Advertising’s Long-Term Impact on Brand Price Elasticity Across Brands and Categories
59 Pages Posted: 24 May 2016 Last revised: 4 Jul 2016
Date Written: May 22, 2016
Advertising often aims at creating and reinforcing brand differentiation, which should translate into reduced price competition. Currently unknown are the boundary conditions for long-term advertising benefits, the route through which advertising effects materialize, and the role of competitive advertising in the category. The authors develop a Hierarchical Dynamic Linear Model that links own and others’ advertising in the category to brand price elasticity directly and indirectly through their impact on own and competitive mindset metrics. The model accommodates dynamic dependencies in mindset metrics, controls for endogeneity in marketing, captures competitive reactions and performance feedback in marketing, and explains cross-sectional variation as a function of brand and category characteristics.
Model estimation on seven years of data for 350 brands in 39 categories shows that both own and all competitive advertising in the category lower price sensitivity for the average brand, both directly and through advertising awareness. The attenuation of price sensitivity is more pronounced for niche brands in complex and more expensive categories, with higher concentration and purchase frequency. A financial simulation based on the estimates shows that while the price elasticity effect is positive and substantial for high-price brands, it hurts the advertising returns for low-price brands.
Keywords: advertising, price elasticity, mindset metrics, long-term effects, dynamic linear models, and empirical generalization
JEL Classification: M31, M37
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