Exploring the Role of Ventriloquism in Warranting Organizational Perceptions
Sponsored Content for Dummies
Keywords:sponsorship, ad, identity, social media, influencer
This research looks at sponsored content through the lens of warranting theory. Brands often engage in activities to influence and manipulate others’ statements about them. These activities—specifically organizations’ use of sponsored content and promotions—enable exploring previously-untested components of warranting theory. An experiment exposed N = 91 college-aged individuals to an online tweet about a restaurant made either by the organization itself (first party), an unassociated individual (third party), or an individual indicating their post was an advertisement sponsored by the organization (external ventriloquism, “puppet,” or “dummy”). Findings reveal a partial-mediation effect, whereby both the claimant and the warranting value of the claim affected perceptions of the restaurant’s quality; but warranting value did not differ among message posters. Findings are discussed with respect to warranting theory and for practitioners.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Matthew Edor, Millicent Elewosi, Gabriela Gomes, Daria Parfenova, Eshrat Rahman, Hunter Thomas, Caleb Carr
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
All articles in Human Communication & Technology are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License. Copyright is held by the author.