Regulatory Fit/Nonfit and In-Game Advertising Effectiveness on Children

Haiming Hang, Cuilin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract


Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to see whether children’ regulatory fit/nonfit can moderate the implicit influence of in-game advertising.
Design/methodology/approach

An experiment was done with 418 children (aged 7–11) from three primary schools in a middle-size city in China that voluntarily took part in the experiment. Children were randomly allocated to the following four conditions: playing a game without any brands (a control group), playing the same game and exposed to a subtle in-game advertising (a test control group), playing the same branded game with regulatory fit (regulatory fit group) and playing the same branded game with regulatory nonfit (regulatory nonfit group).
Findings

The results first suggest exposure to in-game advertising makes children more likely to choose it afterward, despite most of them are not aware being exposed to it. The results further suggest children’s regulatory fit does not further increase children’s choice of the focal brand, suggesting linking the focal brand to fun and engaging game experiences is sufficient to influence their brand choice. However, children’s regulatory nonfit attenuates the implicit influence of in-game advertising.


Originality/value

By focusing on children’s game strategy, this research complements the extant literature that only focuses on advertising features and/or game character to document the implicit influence of in-game advertising. In addition, by focusing on regulatory fit/nonfit, this paper provides initial evidence how contextual factors such as children’s game strategy may help them cope with advertising influence built on affect transfer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-46
JournalYoung Consumers: Insight and Ideas for Responsible Marketers
Volume21
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • children

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