Branded apps have attracted an increasing amount of attention as a marketing communication platform. With branded apps, companies try to create value for their brands among prospective and current customers by providing entertainment and information content. The aim of this study was to examine a) whether branded apps influence consumers’ cognitive and affective brand responses, b) whether this effect is moderated by the type of branded app (i.e., information vs. entertainment), and c) to what extent enjoyment and elaboration are explanatory mechanisms for these effects. An experiment demonstrated that 1) branded apps enhanced brand responses, 2) an entertainment app evoked higher levels of enjoyment, which in turn enhanced affective brand responses, and 3) an informational app evoked higher levels of elaboration, which enhanced cognitive brand responses. Theoretical and practical implications for branded app designers and mobile advertisers are discussed.
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