The effects of humor on Ad processing: Mediating role of brand familiarity

Hwiman Chung*, Xinshu ZHAO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of humorous advertisement on memory and attitude has been an important topic among advertising scholars. However, scholars have used fake brands to test the effects of humor. Since the possibility for consumers to be exposed to the commercial for a completely new brand is very low, using a fake brand to test humor effects is not realistic. Hence, this study examined the role of brand familiarity on the effects of humor on memory and attitude by using existing brands in a laboratory experiment. This study suggests a different structural model for familiar and unfamiliar brands based on the previous studies in consumer behavior. Results revealed different effects of humorous advertisements for the familiar or unfamiliar brands. The structural model proposed for this study revealed a mediating role of brand familiarity on humor effects. Humorous ads worked better for the unfamiliar brands. For the familiar brands, the effects were mediated by the subjects' brand familiarity and prior brand attitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-95
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Promotion Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • Ad effects
  • Brand familiarity
  • Humorous advertising
  • Structural model


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