The Influence of Individual Factors on the Effectiveness of Message Content in Antismoking Advertisements Aimed at Adolescents

Authors

  • KAREN H. SMITH,

    1. 1 Karen H. Smith is an associate professor of marketing in the Marketing Department at the Texas State University—San Marcos, San Marcos, TX (ks07@txstate.edu). 2Mary Ann Stutts is a professor of marketing in the Marketing Department, Texas State University—San Marcos, San Marcos, TX (Ms04@txstate.edu).
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  • and 1 MARY ANN STUTTS 2

    1. 1 Karen H. Smith is an associate professor of marketing in the Marketing Department at the Texas State University—San Marcos, San Marcos, TX (ks07@txstate.edu). 2Mary Ann Stutts is a professor of marketing in the Marketing Department, Texas State University—San Marcos, San Marcos, TX (Ms04@txstate.edu).
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  • This research was supported by a grant from the College of Business Administration, Texas State University—San Marcos. The authors gratefully thank the Midland, Texas, Independent School District for its participation in the study and Dr. Gail Zank for her insightful comments on the manuscript.

Abstract

Approximately five million children under the age of 18 will eventually die from smoking-related disease. However, antismoking advertisements directed to adolescents appear to be reducing the prevalence of smoking among youth. The reported study extends prior research using an experiment over time (N= 565) to test the influence of individual factors (grade level, gender, and ethnicity) on the effectiveness of two types of message content in antismoking advertisements. Predictor variables from prior research, such as beliefs about smoking and family and peer smoking, were included as covariates in the analysis. As expected, effectiveness was influenced by individual factors. Long-term health content was more effective among nonwhites, males, and high school students, while short-term content appeared to work better among junior high males.

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