Verbal strategies for indirect comparative advertising

William Neese and Ronald D Taylor

One critical area for research related to marketing communications centers on the contribution that advertising makes to the consumer decision-making process (Cobb and Hoyer, 1985; Schmalensee, 1983). However, studies in this area tend to analyse the effects of advertising 'quantity' (in expenditure terms) on markets instead of the contribution advertising 'content' makes to an individual consumer's search process (Laband, 1989). Such macroanalysis may help marketing managers allocate budgets across the promotion mix, but it does nothing to assist copywriters. This is unfortunate, because word selection is known to impact audience perceptions (Motes, Hilton and Fielden, 1992). As Laband stated (1989):