to exchange personally significant thoughts and feelings with another individual who is highly valued. FIS correlates positively with loneliness and negatively with self-disclosure, social intimacy, and social desirability measures. Because of the emphasis on dating relationships, the scale items have limited applicability. Nevertheless, its correlation with existing measures provides useful direction for model testing. 34

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Overall, the dimensions of intimacy appear to be multi-layered and dynamic in nature meaning that a solitary, snapshot understanding of the construct would be insufficient. This is an important consideration when exploring intimacy outside the confines of home and traditional interpersonal settings. Recalling the definition presented earlier that intimacy is knowing and being known by another, which incorporates mutual and reciprocal (though not necessarily equal) liking and vulnerability, there is a pressing opportunity to apply these concepts within a business contextespecially in the area of services and relationship marketing where disclosure time, and liking can lead to stronger and more beneficial working relationships and exchanges (Price and Arnould 1999). The next section begins with a recollection of the scant attention to portraying intimacy within the marketing literature then proceeds to further introduce the construct via the adaptation of the Reis and Shaver (1988) intimacy process model to relationship advertising. INTIMACY AND MARKETING The marketing literature is virtually silent on the topic of portraying intimacy. With the exception of Browns (1982) longitudinal analysis of the portrayal of family intimacy in magazine advertising over a fifty-year period and Wallendorfs (1987) discussion on intimacy between researcher and participants in qualitative data gathering, the discipline has avoided explicit discussion of how this common experience can benefit advertisers and marketing in general. Expanding the premise of consumption behavior beyond traditional conceptualizations of market governance allows for fresh ideas and infuses companies with potentially beneficial courses of action. With this in mind, intimacy offers a unique perspective on business relationships. 35

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Instead of exchange theory, which assumes rational consumption (see Dwyer, Schurr, and Oh 1987) or seduction theory, which restricts the context to victimized consumption (Berger and Luckmann 1966; Schutz and Luckmann 1973), Stern (1997) embraces a more equitable and mutually dependent foundation for the relationship between consumers and service providers by choosing the Reis & Shaver (1988) intimacy process model to anchor the concept of what she terms advertising intimacy (currently translated as an intimacy appeal). If indeed the task of relationship advertising is to transform impersonal mass communication into representations of personal discourse (Stern 1997), then surely there must be elemental considerations in how this is achieved. The Reis and Shavers (1988) intimacy process model is one such tool to explore the components of intimacy. In similar vein to adapting Schramms (1955) interpersonal communication process model to advertising (Belch and Belch 2000) and Petty and Cacioppos Elaboration Likelihood Model of cognitive persuasion to message recall (Petty and Cacioppo 1983 ), the procedures of Reis and Shavers (1988) intimacy process model can be translated into a service marketing context. Adapting the Reis and Shaver (1988) Intimacy Process Model Based on several of the theories and approaches presented earlier, the Reis and Shavers (1988) intimacy process model draws from psychodynamic (i.e., identity and isolation), communication (i.e., self-disclosure and nonverbal behavior), and social psychology (i.e., equity and meeting needs) research. The model in its original form is intended to be transactional between two people, A and B, who influence each others feelings and behavior over time. There are seven components to the model: 1) As 36

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motives, needs, goals & fears; 2) As disclosure or expression of self-relevant feelings/information; 3) Bs motives, needs, goals & fears; 4) Bs interpretative filter; 5) Bs emotional and behavioral response; 6) As interpretative filter; and 7) As reaction to Bs response. For our purposes person A is the consumer (shown in italics in Figure 3) and person B is the advertiser. Figure 3: Relationship Advertising Adaptation of Reis & Shaver (1988) Intimacy Process Model According to the model, there are multiple exchanges between the parties over time and often A and B switch reactionary roles (e.g., B discloses and A has an emotional and behavioral response). Figure 3 represents a single episode only. Given the information imbalance in advertising since viewers often take a passive (vs. interactive) role, an invaluable feature of the model is that both A and B may feel intimate even when 1 (B) Advertisers interpretive filter (A) Consumers motives needs g oals & fears (A) Consumers (vicarious) disclosure or expression of self-relevant feelings & information (e.g., actors or co py ) (B) Advertisers motives, needs, goals & fears (A) Consumers interpretive filter (B) Advertisers emotional & behavioral response via executional elements (A) Consumers reaction to A dvertisers response --feels understood? --feels validated? --feels cared for? 7 6 5 4 3 2 37

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only A discloses. Therefore, consumers may feel connected to the advertiser (expressing feelings of being understood, validated, and cared for) if the advertisers emotional and behavioral response depicted is interpreted as appropriate to the level of consumer disclosure depicted in the ad. At the heart of this model is the communication of both feelings and fact, with more weight given to feelings and the use of emotions in the interpretation of the advertisers behavior. In this attempt to qualify an intimacy appeal in advertising, further elaboration of each model component and its services marketing application is warranted. Model Components As with all consumption experiences, the consumer has pre-existing expectations and motivation when viewing advertisements. The viewers motives, needs, goals & fears are represented in the virtually endless list of incentives that lead someone to engage in an intimate interaction including affection, affiliation, self-validation, or even fear of abandonment. In adaptation to services marketing this may prompt a person to engage in an interpersonal vs. automated business interface. As mediated communication, advertising allows the consumer to experience the intimacy process via vicarious disclosure through the actors, copy, and possibly the nature of the service or product offering (e.g., private matters such as healthcare). Generally, the disclosure must be of a personal enough level to resonate with the viewer. In similar fashion to the viewers pre-encounter considerations, the advertiser has its own set of motives, needs, goals & fears that influence how they approach the consumers needs. The preservation of positive company reputation and the perpetuation of a caring image are examples of an advertisers motivation. Closely related to this is 38

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the advertisers interpretative filter that regulates how they will respond to the consumer. Because advertising captures a moment in time, it is incumbent on the advertiser to portray a consistently favorable disposition to the consumer. This is where positioning and creative strategy play a pivotal role since the advertisers emotional and behavioral response is primarily in the executional elements of the advertisement (mood, tone, warm and empathetic language). It becomes critical to demonstrate reciprocity of disclosure by communicating unconditional acceptance and regard to the consumer. In response, the consumers interpretative filter, which Reis & Shaver (1988) refer to as dispositionally and situationally induced interpretive tendencies, will only deem the interaction as intimate if the advertisement registers understanding, validation, and caring in the viewer. These three feelings must be present for the consumer to experience maximum bonding to the advertiser. Furthermore, these feelings compliment the main tenants of intimate relationships as the following paragraphs explain. Parallels between Desired Consumer Response and Tenants of Intimate Relationships Referencing once more the key issues of disclosure, liking and time in intimate relationships, strategic parallels can be linked to the desired consumer responses of being understood, feeling validated, and feeling cared for. First, being understood is the consumers belief that the advertiser accurately perceived the consumers needs, constructs, feelings, self-definition, and life predicaments (Reis and Shaver 1988, p. 380). Reciprocal disclosure is a keen method of cultivating this sense of knowing. Here the consumer feels that the advertiser gets me when they see and hear self-relevant messages. 39

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Second, feeling validation, which refers to the consumer believing that the advertiser values and appreciates the consumers inner self as the consumer understands it. This is most closely linked with liking and is best achieved when unconditional acceptance in communicated. At this point the consumer feels valued as is. Third, a consumer will feel cared for when they are offered relevant and helpful support and advice within the context of commitment. The call for commitment usually demands repeated encounters over time. The more the consumer can feel supported without the threat of abandonment, the greater the sense of being cared for. Table 7 summarizes the main components of the model, their original framing within an interpersonal context, and their adaptation to services advertising. 40

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Table 8: Components of Reis & Shaver (1988) Intimacy Process Model Adapted to Services Marketing Model Component Interpersonal Context Services Marketing Adaptation 1. As [consumer] motives, needs, goals & fears Endless list of incentives for participation in an intimate interaction (i.e., affiliation, self-validation, and fear of abandonment) The consumers general need for affiliation in consumption experiences 2. As [consumer] disclosure/ expression of self-relevant feelings/info A revealing of some aspect of self (i.e., personal desires, fantasies, anxieties, and emotion more than facts) Clear presentation in an advertisement of a problem or concern that reveals core issues of identity 3. Bs [advertiser] motives, needs, goals & fears Endless list of incentives for participation in an intimate interaction (i.e., affiliation, self-validation, and fear of abandonment) The advertisers general need to affirm positive consumption experiences in order to encourage repeat buying behavior 4. Bs [advertiser] interpretative filter Dispositionally and situationally induced interpretive tendencies (i.e., history, pre-existing schema, mood, and expectations) The advertisers responsibility be engaged in consumer affairs 5. Bs [advertiser] emotional and behavioral response Relevant elaboration of the disclosure that evidences listening, unconditional acceptance, and warm regard; able to be objectively described The advertisers use of executional cues to demonstrate listening, unconditional acceptance, and warm regard 6. As [consumer] interpretative filter Dispositionally and situationally induced interpretive tendencies (i.e., history, pre-existing schema, mood, and expectations) The consumers experience and degree of felt involvement with the product/service being advertised 7. As [consumer] reaction to Bs response Interaction must register three qualities: understanding, validation, and caring. Advertisement must register three qualities: understanding, validation, and caring. In summary, an intimacy appeal includes two main components: transmission of self-relevant information (i.e., disclosure and expression) and reciprocal behavior on the part of the advertiser in the form of creative strategy (i.e., warmth, empathy, emotion). The intimacy appeals success can be determined by the extent to which the advertisement resonates with the viewer and he or she feels understood, validated, and cared for. This leads to the first hypothesis. H 1 : Ads that employ an intimacy appeal will measure higher feelings of being understood, validated, and cared for (bonding) than ads using warmth or rational appeals. 41

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When the advertiser is successful in generating feelings of being understood, validated, and cared for, consumers will likely experience a greater sense of connection (i.e., intimacy) to the advertiser. Therefore for the sake of simplicity these resultant feelings (i.e., being understood, validated, and cared for) will be labeled bonding. 42

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CREATIVE STRATEGY Because an intimacy appeal is composed of two key elements: 1) the transmission of self-relevant information (i.e., disclosure and expression) and 2) reciprocal behavior on the part of the advertiser (i.e., warmth, empathy, emotion) creative strategy and execution (namely the content and form of an advertisement) play critical roles in understanding this approach. This section reviews the advertising and consumer behavior literature by comparing the use of appeals, considering and the role of emotions, outlining the challenges associated with conveying intimacy, and accounting for the impact of visual imagery in advertising. Contrasting appeals: Sex, Warmth, and Emotions in Advertising Given the importance of both picture-based and verbal messages on information processing (Brown, Homer, and Inman; Scott 1994), persuasion (Miniard, Bhatla, Lord, Dickson and Unnava 1991), and affect (Hirschman 1986; McQuarrie and Mick 1992), advertisements that seek to generate feelings of bonding (being understood, validated, and cared for) are likely to incorporate multi-layered executional cues. To overcome the potential of sensory overload and better identify the communication goals, it is important to distinguish an intimacy appeal from warmth, affection, or even sex in advertising. It is also useful to contrast intimacy appeals with rational or informational advertising to further explicate the important role emotions play in this type of message. In the paragraphs that follow sexy ads are considered first, followed by a discussion about warm ads, finally rational ads are reviewed in light of the function of emotions. 43

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Sexy Advertising Although we have acknowledged that intimate advertising in the current context of relationship marketing is not about sex, the portrayal of sex in advertising is still a useful marker and comparison for understanding how intimacy is portrayed and used in advertising and for gauging gender differences in processing and interpreting ads (Belch, et al. 1982; Reichert and Ramirez 2000; Sciglimpaglia, et al. 1979; Smith, et al. 1995; Wilson and Moore 1979). The use and effect of sex in advertising is well documented. Nudity and suggestiveness have long been accepted as key identifiers in sexually-oriented ads and studies documenting physiological, psychophysiological and cognitive responses to sex in advertising have established their places within the literature (Belch, Holgerson, Belch and Koppmann 1982; Sciglimpaglia, Belch, and Cain 1979; Reichert and Ramirez 2000; Smith, Haugtvedt, Jadrich, and Anton 1995; Wilson and Moore 1979). However, with the exception of Browns (1982) longitudinal analysis of family intimacy in magazine advertising, very little has been said about intimacy in advertising. A key reason for its neglect may be that the concept of intimacy is admittedly complex due to "relational" aspects. In other words, intimacy tends to imply more than simple and objective proxemics between subjects. Whereas studies related to sex appeal and sexually-oriented or erotica advertisements have a rich source of theoretical underpinnings, including arousal, selective perception, and aggression theories (Wilson and Moore 1979), the theoretical support for the construct of intimacy had been less forthcoming (Stern 1997). Given that this type of advertising must first establish a "private and informal" association between models and then provide a "social context" for their interactionacknowledging intimacy within an advertising framework involves 44

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a deeper level of cognitive effort on the part of the consumer than merely achieving a physiological response to stimulating advertisements (Belch, et al. 1982; Brown 1982). Indeed the identification of an intimate ad (vs. a sexy ad) is likely to be dependent on the subjective orientation of the person viewing the ad. Still, fundamental elements of disclosure and emotional response remain objective constants in intimacy appeals; therefore emotional advertising provides another point of comparison and warmth in advertising is a suitable point of continuation. Warm Advertising The extended discussion during the 1980s on warmth, affect, and emotions in advertising offers a helpful reference point for delimiting the elements of an intimacy appeal. With the introduction of the warmth monitor, a paper and pencil instrument where respondents are asked to chart how warm you feel as the commercial progresses by moving their pencil down the paper and from left to right among absence of warmth, neutral, warmhearted/tender, and emotional markers (Aaker, Stayman, and Hagerty 1986). Aaker, et. al (1986) define warmth as a positive, mild, volatile emotion involving physiological arousal [that is] precipitated by experiencing directly or vicariously a love, family, or friendship relationship (p.366). They also acknowledge several themes and corresponding effects of warmth including its duration, focus, and ability to invoke emotional response. Three main observations are noted below. First, warmth is a rather fleeting construct, capable of being created or changed quickly, and somewhat susceptible to the mood of preceding advertisements (Aaker, et al 1986). Second, warmth in an advertisement may focus on the relationship between the models or the relationship between the viewer and a character in the commercial (Aaker, 45

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et al 1986; Edell and Burke 1987). It tends to stop short of suggesting relationship between the advertiser and the consumer. Third, warmth has the ability to invoke positive emotional response from the viewer, which increases brands likeability over neutral or negative advertisements (Aaker, et al 1986; Edell and Burke 1987; Holbrook and Batra 1987; Mizerski and White 1986). The elements of the warmth construct, namely its duration, relationship focus, and emotions evoked compliment the goals of an intimacy appeal since liking and affection are also necessary in intimacy (Batra and Ray 1986; Reis & Shaver 1988). Still the constructs are distinct in that intimacy lasts longer than warmth, focuses on the relationship between the viewer and advertiser, and aims for a more intense reaction. Conclusively, by communicating a profound sense of belonging and importance in the mind of the consumer on behalf of the service provider an intimacy appeal should invoke deeper emotional response than merely affection for the provider. Because an intimacy appeal must combine disclosure and emotional response, the feelings invoked will resonate deeply and be linked to more enduring elements of identity. Here an intimacy appeal takes warmth a step further since the importance of communicating commitment and depth of relationship between the viewer and the advertiser becomes critical. (See Table 8). The resulting emotions of connection and bonding demonstrate that the use of intimacy as a creative strategy (which is likely to include elements of other approaches such as nostalgia, warmth, or humor) can prove to be a rewarding appeal. The ensuing hypothesis captures this expectation. H 2 : An intimacy appeal will be evaluated more positively than a warmth appeal on a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. 46

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Table 9: Comparison of Warmth and Intimacys Characteristics Creative Characteristics Warmth Intimacy Duration Fleeting Enduring Relationship focus Between models Between models and viewer Between viewer and advertiser Emotions evoked Affection; liking Bonding; connection Rational advertising: contrasting the role of emotions Rational or informational advertising can be described as communication that involves messages that reduce uncertainty (Abernathy and Franke 1996, p. 3). It does so by incorporating facts or cues about specific aspects of a product; the types of information most commonly reported are performance, availability, components, price, and quality attributes (Abernathy and Franke 1996). This type of advertising that focuses on message content with little to no emphasis on affective elements has been associated with informational (vs. transformational) motivation, thinking (vs. feeling) processing strategies, and utilitarian (vs. value-expressive) advertising appeals (Rossiter, Percy and Donovan 1991; Vakratsas and Ambler 1999; Johar and Sirgy 1991, respectively). Additionally, highly rational/informational appeals are best suited for consumers who are actively pursuing information (usually regarding durable products) (Rossiter, Percy and Donovan 1991; Vakratsas and Ambler 1999). This emphasis on primarily cognitive processing activity contrasts with the mostly affective response associated with the emotional advertising that underlies much of the discussion about warmth and, by association, intimacy. Furthermore, in emotional advertising consumer response is more 47

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likely to be impacted by individual differences and situational restraints since emotions themselves are dependent on context and function. Various typologies of advertising emotions populate the literature [see Batra and Ray 1986 for an excellent summary] and most fall within the Wundt sphere of consciousness dimensions, which are 1) pleasantness-unpleasantness, 2) relaxation-tension, and 3) calm-excitement (Huang 1998). Huangs comparison of basic emotions (happiness, love, and sadness) with social emotions (humor, warmth, and surprise) is another valuable perspective for framing the complex nature of emotions. The premise is that basic emotions have a more universal appeal via biological and physiological origins than social emotions that tend to be constructed via cultural norms. As a result, intimacy is characterized as a social emotion whose presence is further complicated by the impact of individual differences (McAdams 1982). Not only are there multiple types of emotion, but emotions also serve multiple functions. Mizerski and White (1986) identify three uses of emotions in advertising the first is to produce an affect-based attitude or image of the brand or product class, the second use is to present emotions as a benefit of consumption, and the final use is to enhance the ad delivery (i.e., increased enjoyment of the ad). Brown, Homer, and Inmans (1998) seminal meta-analysis of relationships between ad-evoked feelings and advertising responses corroborates these ideas and along with other research affirms the relative success of positive emotions in aiding the effectiveness, and the ability of emotions to transform, mediate, or modify consumers responses to advertising (Bashe 2001; Edell 19990; Edell and Burke 1987; Holbrook and Batra 1987; Mizerski and White 1987; Moore and Harris 1996). With emotions consistent performance as an advertising 48

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enhancer, it is anticipated that an intimacy appeal as a form of emotional advertising will lead to higher evaluation scores than a rational (non-emotional) appeal. The corresponding hypothesis is as follows: H 3 : An intimacy appeal will be evaluated more positively than a rational appeal on a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. In summary and before further considering the effectiveness of this appeal, intimacy must be distinguished from other types of appeals. As mentioned earlier, the use of personal (self-relevant) disclosure is the essential ingredient and point of distinction for an intimacy appeal. There are several other ways that an intimacy appeal differs from a rational or warmth appeal both from the advertisers perspective and in the anticipated consumers response. The advertisers responsibility is to determine the focus, creative strategy and execution of the ad. Depending on the type of appeal, each of these elements will be realized in a different manner. For example a rational appeal is likely to focus on the advertised product or service by emphasizing objective facts and attributes while a warmth appeal focuses on the feelings and emotions associated with the advertised item by using peripheral cues (e.g., lighting and soft music) to convey tenderness. As a point of further distinction an intimacy appeal focuses on the relationships associated with the advertised product or service, balances both facts and feelings and most importantly, discloses emotionally-laden personal information. The desired consumer response to each appeal varies as well with regard to the primary processing mode, desired outcome, and the impact of individual differences. For example, rational appeals tend to tap cognitive processing in order to inform consumers and the information is often consistently received across individuals. Warmth appeals are 49

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more affective in orientation and the goal is to generate warm and fuzzy feelings in the consumers, which will vary across individuals. In contrast to both of the previous examples, an intimacy appeal uses both cognitive and affective processing in order to create a sense of bonding in the consumer; individual differences are most evident in this appeal. In its basic form an intimacy appeal incorporates key elements of both rational and warmth appeals. Recall that intimacy is known and being known (rational) that also includes liking (warmth). The vulnerability component is the third dimension that serves as a key identifier. Accordingly, the language used in each type of appeal is the primary way to distinguish among appeals. Table 9 offers a summary of these ideas and also provides a market example for each type of appeal. Table 10: Descriptive Comparison of Rational, Warmth, and Intimacy Appeals Rational Warmth Intimacy 1. Focus of Ad Product/Service offering Emotions associated with product/service Relationships associated with product/service 2. Creative Strategy Emphasizes facts Emphasizes feelings Balances facts & feelings 3. Creative Execution Touts the attributes of the offering Relies heavily on peripheral cues (e.g. soft music, cozy images) Reveals personal (and emotional) information 4. Creative Components Prices /related APRs Company reputation Fond memories afforded by service Company involvement Discreetly discloses unknown information Company concern and commitmen t 5. Primary Processing Mode Cognitive Affective Both Cognitive and Affective 6. Desired Consumer Outcome Knowledge Liking and warm fuzzies Bonding 7. Impact of Individual Differences Little to none Moderate High 8. Market Example American Express: Dont leave home without it Hallmark: When you care enough to send the very best State Farm Insurance: We live where you live 50

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The challenges of communicating intimate relationship The difficulties associated with communicating (portraying) intimate relationships revolve around the nature and focus of the relationship as well as the degree of disclosure that is involved. Stern acknowledges the distinction often made between relationships of "limited intimacy" (services relationships such as patient/dentist or client/hairdresser) and those of "full intimacy" (spouses, parents, siblings), but maintains that the distinction is one of degree rather than one of kind: The shared attributes exist no matter the degree of the relationship, and they appear in services advertising as message themes and/or consumer benefits (p. 10). Therefore distinguishing between social (limited intimacy) and personal (greater potential for full intimacy) relationships is important (Steve Duck, personal communication 12/24/02). Indeed Price and Arnoulds (1999) investigation into client/consumer interactions substantiates the presence of close relationships in many service settings and the role personal interaction (and by default mediated communication) plays in the maintenance. Through a series of multi-method studies, they describe and measure commercial friendships as business relationships that are associated with satisfaction, strong service loyalty, and positive word of mouth. In so doing, they distinguish friendship (akin to limited intimacy) from trust (greater potential for full intimacy, but rare) and also uncover an imbalance between clients and service providers in describing the nature of the friendship. [This idea will be revisited in more detail in the relationship marketing section found later in this chapter.] Another critical challenge in conveying intimate relationship between advertisers and consumers is determining the focus of the interaction. Clearly an intimacy appeal 51

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promises improved relationships as a benefit of bonding (feeling understood, validated, and cared for). What is less clear at this point is the character of the promised relationship. In other words, where does the benefit lie? Does using the product or service improve your personal relationships, your relationship with the provider, or your relationship with both? Which is a more effective communication tacticshowing warm exchanges among models or showing warm exchanges between models and the provider? A final challenge lies in balancing disclosure with emotional response in order to achieve the desired level of bonding. The need for vicarious disclosure where the consumer identifies with the model and situation was noted earlier and is in keeping with identity literature that affirms consumers tendency to empathize with (malleable self), aspire to (ought and possible selves), or reject (avoidance groups) the models shown in a given advertisement (Aaker 1999; Markus and Kunda 1986; and Basil and Englis 1995, respectively). Therefore, appropriate levels of self-relevant revelations are fundamental to evoking consumers participation in the advertisement. No specific hypotheses are offered as this segment of the proposal presents an ideal opportunity for discovery. The impact of visual imagery In keeping with the import of what is shown (physically), the study proposed will consider both visual and verbal elements of an intimacy appeal. Most of the advertising examples Stern (1997) presented in the Advertising Intimacy article deal with copy treatment and no mention is made of the role of visual imagery in conveying intimacy. This is crucial area for discovery as the impact of visual rhetoric and imagery in advertising is well documented in its ability to generate attention and interest (Scott 52

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1994), aid in comprehension (Miniard, et al. 1991; Batra and Ray 1986), interact with the text (McQuarrie and Mick 1992), improve favorability toward the advertised offering (Jenkins 1999; Scott 1994), and add tangibility to services (Stafford 1996) Therefore, an effort will be made to incorporate visual imagery into the analyses. Again no specific hypotheses are tendered, instead themes and patterns such as the number of models featured (multiple versus single models are anticipated), the positions of the models (e.g., touching each other), and the predominance of relationships that express longevity (i.e., family) are expected to emerge in congruence with existing literature (Belch, Holgerson, Belch & Koppmann 1982; Brown 1982; Reichert & Ramirez 2000; Stern 1997). Similarly the absence (or limited amount) of ad copy in what may be deemed emotional or affect-driven advertising is also probable as an emergent theme among ads that employ an intimacy appeal (Frazer 1983; Hershey, Clow, and Roy 2001). 53

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INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES: INVOLVEMENT, DESIRE FOR INTIMACY, AND GENDER Individual differences play an important, but subordinate role in Reis and Shavers (1988) model as they help to explain variance across intimate relationships. Obviously there is a plethora of individual measures that could be used to help control for ambiguity in this investigation. However, in keeping with existing literature (Celsi & Olson 1988; Stern 1997) and for the sake of parsimony, this section reviews three relevant areas when accounting for individual differences in response to an intimacy appeal in advertising: 1) the pre-existing level of involvement a consumer has with the advertised subject, 2) a consumers individual desire for intimacy, and 3) the impact of gender in how consumers process and respond to advertising. Involvement This section briefly reviews the various conceptualizations of involvement, highlights the most relevant articles to the current discussion, and provides support for the selected involvement perspective. Conceptualizing Involvement Greenwald and Leavitt (1984), quote Herbert Krugmans (1965) Public Opinion Quarterly article as the seminal observation of involvement within an advertising context. Building on earlier researchers, Krugman describes involvement not as attention, interest, or excitement but the number of conscious bridging experiences, connections, or personal references per minute that the viewer makes between his [sic] own life and 54

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the stimulus. (Greenwald and Leavitt 1984, p. 581). This idea of bridging experiences is foundational to the most popular conceptualizations of involvement as 1) a motivational state, 2) a situational state, and 3) a processing mechanism. As a motivational state, involvement is multidimensional and influenced by personal relevance to a given stimulus. Most studies that tackle involvement from this perspective deal with attitudes toward a given product (Zaichkowsky 1986 and 1994; Kapferer and Laurent 1985; Celsi and Olson 1988; MacInnis and Jaworski 1989; Day, Stafford, Camacho 1995; Gabbott and Hogg 1999). The dimensions that are present most often include: interest, enjoyment, self-expression and perceived risk. Accordingly the degree of involvement is determined by how intensely the consumer relates directly to the product or service. Mittals (1995) comparison of the four most utilized involvement scales: PII, CIP, FCB, and PDI (Personal Involvement Inventory, Consumer Involvement Profile, Foote, Cone & Belding Product Grid, and Purchase-Decision index) distinguishes between product and purchase-decision involvement and affirms that involvement is not a stable trait, but rather situationally dependent. This view is also supported by other scholars who study involvement as a situational state (Batra and Ray 1983; Greenwald and Leavitt 1984; Muehling, Laczniak, and Stoltman 1991). Here the emphasis shifts from product to the message or medium of an advertisement. Issues of argument quality (Greenwald and Leavitt 1984; Petty, Cacioppo, and Schumann 1983), message recall and evaluation (Gardner, Mitchell, and Russo 1985), and media selection (Buchholz and Smith 1991) are assessed in light of perceived level of involvement with the ad itself. 55

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Involvement is also conceptualized as a processing mechanism that influences how persons respond to a given advertisement. Greenwald and Leavitt (1984) identified four qualitatively distinct levels of involvement: preattention, focal attention, comprehension, and elaboration, which impact persuasion. Park and Young (1986) in their study demonstrated musics facilitating effect for low involvement, but distracting effect in high involvement conditions. While these previous conceptualizations ascribe primarily situational properties to the involvement construct, Andrews, Durvasula and Akhter (1990) view involvement as an internal state with intensity, direction and persistence properties. Their framework to synthesize involvement conceptualizations and measurement efforts by comparing four involvement research streams supports the use of involvement as a screening versus manipulated variable. Amidst all the variation, involvement has established itself as a verifiable moderator between cognition and response within a consumption context. For example, Petty, Cacioppo, and Schumanns (1983) infamous ELM (Elaboration Likelihood Model) analysis where consumers engage either central or peripheral routes to persuasion, shows that greater elaboration of advertising message is associated with high involvement. What is less concrete, however, is the form (e.g., situational or enduring) and object (e.g., product, brand, message/advertisement) of said involvement across numerous studies. Nevertheless a comparison of the various approaches to conceptualizing and measuring involvement arrives at the following summary conclusions [A detailed timeline of the conceptualization of involvement is presented in Appendix A]: Involvement is a multidimensional construct with cognitive and affective components 56

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High levels of involvement with a given stimulus result in more cognitive activity and more extensive elaboration than low involvement situations. Measuring Involvement Given the demanding cognitive and affective activity that is anticipated for processing the complexity of an intimacy appeal, the construct of involvement helps to account for individual factors in consumer response. In several studies of involvement it was found to positively impact the degree of attention paid to the ad as well as the level of cognitive effort, attention to product information, and elaboration of the advertisement (see Buchholz and Smith 1991; MacInnis and Jaworski 1989; Zaichkowsky 1985, 1994). This measure is especially useful to tidily address the interpretative filter (i.e., As motives, needs, goals and fears) that consumers utilize in Reis and Shavers (1988) intimacy process model. Zaichkowskys (1985) introduction of the Personal Involvement Inventory (PII) and other key measures of the construct such as the Consumer Involvement Profile (CIP) and the Foot, Cone, and Belding product grid (Mittal 1995) all provide insight into consumers motivations to engage with a given stimulus. The constructs measurement results and functional popularity in the literature indicate that involvement is nomologically sound. It provides a reliable measure of both internal and external factors that impact consumers participation with a given subject (MacInnis and Jaworski 1989; Andrews, Durvasula, and Akhter 1990; Rossiter, Percy and Donovan 1991; Chow, Celsi, and Abel 1990). 57

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Applying Involvement Although there is substantial debate of the direct applicability of any of the numerous renditions of the involvement construct to a services marketing context because of the underlying differences between services and product marketing (e.g., relationship length, interpersonal conditions) (Berry 1980; Day, Stafford, Royne and Camacho 1995; Gordon, McKeage, Fox 1998), Gabbot and Hogg (1999) and Gordon, McKeage, and Fox (1998) assert that the behavioral consequences of involvement warrant investigation in the services marketing arena. Accordingly, higher levels of involvement with the advertised stimulus should result in greater elaboration of the advertisement. This is likely to lead to a greater sense of bonding to the advertiser and correspondingly a better evaluation of the ad on behalf of the consumer. Rather than offer specific hypotheses, involvement will be used as a screening variable so that only the scores of persons who register moderate to high on involvement with the advertised services will be included in the study. Desire for Intimacy As was mentioned earlier, Reis & Shavers (1988) model borrows from several schools of thought such as psychodynamic research, communication, and social psychology regarding the role of intrinsic properties in pursuing intimate relationships. The general consensus is that all individuals crave close relationships; however the degree of desire varies across persons and is often a function of the current situation (Storkey 1995; McAdams 1980; McAdams and Powers 1981; McAdams and Constantian 1983; Stern 1997). Because there are no existing self-report measures of 58

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individual desire for intimacy, one way to discern a desire for intimacy is to gauge the amount intimacy currently experienced in key relationships. Social intimacy is one such measure. Social intimacy Much of the intimacy literature focuses on marital relationships and given the current advertising context, a more generic intimacy orientation is required. The Miller Social Intimacy Scale (MSIS) assesses the maximum level of intimacy currently experienced in either marriage or friendship relationships and helps to describe an individuals motivation for or desire for intimacy (DFI). By asking questions that deal with the frequency and intensity of one selected relationship, answers provide insight into how time is spent together and the degree of disclosure and affection that is shared. The scale serves as a reasonable proxy for the level of intimacy that is current happening in a persons life (scale items are presented in Appendix K). Based on the premise that intimacy is an important predictor of healthy psychological and physiological functioning, the 17-item measure has demonstrated reliability and validity (Cronbach alpha = .86 .91; test-retest reliability r = .96). In fact, Miller and Lefcourt (1982) compared three sets of participants: unmarried student sample, married student sample, and married clinic sample to find that, as expected, married students scored significantly higher in social intimacy than unmarried (t=8.17, p<.001) and married clinical (t=6.41, p<.001) samples. More interestingly however, unmarried students scored significantly higher than the married clinical sample (t=2.56, p<.02) which indicates that marriage alone is not a sufficient measure of intimacy and 59

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that the MSIS is a useful measure of intimacy currently experienced apart from a marital context. Because differences in the ability or even desire to bond with others are present across consumers, differences are expected in they way people respond to connection-based advertising (Wang and Mowen 1997). These differences must be addressed since it is likely that persons who are more inclined to or currently involved in close relationships will respond more favorably to an intimacy appeal. In an effort to address Reis and Shavers motives, needs, goals & fears model component, the following hypothesis is tendered: H 4 : Given an intimacy appeal, the greater the degree of social intimacy currently experienced, the higher the bonding scores. H 5 : Given an intimacy appeal, the greater the degree of social intimacy currently experienced, the higher the evaluation scores for a) attitude to the ad and b) attitude to the provider Gender Differences in Advertisement Processing and Interpretation This section considers the anticipated differences in men and womens response to intimacy appeals. The theory of selective processing attests that women engage more cognitively with advertisements in comparison to men (Meyers-Levy and Maheswaran 1991; Reichert and Ramirez 2000). Current literature explores other factors related to gender differences in information processing including the processing patterns men and women employselective vs. comprehensive respectively (Darley and Smith 1995; Prakash 1992) and the cognitive/information gathering interpretive tendencies of men vs. the affective/experientially oriented tendencies of women (Brown, Stevens and Maclaran 1999). Furthermore, women are more sensitive the perceived risk than to objective 60

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claims; men were the reverse (Darley and Simth 1995). Men tend to look for authorial intent (Stern 1993) and are more confident in their attitudes than women (Kempf, Palan, and Laczniak 1997). The extensive precedence of examining gender differences in advertising processing confirms its relevance and is further supported by the proliferation of targeted marketing communications and advertising efforts aimed separately at both consumer groups (Meyers-Levy and Maheswaran 1991). (See Appendix B for descriptions of key articles that catalogue this discourse in the literature). Therefore, gender differences in the evaluation of ads are anticipated due to the relationships between interpreting intimacy and individual frame of reference, and individual and engendered predisposition (Bartle-Haring and Strimple 1996; Brown et al. 1999). Specifically, females are more likely to process subtle cues more deeply than men because of their tendency to engage in elaboration regarding the relative congruence in an ad (Darley and Smith 1995; Meyers-Levy and Maheswaran 1991; Prakash 1992). H 6 : Bonding scores of female participants will be higher than the bonding scores of male participants. H 7 : Evaluation scores of female participants will be higher than the evaluation scores of male participants for a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. 61

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RELATIONSHIP MARKETING: STAGE-BASED RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT Although the concept of an intimacy appeal is conceivable in both goods and services marketing, the services area has been highlighted because of the increased level of interpersonal interaction. This condition more readily lend itself to the dyadic communication that is required in intimate exchanges (Solomon, Surprenant, Czepiel, and Gutman 1985; Reis & Shaver 1988; Stern 1997). In this section, the services and relationship marketing literature is reviewed in light of: 1) the nature of service relationships (e.g., commercial friendships), 2) themes in services advertising, and 3) stages of relationship development (e.g., acquaintance, build-up) The observations made frame the setting for this dissertation and lend support to the rationale for selecting a relationship marketing environment. No specific hypotheses are tendered. The nature of services relationships: commercial friendships Price and Arnoulds (1999) five-study investigation into client/consumer interactions was mentioned earlier as support for the presence of close relationships in many service settings. The context for the first four studies is the relationship between hairdressers and their clients; the fifth study was conducted across several industries. Main findings show that several factors such the extent of repeated exposures between parties, the boundaries that are established via the limitations of the serviscape, friendliness, and likeability were influential in yielding potential beneficial business goals (i.e., loyalty, positive WOM). Brief descriptions of each study and the corresponding findings are presented in Appendix C. 62

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Price and Arnould find that persons in a commercial friendship use the term friendship to connote self-disclosure, gift-giving, accommodation, and affection (p. 51), which resemble the aforementioned Five Cs that are associated with intimacy (e.g., communication (self-disclosure), caring, commitment, comfort (compatibility), and conflict resolution. They also distinguish friendship from trust and uncover an imbalance between clients and service providers in describing the nature of the friendship where stylists maintain a more agentic relationship with clients than clients do with hairstylists. Not surprisingly, some clients and providers did not feel that friendship was an appropriate goal for business interaction, which lends support for the individual differences that impact the degree of intimacy desired in a given relationship. Reviewing commercial friendships as representative of service relationships provides insight into some of the situational characteristics that should be incorporated into an intimacy appeal such as clear roles, friendliness, listening and disclosure in the interaction. Still the challenge of translating these concepts via mediated communication remains. The next section highlights some of the themes that are germane to services advertising then the final section recaps of how those themes can be employed within a stage-based approach to relationship development. Themes and tangibility in services advertising There is general consensus that services marketing is not only different, but that to a certain extent services advertising is different as well (Zeithaml, Prasuraman, an Berry 1985; Stafford 1996; Stafford and Day 1995). Although services can be classified in similar fashion to products via frameworks such as the FCB or Rossiter-Percy grids, 63

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issues such as tangibility and the experiential nature of services demand specific strategies to improve advertising effectiveness (Mortimer 2002; Stafford 1996; Stafford and Day 1995). In a study involving the comparison of message appeals (rational and emotional) and media (print and radio) for fictional retail outlets (restaurant/experiential and photo processing/utilitarian), Stafford and Day (1995) found that rational appeals generated higher attitude to the ad and that radio yielded higher levels of patronage intention. Since their advertisements used no visuals or affect-laden components (e.g., music), these findings are not surprising. Additionally, had involvement measures been taken, additional explanation into the preference for cognition over affect would likely have presented itself. They also used SERVQUAL dimensions of tangibility, empathy, responsiveness, and assurance and Liu and Stouts (1987) manipulation check to make sure the ads were distinguishable as emotional vs. rational. This study opens the door for further investigation on the role of visual and affect-laden elements in moving emotional appeals ahead of rational ones in a similar context. One study found that more intangible services (e.g., consulting, education, insurance, or programming) tend to employ Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) programs (Grove, Carlson, and Dorsch 2002; Mittal 2002) as a means to reinforce their offering via multiple media. Another study discovered that when advertising potentially embarrassing products (e.g., hearing aids) a private versus public approach is more effective (Iacobucci, Calder, Malhouse, and Duhachek 2002). Clow. Baack, and Fogliasso (1998) examination into reducing perceived risk through advertising service quality cues in professional services found that purchase intentions are enhanced when ads convey feelings of assurance, reliability, responsiveness, and high-quality tangible 64

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assets. The consensus overall is that tangibility is a helpful, but not necessary component of successful services advertising, instead images and verbal messages that communicate the companys intention are more important (Stafford 1996, Stern 1997; Iacobucci, et al 2002). This observation releases the current study from physically depicting the service provider in the selected ads if their presence can be successfully implied. Stage-based of relationship development This last section lends further support for a relationship-marketing context by examining how relationships develop. It does so by pairing the developmental stages with appropriate correlating advertising strategy. The ensuing paragraphs outline the stages of courting and keeping consumers via an intimacy appeal. Having established the dynamic and situationally dependent nature of intimate relationships, Stern (1997) offers numerous examples of how advertisers can achieve stage-appropriate communication goals. Using Reis and Shavers (1988) model as a guide, Stern adapts Levinger and Snoeks (1972) ABCDE relationship developmental cycle (Acquaintance, Build-up, Continuation, Dissolution, and Exit) to a services marketing context. After dropping the E (Exit) stage since the high cost and low probability associated with retrieving departed customers versus satisfying current ones usually discourage efforts to woo back those who have left, a relationship marketing development cycle has four stages and four corresponding communication goals. The first, still labeled acquaintance, refers to the attraction stage of relationship forming and focuses on generating sufficient interest for additional exploration by the 65

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consumer. One advertising tactic is to layer personal relevance and ambiguity, which may spark curiosity among potential consumers. Involvement is the marketing concept of interest at this stage of relationship building. The second is build-up and is characterized by sampling and repeat consumption encounters so advertisers should promise a satisfying relationship (with guarantees). In order to overcome potential perceived risk barriers, an advertiser may detail their experience and try to convey caring and commitment. Continuation is the third stage where the commitment is deepening in the relationship and there is less ambiguity; here the advertiser focuses on keeping the consumer satisfied. Because satisfaction is the main goal at this stage, an advertiser would highlight the firms record of dedication and success. Reward programs and loyalty incentives are particularly effective at this stage. Ideally marketers wish to keep most of their consumers at the continuation stage, but relationship dissolution, which is the fourth stage, is sometimes inevitable. At dissolution, the consumer can either remain or use their voice (meaning practical communication of their disappointment with a company). Consumers exercise a series of options when they are no longer satisfied in the relationship: be loyal and hang in there, complain to the company, bad-mouth the company to others, or simply switch to another provider. Messages geared towards loyal or complaining consumers may be worthwhile such as reminding the consumer of prior satisfaction or offering additional incentive to remain. However, negative word of mouth (WOM) or switchers should be released as the high cost and low probability associated with retrieving departed customers vs. satisfying current ones usually are neither worthwhile nor cost-effective. Table 10 summarizes these ideas and provides market examples. Though not explicitly identified by Stern (1995), the bracketed words in the 66

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relational stage column represent the most relevant marketing construct for each communication goal. Therefore involvement is associated with the acquaintance level since clearing an interest threshold is important; then as the relationship develops issues of risk and trust become paramount. Relationships continue successfully when parties are satisfied and so on. Table 11: Adaptation of Levinger and Snoeks (1972) Relationship Developmental Cycle Relational Stage Communication Strategy Advertising Tactic Example 1. Acquaintance [Involvement] Generate sufficient interest for additional exploration by the consumer Layer personal relevance and ambiguity Fleet Banks uses the headline: Lets face it, its not a good relationship unless you get something out of it 2. Build-up [Risk] Promise a satisfying relationship (with guarantees) Position the company as caring and committed H & R Block positions itself as protector and helper to the wary taxpayer 3. Continuation [Satisfaction] Keep the consumer satisfied Highlight firms record of dedication The Cloister (a resort hotel) reminds clients about what theyve learned serving families for as many as five generations 4. Dissolution [Loyalty; Voice] Remind the consumer of prior satisfaction Highlight the firms flexibility and the consumers choices Gym and workout center uses scared of commitment? headline to offer a pay-as-you-go option to members 5. Exit [Negative WOM] The high cost and low probability associated with retrieving departed customers vs. satisfying current ones usually discourage efforts to woo back those who have left. Admittedly, the stages presented are often not mutually exclusive, and many advertisers incorporate more than one goal in their message. One question of interest is knowing which stage is best suited for an intimacy appeal. Although it would seem that continuationwhere the relationship is establishedwould be the most fertile ground, the promise of intimate relationship may be sufficient fodder (e.g., acquaintance or build-up stages) to woo consumers in light of individual differences. Again, no specific hypotheses are presented with regard to the stage of relationship building, but careful 67

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attention was paid to these matters during the discovery sessions of inquiry. Therefore, for manageability of the current investigation, only the acquaintance and build up relational stages are queried. However, all stages of intimate relationships and the relevant marketing construct could eventually be investigated and compared. Separately and in an effort to increase the generalizability of the current study, two types of services will be used in the ads; however no effectiveness differences are anticipated. H 8 : Financial services bonding scores will not be significantly different from healthcare bonding scores. H 9 : Financial services evaluation scores will not be significantly different from healthcare evaluation scores for a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. CHAPTER TWO SUMMARY This chapter offers a brief recollection of key observations in Stern (1997) and their consequent development in the current research. It also describes how this dissertation fits with existing literature in psychology, social psychology, and marketing with regards to the intimacy process and its application to an advertising context. It developed four main constructs and themes: intimacy, creative strategy (i.e., appeals and executional cues), individual differences (i.e., involvement, desire for intimacy, and gender), and relationship marketing (i.e., commercial friendships and stage-based relationship development) and offered corresponding hypotheses. Finally, it introduces the preliminary conceptual model that will be used to test the hypotheses. Chapter 3 68

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describes the qualitative and quantitative methodology incumbent in describing and measuring an intimacy appeal. 69

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CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY The previous chapter described how this dissertation fits with existing literature in psychology, social psychology, and marketing with regards to the intimacy process and its application to an advertising context. It offered hypotheses (as appropriate) that correspond with four main constructs and themes: intimacy, creative strategy, individual differences, and relationship marketing and also introduced the conceptual ANOVA model. As a reminder this dissertation enlists a two-stage multi-method approach that combines discovery (emergent designs) with hypothesis testing via two sequential studies as shown below in Table 11. After introducing the study context, the first part of this chapter describes the emergent and discovery components of the research by explaining the construction of the descriptive checklist. The second part of this chapter explains the quantitative operationalization of key constructs, tests of hypotheses, and data analysis plans. The chapter closes with a summary chart of the research questions from Chapter One, the hypotheses from Chapter Two and the corresponding testing measures presented in this chapter. 70

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Table 12: Operationalizing an Intimacy Appeal: Multi-method Research Design Research Design Sequential studies Stage 1: Qualitative/ Descriptive Study #1: Development of Descriptive Checklist (pre-test) Stage 2: Quantitative/ Measurement Study #2: TV Advertising Experiment STUDY CONTEXT The proposed context for this study is measuring the effectiveness of intimacy advertising for healthcare and financial services (i.e., Clover Health Solutions, Diamond Mutual Investments) to average adults. Steps were taken to recruit adults between the ages of 25 55 given the appropriateness of the representative life stages and the advertised material (i.e., marriage and family-oriented themes). Nevertheless any adult over 18 was invited to participate. Because this project focuses on the acquaintance and build-up levels of relationship building, the degree of personal exposure and revelation required is ample in the selected service areas (e.g., medical history; salary disclosure; credit history). Furthermore, each has potential for deeper exchange (e.g., medical treatment; financial planning; debt repair). These characteristics of disclosure with repeated interaction (e.g., follow-up visits; monthly statements and semi-annual meetings) are desirable conditions when studying relationships and as was mentioned earlier, provide a fertile environment for inquiry (Price and Arnould 1999; Crosby, Evans, and Cowles 1990; Fournier, Dublak, and Mick 2000). 71

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STAGE 1: QUALITATIVE METHODOLOGY / CHECKLIST CONSTRUCTION Emergent Inquiry In order to develop rich, theory-building insights (Deshpande, 1983; Glaser & Straus, 1967) a qualitative approach integrating literature, content analyses, focus groups, and in-depth field interviews was used to begin the process of consistently recognizing an intimacy appeal. By engaging both the consumer and the producer of potentially intimate advertising in purposeful conversations several useful nuggets were uncovered. Focus groups yielded the following insights (most corroborate existing literature) Participants were more likely to recall television ads than any other medium. Participants thought themselves skeptical and savvy about advertising, but often spoke with fondness about various advertisements. The link between the ad and the company is not readily accessible to consumers. Many times, they could remember the ad, but not the advertiser. Participants identified warm, humorous, and annoying ads more easily than meaningful advertisements. When participants used the word intimacy, they often used it in a general vs. sexual sense. Older participants, women, and mothers were more receptive to the ideas of an intimacy appeal than single, young adults. Because the execution of the advertisement is critical to its success in conveying intimacy, a behind the scenes perspective is beneficial. Interviews with the creators of advertisements that potentially employ an intimacy appeal helped to further identify the language and emotions associated with creating and viewing selected advertisements. These conversations yielded the following insights: 72

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Advertising personnel aim for believability when developing meaningful advertisements and employ a range of tactics to achieve this (i.e., language pulled from everyday life, having the models interact initially without a formal script, hiring models that look like regular people) All interviewees spoke of capturing a moment of truth. They seek to peek into the lives of the people to whom their ads are targeted. The goal is to have the audience resonate with the onscreen scenario. The interviewees support the idea of an intimacy appeal, but admit that it is difficult to quantify. Finally, an informal content analysis of the advertisements that were repeatedly referenced by both consumers and advertising personnel showed three key themes. First, the ads tended to feature two persons who were usually engaged in dialogue. Their exchange was not always audible, but it appeared friendly and comfortable. Additionally, inclusive language such as us, we, and our was often employed. Secondly, the ads usually included some form of touching among the models, casually and with a sense of familiarity and affection. Thirdly, the ads often used family or marriage themes, which suggest long-term commitment, trust, and perhaps obligation. Study #1: Descriptive Checklist Construction The purpose of the first study was to consistently categorize the three types of appeals of interest: rational, warmth (affective), intimacy. Raters were asked to use a listing of bi-polar adjectives as presented in Bruner and Hensel (1998, p. 821-825; 7-point semantic differential scales; some empirically tested others new) in response to a series of two advertisements (see Appendix D for the list of adjective pairs). The items used to identify intimacy advertising emerged via saturation of ideas across the focus groups, interviews, and content analysis as well as the literature (Lincoln and Guba 1985, 73

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p. 313). Accordingly, the Cs cited in Waring, et al (1980) [communication, caring, commitment, comfort, and conflict resolution/trust] served as starting points for identifying the emergent components an intimacy appeal (i.e., disclosure or the voluntary revelation of otherwise private information). Scoring the Checklist After several rounds of participants (n=280) and revisions to the instrument, it was determined that the adjective pairings were too abstract a method for participants to use in describing the ads. An exploratory factor analysis revealed that all the pairs seemed to load on one factor rather than three. Instead a series of descriptive statements that were generated, pre-tested, and revised did a superior job of identifying the differences among appeals than the adjective pairs. By explicitly highlighting the key differentiators among appeals in a format that was more accessible to consumers (i.e., this ad reveals personal information, this ad ists specific facts about the company or this ad is gentle), clear differences among the appeals were consistently identified by participants. Table 12 shows the revised checklist items cross-referenced with the creative execution descriptions originally presented in Table 9 such as describing product attributes, employing peripheral cues, or revealing personal information. The success of this process helped to confirm the general components of an intimacy appeal and set the stage for testing the relative effectiveness and bonding ability of this appeal. Additional description of the Chronbachs Alpha and F-test results are presented in the next chapter. 74

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Table 13: Descriptive Statements for Rational, Warmth, and Intimacy Appeals Statements for each Appeal Type Execution Cues Rational: This ad lists specific facts about the company This ad offers detailed information about the company (e.g., numbers & percentages) This ad explains exactly what the company offers Touts the attributes of the offering. Warmth: This ad emphasizes cozy family scenes more than company features This ad is gentle This ad is soothing Relies heavily on peripheral cues (e.g. soft music, cozy images) Intimacy: This ad shares private information about the people in the ad (e.g., names) This ad reveals a sensitive situation about the people in the ad This ad tells a very personal story about the people in the ad Reveals personal (and emotional) information Creating the Ads Ad copy was the only variable that was manipulated for each appeal, therefore the advertisements used the same set of images, music and voiceover within each service. Scripts are below and an example ad for each service type is available in the Dissertation Files public folder at http://homepage.mac.com/drdrea2b/ The financial ad has aired in Europe, but not in North America and the healthcare ad was constructed with existing footage that has not been aired commercially. Careful attention was given to the use of self-referencing language (i.e., you) in the warmth and intimacy conditions and the incorporation elements of time-space, union, and physiological growth in the intimacy appeal (Burnkrant and Unnava 1995 and McAdams 1980, respectively). Furthermore, the ads incorporated feedback from industry professionals. 75

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During the course of pre-testing, a visually impaired colleague participated in a discussion about the trouble that participants were having in distinguishing the ads. After listening to the ads, he commented that the differences were crystal clear and suggested that the visuals might be competing too much with the words. This insight was monumentally helpful. Upon a final revision of the ads to incorporate stationary nameplates during the most descriptive portions of the ads (e.g., listing percentages or critical plot turns), participants were better able to focus on the words rather than attempting to discern the ads story via the images on screen. Scripts for DIAMOND FINANCIAL SERVICES: Setting: A Caucasian couple in the their mid-to late 30s are sitting at a table enjoying coffee and looking at each other. There is a beach in the background. The shots are cropped very closely to the faces. Female voice over. Rational Appeal: In todays economy, planning for your familys future is trickier than ever thats why Diamond Mutual Investments offers over 200 qualified advisors portfolio management fees starting at .05% and funds that average 8-12% returns With excellent investment choices in life insurance, 529 plans, annuities, and mutual funds, Diamond Mutual gives families the best options for the road ahead. To learn more visit www.DMutual.com today Warmth Appeal: We know you care about your family and about planning for the future. Thats why Diamond Mutual Investments is the thoughtful choice to help you take care of the people you treasure. Let Diamond Mutual look after your future and free you up to enjoy life and loved ones now. 76

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Intimacy Appeal: Jeff and I have come a long way in our life together. When a bad business deal left us in bankruptcy I felt so helpless. Back then we didnt have a back-up plan, but now things are different. There is a real partner out there that applauds our progress and helps safeguard the future we dream about. Find out for yourself why Diamond Mutual Investments is a company you can trust. Scripts for CLOVER HEALTHCARE SERVICES: Setting: A Caucasian family (parents in the their late 30s early 40s; three children) are walking together on a beach at sunset. Most members walk arm in arm and they seem to be speaking with each other. The shots are very wide and open with no close-ups. Female voice over. Rational Appeal: Through lifes seasons, it is important to look after all aspects of well-being. As leaders in personal healthcare management, Clover Health Solutions has: a vast network of over 800 physicians and 500 specialists flexible annual or monthly plans, and a 24-hour helpline with licensed nurses. Visit www.CloverHealth.com to learn practical options for lifes ebbs and flows. Warmth Appeal: With all there is to enjoy in life you dont want to worry about your familys healthcare needs. Youd rather spend time creating special memories. Clover Health Solutions works to give you peace of mind about your familys healthcare decisions. Our thoughtful and friendly options make Clover Health Solutions the caring choice. Intimacy Appeal: Spending time together means more to us than ever before. The months following Rachels accident last year were really scary. No one knew for sure how things would turn out. And the folks at Clover Health Solutions were a pleasant surprise. Even during 77

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Mike and my late night vigils, they really came alongside to sort out the practical part of recovery so that we could spend less time worrying about bills and more time herejust being together. ****************** The first part of this chapter introduced the study context and described the first of a two-stage multi-method approach to operationalizing an intimacy appeal by relating the qualitative portion of the research design. The next part of this chapter outlines the tests and measures used in the second stage of data gathering in the dissertation. The chapter closes with a summary chart of the relevant research questions, hypotheses, and testing measures. STAGE 2: QUANTITATIVE METHODOLOGY Goals of Quantitative Testing Since an intimacy appeal can be identified and differentiated consistently, it behooves us to determine its effectiveness relative to other types of appeals. Doing so provides empirical support for the ideas presented in Stern (1997) and offers marketers another utile advertising tool in cultivating meaningful relationships with their customers. The goals, sampling frame, procedures, instruments, analysis plans, anticipated outcomes, and a summary table of tested hypotheses are presented below. The full set of measurement instruments are in Appendices E through L. 78

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Study #2: TV Advertising Experiment The final study took the form of a 3 (rational, warmth, and intimacy appeals) X 2 (gender) X 2 (healthcare management and financial planning services) mixed ANOVA experiment, where the first two factors are between subjects and the third is within. This effort had two aims: to determine the comparative effectiveness of ads employing an intimacy appeal versus other types of appeals (e.g., warmth, rational) and to account for gender in consumers responses as it relates to the evaluation of an ad and the sense of bonding to the advertiser. As a reminder the other individual differences measuresinvolvement and desire for intimacy (DFI)were analyzed separately from the ANOVA model. Involvement was used as a screening variable to exclusively include participants with marginal levels of interest in the advertised services. The DFI was assessed via the MISI scale and as the only continuously measured variable, it was regressed strictly within the context of appeal type. Various data analysis techniques were employed including correlation, regression, and ANOVA; the results are presented in detail in Chapter Four. The related variables and conceptual model shown in Chapter Two are duplicated below. All other research design details follow. Table 3 (Repeated) Proposed Variables Independent Variables Dependent Variables 1) Creative Appeal 1. Intimacy/ 2. Warmth / 3. Rational 2) Gender 2. Male/ 2. Female 3) Service Type 2. Financial/ 2. Healthcare 1. Attitude towards ad 2. Attitude towards provider 3. Patronage intention 4. Bonding Feeling understood Feeling validated Feeling cared for 79

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Figure 1 (Repeated) Preliminary ANOVA Model for Relationship Advertising in Services Marketing Sampling Frame The final study took the form of a 3 (rational, warmth, and intimacy appeals) X 2 (gender) X 2 (financial planning services and healthcare management) mixed ANOVA experiment. Figure 4 offers a graphical representation of the study design. A total 247 people participated in the study, which surpassed the 168 that were required in the original design for an Alpha of 0.05 and a power of 80% (Borenstein, Rothestein, Cohen, Schoenfeld, & Berlin 2000). Rational Warmth Intimac y IV #1: Creative Appeal Female Male IV #2: Gender Healthcare Financial IV #3: Service Type DV #1: Attitude to Ad DV #3: Patronage Intention DV #2: Attitude to Provider DV #4: Bonding Feeling Understood Feeling Validated Feeling Cared for 80

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Figure 4: Experimental Design: 3 (appeal) x 2 (gender) x 2 (service type) Intimacy (I) Personal disclosure Empathetic response Commitment Warmth (W) Empathy Care Affection Rational (R) Features Benefits Information IV # 2: Gender Male (n=28) Female (n=28) Male (n=28) Female (n=28) Male (n=28) Female (n=28) Financial Healthcare IV #1: Appeal IV # 3: Service Type Total N=168; Women accounted for more than half of the sample (a total of 112 men and 135 women participated) and the average age of all participants was 42.6 years old. Most were married (61/7%), represented middle-income levels (65.5%) and the majority had some college or higher educational attainment (80.6%). The vast majority were native English speakers (88.2%). Table 13 summarizes the relevant demographic descriptions for the sample by showing the appropriate mode or mean and corresponding percentage of the total for each identifier. 81

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Table 14: Participant Demographics Category Mode/Mean Percentage Age (range: 18 76) 42.6 NA Gender Female 54.5% Marital Status Married 61.7% Occupation Professional 27.4% Education Some College 43.8% Native English Yes 88.2% Income Below $100K 34.7% Each treatment exceeded the minimum 56 cases per appeal condition with 75 people viewing the rational appeal, 84 viewing the warmth appeal and 88 viewing the intimacy appeal. A fully balanced cell distribution between men and women and among appeal type would have been ideal; however steps were taken to accommodate the unbalanced cells (i.e., employing the Bonferrroni method for comparison). The anticipated difference was 0.05 level, and the anticipated standard deviation was 1.0. Table 14 summaries the cell composition by gender for each appeal type. Table 15: Sample Size by Treatment and Gender Financial & Healthcare Services Total Rational Warmth Intimacy Male 27 48 37 112 Female 48 36 51 135 Total 75 84 88 247 82

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Procedures Participants completed the study in groups ranging from two to 40 people. Because participants were recruited from a wide range of sources including workplaces, civic organizations, churches and schools, location and setting varied across the entire sample. The ads were shown from the same laptop computer across groups, but some participants saw them on a TV screen, others on a large screen with a multi-media projector, and the smallest groups viewed the ads directly from the laptop. After a brief introduction to the study (participants were only told they would be evaluating advertisements), participants began with the PII inventory for both financial services and healthcare management. This was followed by a filler exercise that asked them to select the most familiar brand out of various product categories (See Appendices E-L for the full experiment booklet). Once all group members had completed these exercises, the first of the two ads were shown twice and the evaluation and bonding measures were assessed. When all group members had completed the instrument, the second ad was shown twice. Ad order was alternated across groups to reduce the possibility of order effect. Participants were then instructed to complete the booklet, which had another filler exercise, the MSIS inventory, and a final page of demographic descriptors. The entire process took between 20 35 minutes depending on group size. Upon completion participants were invited to enter a drawing for one of four $50 gift certificates to their choice of Best Buy, Home Depot, Wal-Mart or Target retail stores. 83

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Involvement Participants were post-sorted for moderate to high involvement (via the 10-item Personal Involvement Inventory (PII); shown in Table 15) to account for a pre-existing interest in the advertised services. Responses can be categorized roughly into thirds where a score of 10-29 is low, 30-50 is moderate, and 51-70 is high (Zaichowsky 1984). A total of eight participants (four men and four women) were dropped since their PII scores were under 30. Table 16: Modified PII Scale Items to measure Involvement Modified PII [10 items; 7 point scales] Sample items: To me (object to be judged) is: Validity/Reliability measures Construct to measure Individual involvement with service Polarized scale points: Important unimportant (R) Boring interesting Relevant irrelevant (R) Exciting unexciting (R) Means nothing means a lot to me Appealing unappealing (R) Fascinating mundane (R) Worthless valuable Involving uninvolving (R) Not needed needed Reliability (.90); Captured variance (.64) As an additional measure to ascertain the level of involvement and personal relevance, participants were asked to respond to the following two-item 7-point differential scale (Celsi and Olson 1985): 1. The message in the ad was important to me (strongly agree/strongly disagree) 2. The ad didnt have anything to do with me or my needs (strongly disagree/strongly agree). The measure has an average inter-item correlation of .85, but did not serve well in establishing interest with the advertised services. Ideally participants who scored an 84

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average of 4 or more on these measures and/or displayed moderate to high involvement (scores between 30 and 70) on the PII would be included in the study. In the end, the PII offered a better gauge for inclusion. Since it is preferable to have participants who are highly involved with both service types in order to accommodate the within-group comparison of services, only participants who qualified on both service types were included. Independent Variables The three IVs that were factored into the experiment were service type, gender, and appeal. Ads within each service category were identical (same image, music, and voice) in every way except copy; and ads between service categories were similar (e.g., featuring a family), but not identical. Each participant saw both services ads featuring one of three appeals (intimacy, warmth, or rational). Gender information was recorded. Because participants only saw one appeal type, this variable allows for between-subject comparisons only. Men and women saw both types of service ads so the gender and service type variables allow for both withinand betweensubject comparisons. Desire for intimacy (DFI) is another variable that was assessed via the Miller Social Intimacy Scale to measure the level of social intimacy currently being experienced in key relationships such as marriage or close friendships. It is a continuous measure that assigns a numeric value (from 1 to 10) to the participants response to each of the 17 statements. For each individual, a score was summed across the 17 statements with the highest possible score being 170. The higher the score, the greater the level of social intimacy currently experienced. This was then regressed with appeal type against the 85

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dependent variables (Attitude to ad, attitude to provider, patronage intention, and bonding) to determine the extent of correlation and influence and to address H 4 and H 5 explicitly. [Given an intimacy appeal, the greater the degree of social intimacy currently experienced, the higher the bonding scores and the higher the evaluation scores for a) attitude to the ad and b) attitude to the provider; no significant relationship is expected for c) patronage intention]. Dependent Variables The dependent variables deal with two important issues: evaluation of the advertisement and degree of bonding to the advertiser. Evaluation measures were assessed first in order to lessen potential demand artifacts if participants are asked how the ads made them feel before describing their overall attitude to the ad. Evaluation For each of the evaluation dependent measures: 1) Attitude toward ad, 2) Attitude toward the service provider, and 3) Patronage intention, a collection of three seven-point semantic differential scales were presented for each variable then a composite score was generated (numerical average of the three scales) to analyze the data. For the attitude toward ad variable (A Ad ), polarized scales for persuasiveness, tastefulness and favorability of the ad were used. To gauge attitude toward service provider (A Prov ), participants were asked their impression of how superior, beneficial, and positive the service was. Patronage intention (PI) was assessed with measures of how willing they were to buy the service, how likely they were to use the brand presented and how much they were considering the service presented. Tests for normal distribution and the 86

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corresponding multivariate assumptions were conducted prior to analysis. Scale items are presented in Table 16; the final instrument is shown in Appendices H & I. Table 17: Scale Items for Evaluation Measures Dependent Variables Semantic differential scales Attitude toward ad Persuasive/not at all persuasive Tasteful/tasteless Favorable/unfavorable Attitude toward the service provider Superior/inferior Beneficial/not beneficial Positive/negative Intention to patronize the advertised service provider Very high/very low willingness of using the service Very high/very low likelihood of using the service Strongly agree/strongly disagree considering the service presented Bonding Participants were asked to describe how each ad made them feel toward the advertiser. The goal was to determine the degree to which they feel understood, validated, and cared for on behalf of the adviser. Following the precedent set by Reis and Shaver (1988) and other researchers, their intimacy process model items that have proved consistent (though not empirically tested) were adapted to an advertising context (personal communication on 4/22/02). Modifications such as changing the introductory phrase my partner to This ad makes me feel like the advertiser and dropping the descriptor (my partner) loves to spend time with me were made flowing out of the discovery research presented earlier in this chapter as well as existing research (Laurenceau, Barrett, and Pietromonaco 1998; Reis and Patrick 1996). In the end a total of 16 items were used to ascertain a sense of bonding and connection between the advertiser and the consumer. (See Table 17 for scale items and Appendices H & I for the final instrument). 87

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In similar fashion to the evaluation measures, a composite score was generated based on the numerical average of all variables. Tests for normal distribution, internal consistency, and the corresponding multivariate assumptions were conducted prior to analysis. As anticipated combining all line items for an overall bonding measure was a more reliable tool than utilizing the individual properties of feeling understood, validated, and cared for. Table 18: Scale Items for Bonding Measure This ad makes me feel like the advertiser 1.. ... sees the "real" me. 2..... seems interested in what I am thinking 3..... respects me. 4..... knows me well. 5..... values my opinions. 6..... really listens to me. 7..... is on "the same wavelength" with me. 8..... expresses liking for me. 9...... is an excellent judge of my character. 10..... is responsive to my needs 11..... esteems me, shortcomings and all. 12..... "gets the facts right" about me 13..... expresses encouragement for me. 14..... seems interested in what I am feeling. 15.... understands me. 16..... values my abilities Data Analysis, Anticipated Outcome, and Research Contribution Using SPSS, a series of correlations and individual analysis of the variance (ANOVA) tests were conducted to measure the effects on the dependent variables (Pedhazur and Schmelkin 1991, p. 492ff). Original assumptions about group mean differences among appeals for each service expected intimacy appeals to have the highest evaluation and connection levels in comparison to both warmth and rational appeals. No specific assumptions were made between warmth and rational appeals. This research operationalizes the valuable construct of an intimacy appeal and introduces a new descriptive checklist in measuring effective advertisements. By accounting for both individual and situational factors that impact service-marketing 88

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consumers, the findings can serve as a starting point for more effective service encounters. Having advertising work in conjunction with personal interaction or other promotion efforts (e.g., consumer events) can boost consumers consumption experience and provide substantial competitive advantage for the providers. Table 18 offers anticipated mean score distribution among the cells for all services with the intimacy appeal expected to have the highest overall evaluation and bonding scores and the rational appeal registering lowest on the bonding variable. Finally, Table 19 summarizes the research questions, the corresponding hypotheses and construct(s) of interest, as well as the method of analysis. Table 19: Anticipated Score Distribution for Appeal on DVs Evaluation Bondin g Intimac y ++ ++ Warmth +-+ Rational +-Possible mean score ranking among groups (continuum): Highest scores: ++ > (greater than) +- > -+ > -- lowest scores 89

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Table 20: Summary of Research Questions, Hypotheses, & Measures Research Questions Hypotheses Construct(s) of Interest Test Does intimacy advertising help the consumer feel more connected to the advertiser than warm or rational advertising? H1: Ads that employ an intimacy appeal will measure higher feelings of being understood, validated, and cared for than ads using warmth or rational appeals. APP | BOND ANOVA Is intimacy advertising more effective for liking and patronage intention than warm or rational advertising? H2: An intimacy appeal will be evaluated more positively than a warmth appeal on a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. H3: An intimacy appeal will be evaluated more positively than a rational appeal on a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. APP | EVAL APP | EVAL ANOVA H4: Given an intimacy appeal, the greater the degree of social intimacy currently experienced, the higher the bonding scores H5: Given an intimacy appeal, the greater the degree of social intimacy currently experienced, the higher the evaluation scores for a) attitude to the ad and b) attitude to the provider; no significant relationship is expected for c) patronage intention. MSIS | BOND MSIS | EVAL Regression; Correlation analysis What role do individual differences play in consumers evaluation of intimacy advertising H6: Bonding scores of female participants will be higher than the bonding scores of male participants. H7: Evaluation scores of female participants will be higher than the evaluation scores of male participants for a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. GEN | BOND GEN | EVAL ANOVA Does the type of service influence feelings of connection and evaluations of the ads? H8: Financial services bonding scores will not be significantly different from healthcare bonding scores. H9: Financial services evaluation scores will not be significantly different from healthcare evaluation scores for a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. SVC | BOND SVC | EVAL ANOVA 90

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CHAPTER THREE SUMMARY This chapter describes the two-stage multi-method approach that combined discovery (emergent designs) with hypothesis testing via three sequential studies. After introducing the study context, the first part of this chapter describes the construction of a descriptive statements checklist in response to the emergent and discovery components of the research. This second part of this chapter outlines the quantitative operationalization of key constructs, tests of hypotheses, and data analysis plans. It offers anticipated outcomes and closes with a summary table. Chapter Four details the results of the quantitative analysis and Chapter Five concludes this exposition with a discussion of results, managerial implications, limitations and directions for future research. 91

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CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS AND RESULTS The previous chapter described both the discovery process and hypothesis testing involved with this research effort. It also provided additional information about the study context and offered anticipated outcomes for the studies presented. This chapter documents the process during and related findings from the course of investigation by presenting study results with detailed analysis. Given the multi-stage approach to this project, the results of the first study will take precedence as incremental adjustments impacted the decisions made in the second study. The scale reliability and validation results are presented in between the two studies. Study #1: Descriptive Checklist Construction The purpose of the first study was to consistently categorize the three appeals of interest: rational, warmth (affective), and intimacy. Four rounds of testing involving 366 adult participants were required to systematically quantify the differences among appeals. Additionally, a series of revisions were made to both the stimulus (e.g., ad copy and images) and the instrument (e.g., revised from adjective pairs to descriptive statements). The healthcare ad was completely replaced with new footage as the first set of visuals tested poorly. A final version of the checklist instrument is presented in Appendix E. The succession of ANOVA tests carried out to confirm consistent differences among the appeals revealed significant differences among groups for both the healthcare 92

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and financial service types (See Table 20). F scores, which indicate the strength of differences and must amount to two or more for significance, were highest for the financial services rational appeal. This is not surprising given the traditional emphasis on numbers, percentages and logic with that type of advertising. As anticipated, the warmth appeal for both service types registered the lowest F scores as it offers the least copy with which to distinguish it from other appeals. In the financial services condition, the warmth F score was 13.4 compared to 89.62 for rational and 68.02 for intimacy. In the healthcare condition warmth scored 7.85 compared to 44.97 for rational and 62.39 for intimacy. Overall, the ads demonstrated internally consistent differences among appeals and no significant differences were present between services. In other words, the financial and healthcare services were equally distinguishable among appeals. Table 21: ANOVA Comparison of Means for Descriptive Checklist Ad Type Ad Appeal df Mean Square F Sig. Financial Rational 2 73.22 89.62 .000 Warmth 2 14.28 13.40 .000 Intimacy 2 74.07 68.02 .000 Healthcare Rational 2 40.93 44.97 .000 Warmth 2 4.59 7.85 .001 Intimacy 2 66.49 62.39 .000 Scale Reliability and Validation Four individual scales were used to assess each of the main dependent variables for evaluation and bonding. The first three were evaluation measures: 1) Attitude towards ad, 2) Attitude towards the service provider, 3) Patronage intention; the fourth 93

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was a new scale to capture the degree of connectedness experienced: 4) Bonding. Additionally, the Personal Involvement Inventory (PII) scale and the Miller Social Intimacy Scale (MSIS) were used to capture involvement and desire for intimacy (DFI), respectively. All scales were established (with the exception of the bonding measure) and all scales demonstrated acceptable reliability. Support for validity was secured by investigating the correlations among study variables. If relationships were harmonious with what is anticipated based on literature and theory, then support for validity was established (Billings and Wroten 1978). Accordingly the respective correlations among the DVs were significantly high but without threat of multicollinearity. Evaluation and Bonding Correlations among the adjective pairs for each evaluation DV (attitude towards ad, attitude towards the service provider, and patronage intention) were all above .3 and Chronbach Alpha scores were .85, .92, and .92, respectively. The bonding measure was composed of a collection of unvalidated items that have been used extensively in psychology practice. As anticipated, the bonding measure proved more reliable when the items representing the properties of feeling understood, validated, and cared for were combined rather than uniquely assessed. Item to total correlations were acceptable and the Cronbach Alpha was .92 Involvement While the PII traditionally reports a Cronbach Alpha of .9, the results of this study were lower at .67 and .60 for financial and healthcare services respectively. The other measure of involvement (2-item scale indicating the degree of interest with the ad itself) posted a higher alpha score (.75), however, more careful analysis suggested that 94

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participants did not truly understand the questions. In other words, although the questions were asking the same thing, participants usually polarized their responses. An alpha score of .7 or more is preferred, nevertheless, the PII was still used to screen the sample and a total of eight participants (four men and four women) were dropped since their PII scores were under 30, which is below the moderate or high involvement criteria. The reduced length of the scales might also have contributed to the lower Alpha scores. Desire for Intimacy Desire for Intimacy was assessed with the 17-item Miller Social Intimacy scale, which posted a Cronbachs Alpha score of .87. With the clear exception of the two reverse coded items: How often do you keep very personal information to yourself and do not share it with him/her? and How much damage is caused by a typical disagreement in your relationship with him/her? most of the items correlated at .3 or higher with each other. Given the propensity for social desirability bias with this type of sensitive self-reporting scale, tests were conducted to confirm that the data was normal and the measure was deemed reliable. In review of the reliability portion of this project, Table 21 summarizes how each scale performed in relation to previously reported Chronbach Alpha scores. With the exception of the PII, all scales performed within the anticipated range of Cronbach Alpha scores and the next round of analyses were conducted with confidence. Table 22: Scale Reliability Measures Scale Reported Alpha Study Alpha 1) Attitude towards ad .80-.95 .85 2) Attitude towards the service provider .80-.95 .92 3) Patronage intention .80-.95 .88 4) Bonding NA .91 5) PII .90 .67/ .60 6) MSIS .80-.90 .87 95

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Study #2: TV Advertising Experiment Overall Results Recalling the original conceptual ANOVA model, there are three independent variables [IVs]: Gender, Appeal, and Service Type and four dependent variables [DVs]: Attitude to Ad (A Ad ), Attitude to Provider (A Prov ), and Patronage Intention (PI), and Bonding (Bond) in consideration. ANOVA analysis was the main method used to ascertain differences among groups as interaction among the IVs disqualified MANOVA analysis. An overview of main effects and interactions is presented before responding to individual hypotheses. The intimacy and rational appeals were consistently rated higher than warmth for A Ad A Prov and PI across services and gender, however the Bonding DV yielded no significant main effects among appeals. Surprisingly there were no significant main effect differences between the rational and intimacy appeals for all DVs. As predicted gender proved to be an important variable in the evaluation and acceptance of the ads. Women consistently scored all the ads more favorably than men and significant differences were present for all DVs except Bonding. There were no significant differences between financial and healthcare services for all DVs except Bonding. Table 22 summarizes the relevant means of interest and serves as the main point of reference for the corresponding hypotheses. For A Ad A Prov and PI, lower scores indicate more favorable response; the reverse is true for Bonding measures. 96

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Table 23: Means and Standard Deviations for DVsAD Attitude, PRODUCT Attitude Patronage INTENTION, & BONDING Financial Services Healthcare Services Combined Services Dep. Variable Gender Rational Warmth Intimacy Total Rational Warmth Intimacy Total Rational Warmth Intimacy Total Attitude Male 3.23 3.27 3.50 3.50 3.19 3.70 2.68 2.68 3.21 3.49 3.09 3.09 to AD SD 1.53 1.46 1.74 1.74 1.63 1.57 1.27 1.27 1.57 1.52 1.57 1.57 Female 2.76 3.09 2.86 2.86 2.73 3.03 2.31 2.31 2.75 3.06 2.58 2.58 SD 1.14 1.69 1.22 1.22 1.40 1.10 1.07 1.07 1.27 1.42 1.18 1.18 Total 2.93 3.19 3.12 3.12 2.90 3.42 2.46 2.46 2.91 3.31 2.79 2.79 SD 1.30 1.55 1.48 1.48 1.49 1.42 1.16 1.16 1.39 1.49 1.37 1.37 Attitude to Male 3.06 3.16 3.35 3.35 3.20 3.54 2.95 2.95 3.13 3.35 3.15 3.15 BRAND SD 1.49 1.29 1.64 1.64 1.44 1.52 1.59 1.59 1.45 1.42 1.61 1.61 Female 2.70 3.18 2.73 2.73 2.58 3.19 2.29 2.29 2.64 3.18 2.51 2.51 SD 1.15 1.42 1.22 1.22 1.13 1.25 0.99 0.99 1.14 1.33 1.12 1.12 Total 2.83 3.17 2.99 2.99 2.81 3.39 2.57 2.57 2.82 3.28 2.78 2.78 SD 1.28 1.34 1.43 1.43 1.28 1.42 1.30 1.30 1.28 1.38 1.38 1.38 Patronage Male 3.69 4.14 4.44 4.44 4.07 4.67 3.94 3.94 3.89 4.41 4.19 4.19 INTENTION SD 1.32 1.69 1.75 1.75 1.59 1.67 1.42 1.42 1.47 1.69 1.60 1.60 Female 3.80 4.29 3.86 3.86 3.65 4.45 3.13 3.13 3.72 4.37 3.49 3.49 SD 1.18 1.63 1.58 1.58 1.34 1.52 1.34 1.34 1.26 1.57 1.51 1.51 Total 3.76 4.20 4.10 4.10 3.80 4.58 3.46 3.46 3.78 4.39 3.78 3.78 SD 1.22 1.65 1.67 1.67 1.44 1.60 1.43 1.43 1.33 1.64 1.58 1.58 BONDING Male 3.87 3.69 3.44 3.44 4.03 3.56 4.18 4.18 3.95 3.63 3.81 3.81 SD 1.27 1.17 1.42 1.42 1.40 0.91 1.23 1.23 1.33 1.04 1.37 1.37 Female 4.00 3.77 3.99 3.99 4.05 3.93 4.27 4.27 4.03 3.85 4.13 4.13 SD 1.16 0.90 0.92 0.92 1.06 0.98 0.84 0.84 1.11 0.94 0.89 0.89 Total 3.95 3.72 3.76 3.76 4.04 3.72 4.23 4.23 4.00 3.72 4.00 4.00 SD 1.19 1.06 1.18 1.18 1.19 0.95 1.01 1.01 1.19 1.00 1.12 1.12 97

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In order to test for interactions amon g the independent variables a Univariate General Linear Model (GLM) procedure wa s performed for all DVs. GLM enables a comprehensive view of the strength of the ANOVA model in contrast to individual ANOVA analyses that are more us eful for isolated comparisons of means. GLM analysis offers additional insight into how each va riable performs when other independent variables are factored into the equation. Gender main effects were present for the AAd variable (p= .001) and there was interaction between ge nder and appeal, gender and service type, and appeal and service type for the PI variable only (p= .045, .040, and .02, respectively). There were no other signi ficant two-way interactions among the independent variables and no thre e-way interactions were significant. The relative size of the F-value (F= 322) for the gender variable on AAd suggests that this measure was very useful in capturing differences between men and women. Table 24: Univariate F-values for the Dependent Variables Source (IVs) AttAD Att PROV Patron. INTENT BONDIN G Gender [Gen] 322.25 ** 9.06 1.98 8.51 Appeal [App] 1.19 1.45 1.08 1.54 Service [Svc] 0.45 0.14 0.03 1.86 Gen x App 0.04 8.35 23.74 0.43 Gen x Svc 0.08 4.78 17.20 0.16 App x Svc 5.34 14.36 50.07 1.94 Gen x App x Svc 0.81 0.16 0.09 1.18 *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001 98

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Results for Hypotheses The following presents the results for each of the nine hypotheses introduced in Chapter Two. The first three hypotheses deal with the impact of appeal type on bonding and evaluation, the next four hypotheses consider the role of individual differences, namely desire for intimacy and gender and the last two hypotheses deal with service type. Discussion of these results is reserved for Chapter Five. Main effects allow us to test the primary impact of each IV while holding the other IVs constant. It is important to gauge the strength of each manipulation before considering its interaction with other elements in the model. The first three hypotheses deal with the relative effectiveness (evaluation) and bonding ability of an intimacy appeal compared to rational and warmth appeals. One-way ANOVA analysis for appeal type yielded significant differences among appeals for all DVs [A Ad p = .003; A Prov p = .001, PI p = .000, and Bonding p = .034] and reinforced the presence of an intimacy appeal as distinct from either rational or warmth. With regard to the specific question of preference among appeals as presented in the H1-H3 results were mixed as the intimacy appeal was evaluated more positively than warmth on all DVs except bonding, but it was neither evaluated more positively nor more successful in achieving bonding compared to rational appeals. Post Hoc comparisons of mean difference among appeal type for each DV is shown in Table 24 following a recap of the hypotheses and the resulting outcome. 99

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Hypotheses Result H1: Ads that employ an intimacy appeal will measure higher bonding scores than ads using warmth or rational appeals. H2: An intimacy appeal will be evaluated more positively than a warmth appeal a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. H3: An intimacy appeal will be evaluated more positively than a rational appeal a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. Not supported Supported Supported Supported Not supported Not supported Not supported Table 25: Multiple Comparisons of Appeal on DVs: Mean Differences [H1-H3] Dependent Variables (I) Ad Appeal (J) Ad Appeal Diff (I-J) Std. Error Sig. Att to Ad Warmth Rational 0.39 0.16 0.044* Warmth Intimacy 0.51 0.15 0.003** Intimacy Rational -0.12 0.16 1.000 Att to Brand Warmth Rational 0.46 0.15 0.008** Warmth Intimacy 0.50 0.15 0.002** Intimacy Rational -0.04 0.15 1.000 Pat Intent Warmth Rational 0.61 0.17 0.001** Warmth Intimacy 0.61 0.17 0.001** Intimacy Rational 0.00 0.17 1.000 Bonding Warmth Rational -0.28 0.12 0.079 Warmth Intimacy -0.28 0.12 0.062 Intimacy Rational 0.00 0.12 1.000 *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001; Bonferrroni method 100

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The next four hypotheses consider the role of individual differences such as Desire for Intimacy (DFI) and gender in response to various appeals. DFI will be presented first. The Miller Social Intimacy Scale (MSIS) was used as a proxy for DFI and as a continuous measure it was regressed with appeal type on all DVs to specifically ascertain its relationship to the intimacy appeal. The equation in question is below = 0 + 1 MSIS + 2 APPEAL + 3 MSIS APPEAL + Results were mixed, but disappointing as the Adjusted R 2 was below .028 for all DVs suggesting that the equation was inadequate in capturing an acceptable level of variance in the data. Neither the intimacy appeal coefficient nor its interaction with the MSIS were significant predictors for any DV. Still, the MSIS did prove a significant predictor for A Ad and A Prov with t-values of .8 and .1, respectively. Keeping in mind that a lower evaluation score indicates a preference, results show that the higher the level of social intimacy currently experienced, the more positive an evaluation of the ad and the provider. Table 25 shows the outcome for each DV. Hypotheses Result H4: Given an intimacy appeal, the greater the degree of social intimacy currently experienced, the higher the bonding scores H5: Given an intimacy appeal, the greater the degree of social intimacy currently experienced, the higher the evaluation scores a) attitude to the ad and b) attitude to the provider; no significant relationship is expected for c) patronage intention. Not supported Supported Supported Not supported 101

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Table 26: Regression analysis of MSIS on DVs for Intimacy Appeal [H4-H5] Dependent Variables: Standardized Coefficient Bonding Beta t Sig. (Constant) 6.79 0.000 MSIS 0.06 0.97 0.334 Intimacy Appeal 0.16 0.45 0.651 MSIS*APP -0.10 -0.27 0.784 Att to Ad Beta t Sig. (Constant) 7.70 0.000 MSIS -0.16 -2.82 0.005** Intimacy Appeal -0.27 -0.77 0.444 MSIS*APP 0.15 0.44 0.663 Att to Provider Beta t Sig. (Constant) 8.13 0.000 MSIS -0.18 -3.11 0.002** Intimacy Appeal -0.34 -0.97 0.332 MSIS*APP 0.23 0.67 0.501 Patronage Intention Beta t Sig. (Constant) 7.83 0.000 MSIS -0.29 -0.83 0.404 Intimacy Appeal -0.11 -1.93 0.055 MSIS*APP 0.19 0.54 0.589 *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001 102

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As anticipated, gender differences were significant on all DVs across both service types [A Ad p = .000; A Prov p = .000, PI p = .005, and Bonding p = .010]. Mean scores for women were consistently above the mean scores for men therefore both H6 and H7 were supported. Hypotheses Result H6: Bonding scores of female participants will be higher than the bonding scores of male participants. H7: Evaluation scores of female participants will be higher than the evaluation scores of male participants for a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. Supported Supported The last two hypotheses predicted no significant differences in evaluation and bonding between financial and healthcare services. The relevant p-values are as follows: A Ad p = .191; A Prov p = .515, PI p = .548, and Bonding p = .054]; these hypotheses were supported. Hypotheses Result H8: Financial services bonding will not be significantly different from healthcare bonding scores. H9: Financial services evaluation scores will not be significantly different from healthcare evaluation scores for a) attitude to the ad, b) attitude to the provider, and c) patronage intention. Supported Supported In general, main effects were present, which confirms the premises that appeal type and gender impact how effective ads can be. The interactions among the independent variables also provide fodder for additional investigation and will be considered in the next and final chapter. 103

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CHAPTER FOUR SUMMARY This chapter presented the results of two sequential studies. The first set of results confirmed consistent differences among rational, warmth and emotional appeals. The second set of results focused on hypothesis testing by first listing all the relevant means for the variables of interest then systematically presenting the relationships among the various groups. Overall, the results are mixed with several hypotheses supported in part. Still there is substantial learning as the following chapter will address. Chapter Five closes this dissertation with a discussion of results, managerial implications, limitations and directions for future research. 104

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CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION, IMPLICATIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS This dissertation investigates whether or not service marketers can communicate or foster an intimate relationship with consumers via advertising. By adapting the Reis and Shavers (1988) intimacy process model to an advertising context it has succeed in its original aims: 1) to study the language and executional framing of intimacy in advertising in order to develop consistent recognition of intimacy appeal; 2) to test an intimacy appeal's comparative effectiveness in a services marketing context; and 3) to account for individual differences toward intimacy appeal by isolating the impact of gender, personal relevance/involvement, and individual desire for intimacy. As noted earlier, a better understanding of the limits and potential of services advertising could indeed be a competitive advantage for the savvy marketer. The previous chapter presented the results for both the pre-test and main study. It focused attention on the quantitative results by demonstrating how each hypothesis was either supported or not. This chapter concludes this discourse by discussing those results in light of the original research questions. In so doing it acknowledges the existing limitations with this project, includes a perspective on how to strengthen future analysis, and acknowledges its disciplinary contributions. The final section is devoted to highlighting managerial implications. 105

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Answering the Research Questions 1. Is intimacy advertising distinguishable from warm and rational advertising? Pre-test results confirm the presence of an intimacy appeal as significantly different from a warmth or rational appeal. Key identifiers for an intimacy appeal include the revelation of a personal story, a sensitive situation, and private information (e.g., personal names). Its consistent distinction from the warmth condition is particularly encouraging and offers an additional method of emotional message delivery. 2. Does intimacy advertising help the consumer feel more connected to the advertiser than warm or rational advertising? Is it more effective for liking and patronage intention than warm or rational advertising? Although not always significantly different, in mean score comparisons between warmth and intimacy, the intimacy appeal scores were always higher in every condition. This suggests that an intimacy appeal is qualitatively more effective than a warmth appeal in achieving feelings of bonding or connection. By contrast, the results imply that an intimacy appeal is equally effective as a rational appeal in generating a sense of connection as there were no significant differences between these types and both scored higher on the bonding variable than the warmth appeal. Given the similarity in increased verbal content (rational and intimacy ads had on average 10 and 20 more words respectively than warmth appeals), rational and warmth appeals share the ability to divulge more information to the consumer. It seems safe to discern that providing informationregardless of its emotional or rational contentis an important step in connecting with consumers. This supports the intimacy literature that requires communication between partners as a critical element in fostering close 106

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relationships (McAdams 1988). By comparison, the evaluation DVs (Attitude to Ad, Attitude to Provider, and Patronage intention) were more descriptive in showing differences between an intimacy appeal and the other types as they offered three areas of comparison. Again, intimacy outperformed the warmth appeal, but not the rational appeal across service types and gender. 3. What role do individual differences play in consumers evaluation of intimacy advertising? The three main individual differences considered were gender, desire for intimacy (DFI) and involvement with the service. Gender was a consistently significant variable and will be discussed later. The poor performance of the MSIS in predicting any DV outcome implies that it is not a useful proxy for the DFI measure. MSIS scores were somewhat skewed high (scores ranged from 89 to a perfect 170; and the median was 138) and concerns of social desirability seem reasonable. Instead it may be more helpful to design a new scale that captures an individuals personal interest in feeling close with a given service provider. The role of involvement is somewhat ambiguous at this point. When analysis was run with all study participants (n=255), the intimacy appeal and bonding variable presented additional levels of significance for gender. Given the slight differences in outcome and the relatively low Cronbach alpha scores, additional elucidation of involvements impact is warranted. Informal feedback from a handful of respondents suggests that the phrasing of the PII question(s): To me financial planning/ healthcare management is was unclear. The participants were not sure exactly what each phrase meanthealthcare management in particular. They did not know if it referred to 107

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HMOs or the need for an individual to take care of him or herself. Initially the phrasing ambiguity was intentional in order to glean a wide range of involvement levels; however, additional clarification (e.g., healthcare providers or HMOs) may have been more definitive thereby facilitating more meaningful differences in involvement levels. 4. Do men and women differ in their response to various appeals? in their response to types of services? Clearly the intimacy appeal presented the most differences between men and women compared with rational and warmth ads, which basically showed no gender differences WRT to most DVs. While the hypotheses predicting a significant difference between men and women were supported, predictions about differences between men and women for an intimacy appeal were surprisingly not consistently significant across service types (p=.03 and .06 for the financial and healthcare ads respectively). Women preferred the healthcare intimacy appeal significantly more than the financial ad, but the same did not hold for men who showed no significant differences between service type for the intimacy appeal. Tests for normality in the data were repeated and no outliers were detected. One explanation could be that women were more attracted than men to the warm visual and peripheral details in the healthcare ad and accordingly focused less on the words than men did (Darley and Smith 1995; Prakash 1992). Since evaluation DVs (e.g., liking the ad or the provider) generally require less attention to content than the bonding DV (i.e., I feel the advertiser sees the real me), the switch in significance patterns between men and women across DVs is interesting. Still women tend to engage more cognitively with advertisements in comparison to men so the absence of differences within the female sample among appeals for the 108

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bonding variable was also unexpected (Meyers-Levy and Maheswaran 1991; Reichert and Ramirez 2000). Men however did register significantly higher scores on the intimacy appeal over the warmth appeal for the healthcare ad for AttAd and Bonding, which lends additional support for distinctions between an intimacy appeal and a warmth appeal. 5. Does the type of service influence feelings of connection and evaluations of the ads? Does the effectiveness of an appeal vary by service type? Although there were no significant main effects between service types, differences surfaced when service type interacted with appeal and with gender. Within the intimacy appeal there were consistent differences between services for all DVs as the healthcare ad registered consistently higher means. With regards to service type and gender, within gender analysis showed no differences between service types for all DVs [AttAd, AttProv, PatInt, and Bonding] for men (p-values 0.656, 0.738, 0.492, and 0.175, respectively) and women (p-values 0.130, 0.162, 0.118, and 0.162, respectively). However, within-service analysis showed that women consistently scored both ads more favorably than men. Furthermore both genders scored the healthcare ad more favorably than the financial ad. These interactions suggest perhaps that an intimacy appeal lends itself more readily to health-related situations than financial planning. Given the personal and corporal nature of health issues, this is a reasonable assumption. Additionally, a smattering of participants recalled being somewhat flustered by the bankruptcy discussion in the financial planning ad. Perhaps the shame associated with bankruptcy confounds its ability to convey personal disclosure. 109

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6. Are feelings of connection correlated with positive evaluations of advertising? Correlation analysis shows that the DVs were positively correlated with each other for all conditions except the rational appeal. This curious lack of correlation between the bonding and the other DVs for the rational appeal contributes support for the divergent properties of a rational appeal compared with warmth and intimacy appeal in generating a sense of connection with the consumer. The pattern of low to non-existent correlations between the bonding and the other DVs persisted within both service types leading to the conclusion that regardless of emphasis, both approaches (rational and intimacy) can be effective in generating a sense of connection with consumers. Overall, the study has provided additional insight into the complexities associated with using advertising to elicit feelings of connection and bonding with consumers. Key findings include the confirmation of an intimacy appeal as distinct from either a warmth or rational appeal, womens general proclivity to responding more favorably to an intimacy appeal than men, and the likelihood that an intimacy appeal is more effective within a healthcare context compared with a financial one. Limitations As with most discovery-based investigations, several limitations are associated with this research study. Most revolve around a need to develop stronger measurement instruments. Given the original goals of sequestering a moderate to high level of involvement, additional clarification of the statements used in the PII would have been helpful. Doing so would likely have produced a greater range of participants to include 110

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low involvement persons, which would in turn permit comparisons within the involvement variable. In keeping with the benefits of more descriptive instruments, a new DFI measure could be developed. The initial rationale for incorporating this measure was to account for individual differences in how much people crave intimate relationships. This variable is a useful measure in accounting for the trait-like properties of intimacy; however, it may be more fortuitous to design a measure that captures a more situationally-based perspective on intimacy such as in service marketing encounters. The next measurement issue is the need for additional scale purification of the bonding measure. Steps to offer divergent validity should have been more robust in order to raise the effect and power levels of the scale. While these criteria and reliability scores were acceptable, fortifying the prescriptive properties of this construct would have facilitated better analyses between appeal types. The final limitation requires better balancing of the advertisements across service types. Although differences between service types were most evident in the appeal interaction than with any other variable, additional steps to make the ads more similar may have been warranted. It is not clear whether the differences were a factor of content (e.g., including words like bankruptcy) or form (e.g., using French models and close camera shots), but more thorough comparisons may have minimized the differences. Future Analysis The results spur a great range of future research possibilities including efforts to compare an intimacy appeal again with financial services and also in other service types 111

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such as insurance or credit services. Given the scope and range of service marketing relationships perhaps comparisons with shorter-termed service relationships such as travel or tax preparation services could further elucidate any time-bound requisites of this appeal. Additionally, future investigations could compare differences in how consumer respond to an intimacy appeal depending on their position along relationship development process (e.g., acquaintance and build-up compared to continuation or dissolution). Although this project considered services only, it is reasonable to believe an intimacy appeal would be viable in advertising products as well. Therefore a comparison between healthcare services and a health-related product, for example, could prove enlightening. With the recent legislation that allows prescription drugs to advertise directly to consumers, public policy implications may have an intriguing influence on how much personal disclosure consumers will endure. In other words, investigating how far is too far in discussing private information provides a spectrum of publics (e.g., pharmaceutical companies, public servants, consumers, and creative advertising personnel) with valuable information in designing ads. Introducing other appeal types such as fear or humor in comparison with an intimacy appeal could offer additional validation of intimacys utility in reaching and connecting with consumers. Because intimacy incorporates both rational and emotional (pleasant) components, placing it in comparison to ads that often reject ration or pleasure would again fortify our understanding of this appeal. The advertising literature has a collection of comparisons between various media (i.e., TV vs. print vs. radio). With this new appeal type, some of the assumptions about 112

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various media effectiveness can be tested. The current project argued that TV was the ideal medium for this appeal, but given the personal experience with the visually-impaired colleague, comparisons between radio and TV ads seem warranted. And since this type of approach was first discussed in print, again verification of TVs prowess in accomplishing bonding to the advertiser appears de rigueur. Disciplinary Contributions This research has succeeded in making disciplinary contributions on theoretical and methodological levels. Theoretically, it offers the marketing literature a sound, empirically-supported nomological net for intimacy as a strategic advertising appeal. In response to calls to both conduct research on creative phenomena (Zinkhan 1993) and to research existing principles in a creative manner (Stern 1997; Scott 1994), this study has challenged the boundaries of theory and practice by employing tools from therapy in psychology and rhetoric in commercial advertising. Methodologically, this study utilizes inventive approaches to the study of creative expression in three distinctive ways. First by tackling the challenges associated with studying television (vs. print) advertising it offers the both researchers and practitioners an additional point of comparison for the most popular advertising medium. Second, in-depth conversations with advertising agency creative personnel was a bold undertaking given the occasional and perplexing adversarial relationship between ad agencies and academe. The insights provided by those who actually generate such appeals were invaluable in identifying the nuances that strengthen an intimacy appeals veracity (i.e., the notion of eavesdropping on a conversation between the models). Third, using a 113

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hybrid (qualitatively descriptive scale) approach to quantify differences between an intimacy appeal and other appeal types affirms the benefits of fairly unconventional approaches to understanding an admittedly ethereal yet ubiquitous construct such as intimacy. Managerial Implications An additional disciplinary contribution is the managerially relevant application that an intimacy appeal affords. The managerial implications address advertising strategy, integrated marketing communications (IMC) approaches, and customer relations principles. This study highlights the comparative effectiveness of an intimacy appeal over warmth or rational appeals. In so doing it delivers an additional executional tool that service marketers can employ. From an advertising strategy viewpoint, marketers have yet another persona to embody, namely the caring provider that totally gets you and is willing to share secrets. Keeping in mind the premise that advertising is mediated communication, the ability to engage a consumer to point of bonding is a skill that when properly honed would prove priceless in the long-term course of a business relationship. Having advertising work in conjunction with other promotion efforts (e.g., consumer events) can boost consumers consumption experience and provide substantial competitive advantage. Now managers can supplement that axiom by considering the potential gains of perceived vulnerability in dealing with valued consumers [recall the current definition of intimacy: knowing and being known by another, which incorporates mutual and reciprocal (though not necessarily equal) liking and vulnerability]. An IMC approach is an ideal perspective to develop the connection that consumers may 114

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experience in a successful intimacy appeal. For example, a service marketer can follow up on the scenarios described in an intimacy ad by repeating the themes in other media (e.g., print ads or website), by practicing those ascribed behaviors in personal service encounters (e.g., offering the additional level of service described in an advertisement), or by revamping a corporate image to more adequately reflect the spirit of intimacy (e.g., adopting causes that are important to the main customer constituency). Flowing out an IMC approach to promotion is the need to manage customer relationships and all points of customer contact. One of the most valuable insights that investigating intimacy has confirmed is the need to more deliberately incorporate the language and sentiment of valued customers into advertising expression. Accordingly, it behooves marketers to catalogue and regularly asses the ways in which consumers describe their interaction with service marketers. Similar to the careful notes that therapists make in dealing with clients, service marketers should diligently document the themes and patterns that repeat across customer encounters. Indeed this would require increased labor from both front-line and managerial personnel, but again the benefits likely outweigh the costs. Concluding Remarks Because the advertising associated with the phenomenon of relationship marketing has been woefully neglected, this dissertation has sought to reduce the gap in the literature by empirically investigating advertisings ability to transfer warm feelings (affection) from the service marketer to the consumer via an intimacy appeal. This 115

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project is a nascent development in uncovering the extent to which an intimacy appeal can be successful in strengthening and improving business relationships. By mining an eclectic fusion of literature such as intimacy in psychology, creative strategy (appeal) and involvement in advertising, and relationship development in services marketing, this work has in some ways opened and in other ways perpetuated a dialogue between theory and practice. Amidst frustrating imperfections and delightful surprises, this study has shed light on the untapped and under-tapped reality of expressive advertising within relationship and services marketing. It represents an advantageous building block that contributes to both the practice and premise of advertising. 116

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--, Leonard Berry and A. Parasuraman (1996), "The Behavioral Consequences of Service Quality," Journal of Marketing, 60 (2), 31. --, A., A. Parasuraman and Leonard L. Berry (1990), Delivering Quality Service, New York: The Free Press. Zinkhan, George M., Jae W. Hong and Robert Lawson (1990), "Achievement and Affiliation Motivation: Changing Patterns in Social Values as Represented in American Advertising," Journal of Business Research, 20, 135-143. --(1993), "Creativity in advertising: Creativity in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising, 22, (2), 1-3. 129

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Appendices 130

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Appendix A: Chronological Listing of Articles that Conceptualize Involvement Year; Author (s) Involvement Conceptualization Study Description Main Findings Application 1983; Petty, Cacioppo, and Schumann Personal relevance in light of the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) Participants A ad assessed after being exposed to magazine ads where argument quality and source (strong/weak) were manipulated Argument quality had a greater impact in high involvement; Celebrity endorser had greater impact in low involvement. Greater elaboration of advertising message is associated with high involvement. Given the degree of elaboration anticipated in conveying intimacy, high levels of involvement are required. 1984; Greenwald and Leavitt Process of persuasion Identified four qualitatively distinct levels of involvement: preattention, focal attention, comprehension, and elaboration. Audience involvement is the allocation of attentional capacity to a message source, as needed to analyze the message at one of a series of increasingly abstract representational levels. This study offers additional theoretical support for the strong correlation between high involvement and ad elaboration. 1985; Kapferer and Laurent Motivational state Developed the CIP (Consumers Involvement Profile) measuring instrument that segments by profile rather than a unidimensional approach. Involvement evolves from multiple sources Involvement composed of 5 dimensions: interest, enjoyment, self-expression, perceived risk (stake and probability) Antecedents to involvement and product category issues must be incorporated This study was more focused on product involvement so it is not directly applicable, but it does offer support for the multidimensionality of the involvement construct. 1985; Zaichkowsky Motivational state: personal relevance to stimulus object Introduced 20-item bipolar adjective scale, the Personal Involvement Inventory (PII) Involvement positively related to A ad product class, and purchase decision. Cronbach Alpha = .95 -.97 While this study offers a general measure of individual-level involvement that incorporates cognitive and affective components, it is limited to products. 1985; Gardner, Mitchell, and Russo Situation-specific state, related to elaborative processing and with two components: intensity and direction Experiment to contrast high vs. low involvement with message recall and A b and Divided low involvement learning into strategyand attention-limited categories. Low involvement yielded inferior message recall but a more positive A ad Low involvement tends to focus more on peripheral clues. Continued on Next Page 131

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Appendix A: Chronological Listing of Articles that Conceptualize Involvement (Continued) Year; Author (s) Involvement Conceptualization Study Description Main Findings Application 1986; Park and Young Processing moderator Divided high involvement into two categories: cognitive and affective. Measured the impact of music on low, cognitive and affective involvement Music had a facilitative effect on A B for low involvement, a distracting effect for cognitive involvement and an inconclusive effect on affective involvement. It lends support for the importance of high involvement in multi-layered message processing. 1986; Celsi and Olson Intrinsic + situational sources of personal relevance = felt involvement as a motivational state Felt involvement construct used to test message comprehension process and effects As felt involvement increases, participants devoted more attention to ads, exerted greater cognitive effort during comprehension, gave more attention to and elaborated more on the product-related information in ads. The motivational aspects of this perspective on involvement are attractive given the motivational premise of Reis and Shavers intimacy process model. 1989; MacInnis and Jaworski Motivational state as antecedent to processing strategies Presented integrative framework with six antecedent levels of ability, motivation, and opportunity (AMO), cognitive and emotional responses, and consequential attitudinal measures as more comprehensive than ELM. As motivation to process increases, the attention paid to the ad and the capacity to process it increases, additionally, the level of both cognitive and emotional responses grows more personal Level five descriptors are a likely match for an intimacy appeal as it involves role-taking in the processing of the ad and empathy-based persuasion as a A B formation consequence. 1990; Andrews, Durvasula and Akhter Internal state with intensity, direction and persistence properties Proposed framework to synthesize efforts to conceptualize and measure involvement by comparing four involvement research streams By comparing the four streams: attention/processing strategies and personal/situational, audience/process, and enduring/product involvement, the importance of administering manipulation checks and distinguishing antecedents and consequences were highlighted Helps to frame this studys use of involvement as a screening versus manipulated variable. Continued on Next Page 132

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Appendix A: Chronological Listing of Articles that Conceptualize Involvement (Continued) Year; Author (s) Involvement Conceptualization Study Description Main Findings Application 1991; Rossiter, Percy, and Donovan Situational state most closely aligned with perceived risk Present a more comprehensive advertising planning grid that improves upon the Foote, Cone, and Belding (FCB) grid by incorporating brand awareness, separating brand from product involvement and distinguishing informational from transformational ads. Several tactical approaches are presented for the six motivational/involvement combinations The grid is shown to support other theories including the relationship between Aad and AB and the effect of drama and/or lecture in persuasion The study offers additional support for intimacy appeal requiring a high involvement/ transformational brand attitude strategy and recommends identification as a necessary component for effective message transfer 1991; Buchholz and Smith Situational statethe extent to which a stimulus or task is relevant to the consumers existing needs and values Compares consumer response to radio and TV commercials. Mode of presentation (TV vs. radio) and level of consumer involvement (hi vs. low) against recall and recognition measures TV performed better than radio for low involvement consumers Radio produced more personal elaborations than TV for highly involved consumers. Consumers exposed to TV produced more message and fewer product thoughts Care must be given to verbal components of TV messages given the potential distraction of visual elements. Extensive pre-testing should help overcome potential confounds. 1991; Muehling, Laczniak, and Stoltman Situational state: ad message involvement Examines the moderating effects of ad message involvement (AMI) in the context of dual mode persuasion (DMP) and contextual evaluation transfer (CET) by having students respond to a magazine advertising When AMI is low, A ad does not significantly influence brand perceptions (acceptance/rejection of message claims) When AMI is high, message-related cognitions are likely to be associated with A ad than A b Although AMI will not be measured in this study, this article reinforces the impact involvement (including predispositional measures such as product interest and knowledgability) on A ad Continued on Next Page 133

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Appendix B: Chronological Listing of Articles that Conceptualize Involvement (Continued) Year; Author (s) Involvement Conceptualization Study Description Main Findings Application 1994; Zaichkowsky Motivational state: personal relevance to stimulus object Original PII revisited, shortened and revised in an effort to also specifically measure involvement with advertising. Involvement composed of person, stimulus, and situation thereby negating its ability to be considered a stable trait. PII is a general measure of ad involvement that doesnt attempt to separate brand, product, or message Cronbach Alpha = .91-.95 over ads and .94 -.96 for products The 10-item version is an acceptable measure of internal sources of personal relevance (i.e., involvement) and will be used per Celsi and Olsons (1988) precedent. 1995; Day, Stafford, Camacho Motivational state Presented a 5 X 2 matrix that reviews the advertising literature according to the objects of involvement (activities/interests/issues, products, services, advertisements, and purchases/decisions) and the type of involvement (Enduring and situational) Most studies explore situational (transitory) involvement; there is a need for studies to investigate enduring involvement (e.g., with services) Better measure of advertising involvement are needed The weaknesses in the PII (clumsy wording for advertisements) are noted.. 1995; Mittal Perceived importance of the stimulus Compared four truncated versions of existing involvement scales: PII, CIP, FCB, and PDI (purchase-decision index) to assess unidimensionality and validity A five-item version of the PII was the strongest overall for measuring product involvement FCB and PDI are better suited for purchase-decision involvement After reviewing the involvement measures available, using the 10-item PII is a better option for this proposal. 1999; Gabbott and Hogg Motivational state Used CIP to attempt replicating the antecedents of involvement in services: interest, enjoyment, self-expression, perceived risk (stake and probability) Some services (e.g., legal services or dry cleaning) score higher on differing risk factors while others (e.g., entertainment) score higher on hedonic value Credit cards were profiled as being high on most values, especially sign and should perform well as a high-involvement product. 134

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Appendix C: Key Articles that Address Gender Differences in Advertising Year; Author Study Description Main findings Application 1989; Myers-Levy Females are more likely to use a comprehensive processing mode, basing judgments on all available cues. Males tend to use a selective, heuristic mode of processing information suggesting they tend to base judgments on a single cue unless forced into detailed processing where theyll opt for a schema-based approach. Females are more likely than men to perceive the subtle cues present in an intimacy appeal; however men may get the big picture 1991; Myers-Levy and Maheswaran 45 male and 45 female students responded to high, moderate or low incongruity stimulus (print advertising) to explore gender differences recognition and recall of ad claims. Females processing often involves substantial, detailed elaboration of message content, sometimes resulting in females heightened sensitivity to the particulars of message claims When gender differences are present, males processing is more likely to b driven by overall message themes or schemas. Differences fade in extreme incongruity or demanding response tasks When involvement and desire for intimacy measures are both high and gender differences are likely to be less dramatic. 1992; Prakash 43 males and 42 females responded to TV advertising that reflected Need for Affiliation (nAff) and Need for Achievement (nAch) themes Males responded more favorably to competitive (vs. individual) themes (nAch) and to large (vs. small) group socialization (nAff) Females responded equally to all forms of nAff and nAch themes Results support gender differences in response to nAch and nAff based messages Affiliation based advertising can be effective to both genders; however women may prefer smaller (and men larger) settings of interpersonal interaction. 1993; Stern Employs a reading methodology borrowed from feminist literary theory to deconstruct two advertising figuresthe Marlboro Man and the Dakota Woman and to compare men and womens reading style Males tended to read for authorial intent to acquire information from a story and are less likely to draw inferences Females were more likely to focus on the experience a storys personal relationships rather than aim to get its point Depending on how ads are scripted, men are more likely to focus on the main point while women may be more likely to enter into the story. 135

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Appendix D: Key Articles that Address Gender Differences in Advertising (Continued) Year; Author Study Description Main findings Application 1995; Darley and Smith 58 males and 62 females recruited via mall intercept to respond to radio advertising that manipulated perceived product risk and claim objectivity to compare men and womens processing strategies per the selectivity model. Women were more sensitive to perceived risk than claim objectivity Men were more sensitive to claim objectivity than to perceived risk Each gender employed different strategies in processing the information per the selectivity model, but with inconsistencies in mens tendency to favor objective claims. Given the strong emphasis on cognition vs. affect in this study, there is little applicability beyond the presence of gender differences and the challenges of a low involvement medium 1997; Kempf, Palan, and Laczniak 105 students responded to print advertising that compared gender differences for generalized info processing confidence (GIPC) Males exhibit greater confidence in their attitudes toward the non-claim components of an ad Gender identity (i.e., masculinity, femininity, androgyny) accounts for variance in GIPC This study provides additional support for gender differences in how consumers respond to advertising. 136

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Appendix E: Study Descriptions and Key Findings in Price and Arnould (1999) Investigation of Commercial Friendships Description Findings Study 1 Short survey administered to 213 consumers to investigate general client beliefs about commercial friendships Commercial friendships are a qualitatively different entity than traditional marketing relationships Study 2 Held 24 individual interviews composed of 12 client/dresser dyads to explore the dyadic construction of the friendships Providers friendliness and evolving perceptions of similarity over time are instrumental in friendship development Prolonged and recurrent interaction encourages reciprocal disclosure Study 3 Questionnaire given to 45 particular encounters between client/dresser dyads to discern how both viewed their relationship and service delivery Commercial friendships are circumscribed and bound by their context as there is limited interaction beyond the servicescape Study 4 Short survey administered to 187 clients of multiple locations to specifically examine relationships among friendship, competence, satisfaction, loyalty, and word of mouth immediately following a service encounter Commercial friendship is highly correlated with satisfaction, loyalty, and word of mouth Study 5 Conducted 18 lengthy semistructured personal interviews with marketers and clients representing a diverse set of industries Sheer frequency of interaction promotes friendshipregardless of the degree of regulatory or geographic constraints Findings from hairdressing setting are generalizeable to other contexts. 137

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Appendix F: Descriptive Adjective Pairs/ Measures For Advertising Appeals Descriptive Adjective Pairs/ Measures For Rational, Warmth, And Intimacy Appeals Please mark extent to which the ad is. Rational Warmth Intimacy Informative/Uninformative Persuasive/Not at all persuasive Believable/Unbelievable Effective/Not at all effective Clear/Not clear Convincing/Unconvincing Well structured/Badly structured Complete/Incomplete Trustworthy/Untrustworthy* Interesting/Not interesting Positive/ Negative Enjoyable/Not enjoyable Pleasant/Unpleasant Agreeable/Disagreeable Appealing/Unappealing* Affectionate/Not affectionate* Warm hearted/Cold hearted* Likeable/ Not likeable* Meaningful/Meaningless Supportive/Not supportive** Comforting/Not comforting** Assuring/Not assuring** Showing commitment/Not showing commitment** Showing caring/Not showing caring ** Showing trust/Not showing trust** Revealing personal information/ Not revealing personal information** Disclosing private knowledge /Not disclosing private knowledge ** *Indicates possible intimacy measure overlap; **Indicates new adjective pairing 138

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Appendix G: Descriptive Statements Checklist INSTRUCTIONS : Please circle the number that reflects the degree to which you agree with each statement. Remember, this exercise is not about liking or disliking the ad, but it is about how to DESCRIBE the ad. Circling "1" means you strongly disagree with the statement; "7" means you strongly agree with the statement. You may circle any number. Please respond to all statements and mark your choices carefully. To what degree do you agree/disagree with the following statements? Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 1. This ad lists specific facts about the company 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. This ad shares private information about the people in the ad (e.g., names) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3. This ad emphasizes cozy family scenes more than company features 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4. This ad reveals a sensitive situation about the people in the ad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5. This ad is soothing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6. This ad offers detailed information about the company (e.g., numbers & percentages) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7. This ad is gentle 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. This ad tells a very personal story about the people in the ad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9. This ad explains exactly what the company offers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 How would you describe this ad to someone else? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Finally, please tell us a little about yourself: 1. Are you male or female? (Circle one) 2. What is your age? __________ 139 Thank you for your participation. Please look up when youve completed the exercise

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Appendix H: Experimental Booklet Page 1Personal Involvement Inventory (PII) INSTRUCTIONS: Circle the number closest in location to the word that best reflects your choice between each word pair. See the example below: To me life insurance is: 1. Wonderful 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dreadful Circling means that you think life insurance is a super idea; "7" means you think its a horrible concept; means you dont see it as either wonderful or dreadful. You may circle ANY number. Please respond to each statement and word pair by To me financial planning is: 1. Important 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unimportant 2. Boring 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Interesting 3. Relevant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Irrelevant 4. Exciting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unexciting 5. Means nothing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Means a lot to me 6. Appealing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unappealing 7. Fascinating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mundane 8. Worthless 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Valuable 9. Involving 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Uninvolving 10. Not needed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Needed To me healthcare management is: 11. Important 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unimportant 12. Boring 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Interesting 13. Relevant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Irrelevant 14. Exciting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unexciting 15. Means nothing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Means a lot to me 16. Appealing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unappealing 17. Fascinating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mundane 18. Worthless 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Valuable 19. Involving 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Uninvolving 140 20. Not needed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Needed CONTINUE to the Next Page

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Appendix I: Experimental Booklet Page 2Filler Exercise INSTRUCTIONS: Please check the brand you are most likely to use if these were your only options. If you have no experience with the product category, simply select the brand youre most familiar with. SHAMPOO A) Herbal Essence B) Pantene C) Head & Shoulders TOOTHPASTE A) Colgate B) Aquafresh C) Crest DEODORANT A) Speed Stick B) Sure C) Secret PERSONAL CLEANSING A) Irish Spring B) Zest C) Ivory 141 When you have completed this exerci se, please STOP and look up. DO NOT p roceed until instructed to do so.

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Appendix J: Experimental Booklet Page 3Evaluation for Ad #1 What are your impressions about the ad ? INSTRUCTIONS: Read each question carefully then circle most appropriate response. 1. Favorable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unfavorable 2. Persuasive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not at all persuasive 3. Tasteful 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Tasteless What are your impressions about the service presented? 4. Beneficial 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not Beneficial 5. Positive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Negative 6. Superior 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Inferior 7. The likelihood of purchasing this service is: Very high 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very low 8. If I were going to use this service, I would consider using the brand presented. Strongly agree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly disagree 9 My willingness to buy this service is: Very high 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very low Describe the extent to which you agree or disagree with each of the following conclusions to this statement: This ad makes me feel like the advertiser Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 10. ... sees the "real" me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 11. .... seems interested in what I am thinking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 12. .... respects me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 13. .... knows me well. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 14. .... values my opinions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 15. .... really listens to me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 16. .... is on "the same wavelength" with me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 17. .... expresses liking for me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 18. ... is an excellent judge of my character. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 19. .... is responsive to my needs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 20. .... esteems me, shortcomings and all. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 21. .... "gets the facts right" about me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 22. .... expresses encouragement for me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 23. .... seems interested in what I am feeling. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 24. ... understands me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 25. .... values my abilities 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Please circle the most appropriate response: 26. The message in the ad was important to me Strongly agree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly disagree 27. The ad didnt have anything to do with me or my needs. Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly agree 142 When you have completed this exercise, please STOP and look up. DO NOT proceed until instructed to do so.

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Appendix K: Experimental Booklet Page 4Evaluation for Ad #2 INSTRUCTIONS: Read each question carefully then circle most appropriate response. What are your impressions about the ad ? 1. Favorable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unfavorable 2. Persuasive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not at all persuasive 3. Tasteful 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Tasteless What are your impressions about the service presented? 4. Beneficial 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not Beneficial 5. Positive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Negative 6. Superior 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Inferior 7. The likelihood of purchasing this service is: Very high 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very low 8. If I were going to use this service, I would consider using the brand presented. Strongly agree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly disagree 9. My willingness to buy this service is: Very high 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very low Describe the extent to which you agree or disagree with each of the following conclusions to this statement: This ad makes me feel like the advertiser Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 10. ... sees the "real" me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 11. .... seems interested in what I am thinking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 12. .... respects me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 13. .... knows me well. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 14. .... values my opinions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 15. .... really listens to me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 16. .... is on "the same wavelength" with me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 17. .... expresses liking for me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 18. ... is an excellent judge of my character. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 19. .... is responsive to my needs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 20. .... esteems me, shortcomings and all. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 21. .... "gets the facts right" about me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 22. .... expresses encouragement for me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 23. .... seems interested in what I am feeling. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 24. ... understands me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 25. .... values my abilities 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Please circle the most appropriate response: 26. The message in the ad was important to me Strongly agree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly disagree 27. The ad didnt have anything to do with me or my needs. Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly agree CONTINUE to the Next Page 143

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Appendix L: Experimental Booklet Page 5Filler Exercise #2 INSTRUCTIONS: Please check the brand you are most likely to use if these were your only options. If you have no experience with the product category, simply select the brand youre most familiar with. DETERGENT A) Bold B) Cheer C) Tide BREAKFAST CEREAL A) Cheerios B) Wheaties C) Blueberry Morning SPAGHETTI SAUCE A) Prego B) Hunts C) Ragu ATHLETIC SHOES A) Adidas B) Nike C) Reebok 144 CONTINUE to the Next Page

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Appendix M: Experimental Booklet Page 6Miller Social Intimacy Scale (MSIS) INSTRUCTIONS: When responding to the following questions, please refer to your relationship with your closest friend or spouse Circle the number that best describes this relationship. Very Some of the Almost Rarely Time Always When you have leisure time how often do you choose to spend it with him/her alone? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How often do you keep very personal information to yourself and do not share it with him/her? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How often do you show him/her affection? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How often do you confide very personal information to him/her? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How often are you able to understand his/her feelings? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How often do you feel close to him/her? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Not A A Great Much Little Deal How much do you like to spend time alone with him/ her? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How much do you feel like being encouraging and supportive to him/ her when he/ she is unhappy? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How close do you feel to him/ her most of the time? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How important is it to you to listen to his/ her very personal disclosures? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How satisfying is your relationship with him/ her? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How affectionate do you feel towards him/her? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How important is it to you that he/ she understands your feelings? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How much damage is caused by a typical disagreement in your relationship with him/her? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How important is it to you that he/ she be encouraging and supportive to you when you are unhappy? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How important is it to you that he/ she show you affection? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 How important is your relationship with him/ her in your life? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 145 CONTINUE to the LAST Page

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Appendix N: Experimental Booklet Page 7Demographic Information INSTRUCTIONS: Finall y please tell us a little about y ourself: 1. Are you male or female? (Circle one) 2. What is your age? __________ 3. What is your current marital status? (Check one) 1. Single, never married 2. Single, previously married 3. Married 4. What is your current occupation? (Check one) 1. Student 2. Educator 3. Homemaker 4. Professional/managerial/owner 5. White collar worker 6. Blue collar worker 7. Retired 8. Other ___________________ 5. What is your education level? 1. Some high school 2. High school diploma or GED 3. Some College 4. Bachelor's/Four-year degree 5. Graduate/Masters Degree 6. Doctorate 6. Is English your native language? Yes No 7. For the most recent year, what was the total annual income from all sources for your household? Below $25,000 Below $50,000 Below $100,000 Over $100,000 I dont know Prefer not to respond Thank you for your time!!! Please sit quietly and wait for further instructions. 146

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About the Author Andrea Scott received her bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Visual Communication) from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL in 1993. She worked in account management for multinational advertising agencies in Chicago before completing her MBA at Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 1996. While in Atlanta she started The Write Touch, a calligraphy business and also spent a semester on student exchange at ESADE (business school) in Barcelona, Spain. After completing her degree she moved to Clearwater, FL where she worked in business development for in.vision Research, a start-up soft-ware business, and then for Honeywell, Inc. until she entered the Ph.D. program at the University of South Florida in 1999. She has published in the Journal of Non-Profit and Public Sector Marketing and recently completed a Fulbright research/teaching grant to her native Jamaica. Ms. Scott is currently on the faculty at Pepperdine Universitys Graziadio School of Business Management in Malibu, CA.