Purpose: This chapter provides an overview of the state of knowledge about creative media advertising; choosing a novel medium that implicitly communicates the message. It explains what creative media advertising is and how it differs from other unconventional marketing communication formats. It addresses the theoretical mechanisms that explain how creative media affects consumers. Its final purpose is to review all the empirical findings about creative media advertising effects.
Methodology/approach: This chapter presents a systematic literature review of all the empirical research about creative media advertising that explicitly compares its effectiveness with traditional media advertising. The 11 reviewed articles with 16 experiments appeared between 2005 and 2015.
Findings: Overall creative media advertising generated positive evaluative outcomes (e.g., brand attitude) and behavior (e.g., word of mouth and sales). These effects were often mediated by a feeling of surprise and an increase in positive thoughts. It remains unclear whether creative media are perceived as persuasion attempts. Mixed findings exist for cognitive outcomes. Creative media advertising seems beneficial for creating strong brand associations, but brand memory might suffer from the technique if solving the link between the medium and the message takes away mental resources for the brand elements in the advertisement.
Originality/value: By reviewing all the literature about creative media advertising, the authors make recommendations for future research and for using creative media in practice. They emphasize potential boundary conditions and ideal circumstances of using creative media advertising.
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