Pay Attention to the Ad Creator Behind the Curtain

June 14, 2013

(Washington, DC) June 6, 2013 – A recent study unveils that companies who co-create advertisements with consumers should provide background information about the ad content and the ad creator to establish credibility and identify similarities with ad recipients.

Over the last few years, companies have involved consumers in corporate marketing initiatives with the expectation of increasing brand engagement with target markets. In the study, Consumer-generated Ads:

Does Awareness of Advertising Co-Creation Help or Hurt Persuasion?, co- authors Debora Thompson and Prashant Malaviya, associate professors of marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, examined results from four studies focusing on the impact of consumer-generated ads.

The findings showed that ad recipients were either skeptical about the competence of the ad creator or unable to relate to the ad due to a lack of brand loyalty. In order to make co-created advertisements more effective, marketers should share traits of the ad creator with the ad recipients in order to establish similarities and strengthen identification. The environment in which consumers viewed co-created advertisements also played a critical role in marketing effectiveness – as high distraction viewing conditions may influence consumers’ ability to think critically and relate to the ad creator and advertised message.

The study appears in the May issue of the American Marketing Association’s Journal of Marketing.

 “Marketers should continue to engage consumers and benefit from their creativity, but they should be careful about how they publicize this fact to the population at large,” said Thompson. “The disclosure of consumer-generated ads should be explained to target audiences and driven by strategic assessment of the brand’s growth strategies.”

In order to be most effective, consumer-generated ads must pull the curtain on the ad creator and should align to business objectives of strengthening relationships and retaining existing brand-loyal consumers.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Caitlin Kizielewicz at 703-519-1600 ext. 103 or email at