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Advenuture tourism: The role of social comparison theory in successful advertising images

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Advenuture tourism: The role of social comparison theory in successful advertising images

  1. 1. Adventure  Tourism   The  role  of  social  comparison  theory  in   successful  adver6sing  images     Ka6e  Dudley   Texas  State  University  
  2. 2. Adventure  Tourism   •  Specialized  and  rapidly  growing  segment  of  tourism   •  Grew  a  yearly  average  of  65%  from  2009-­‐2012   •  $263  billion  industry  in  2012     (The  George  Washington  University  &   Adventure  Travel  Trade  Associa6on,  2013)      
  3. 3. Adventure  Tourism  Ac6vi6es   Hard  Adventure       •  High  risk  |  commitment  |   advanced  skill   •  Climbing   •  Caving     •  Kite  surfing   •  Paragliding   •  Trekking   So.  Adventure   •  Lower  risk  |  basic  skills  |  led   by  experienced  guides   •  Backpacking   •  Camping   •  Canoeing   •  Hiking   •  RaYing  
  4. 4. Tradi6onal  Adventure  Tourist   •  Sensa6on  seekers   •  Willing  to  take  physical,  financial,  and  legal  risk  for   the  sake  of  adventure   •  Main  focus  of  marke6ng  efforts  for  adventure   tourism  oui]ers    
  5. 5. Tourism  is  Changing   •  Two-­‐income  couples  choosing  not  to  have  children   •  Growing  single  adult  popula6on   •  Ac6ve  aging  popula6on   •  Challenge:  match  the  wide  array  of  products  to  changing  demographics  
  6. 6. Literature  Review   Adventure  Tourism   •  Quest  for  knowledge  and  insight  (Weber,  2001)   •  Restoring  a  displaced  equilibrium  (Fluker  &  Turner,  2000)   •  The  percep6on  of  risk  (Dickson  &  Dolnicar,  2004;  Cater,  2006)   •  Consumer  research  (Alexandrov,  Lilly,  &  Babakus,  2013;  Breazeale   &  Ponder,  2011;  Meyers,  2010;  Walters,  Sparks,  &  Herington,  2010)   Research  Gap   •  Effec6vely  appealing  to  an  adventure  tourism   audience  through  adver6sing  images      
  7. 7. Social  Comparison  Theory   •  People  evaluate  their  opinions  and  abili6es  by   comparing  them  to  others’  opinions  and  abili6es.   •  Upward  vs.  Downward  comparison     •  Three  features  of  high  SCO:   (a)  High  ac6va6on  of  self;  men6on  more  first-­‐person  nouns   (b)  Strong  interest  in  what  others  feel;  interdependent   (c)  Uncertainty  of  self;  low  self-­‐esteem  or  neuro6cism    
  8. 8. Research  Ques6ons       •  R1:  Does  the  level  of  intensity  portrayed  in  an  adventure  tourism  ac6vity   image  affect  consumers’  ahtude  toward  the  image?   •  R2:  Does  the  level  of  intensity  portrayed  in  an  adventure  tourism  ac6vity   image  affect  consumers’  ahtude  toward  the  ac6vity?     •  R3:  Does  the  level  of  intensity  portrayed  in  an  adventure  tourism  ac6vity   image  affect  consumers’  purchase  inten6ons?     •  R4:  Does  social  comparison  theory  explain  the  rela6onship  between   effec6ve  adver6sing  images  and  consumers?     •  R5:  Are  consumers  of  adventure  tourism  ac6vi6es  driven  by  upward  or   downward  comparisons  when  shown  adventure  images?      
  9. 9. Methodology   •  3  x  2  experimental  design     3  (images:  high  vs.  low  vs.  neutral=control)  x  2  (social  comparison  orienta6on:  high  vs.  low)     •  Pre-­‐test:  High,  neutral,  low       •  3  Surveys   •  Stage  1:  view  images   •  Stage  2:  ahtude  toward  image/ahtude   toward  ac6vity   •  Stage  3:  purchase  inten6on   •  Stage  4:  social  comparison  orienta6on  scale    
  10. 10. Sample     •  Neighborhood  email  lists  from  Texas,  Virginia,  and   Ohio,  LinkedIn  and  Facebook  (n=510)     •  Random:  170  per  survey  (n=510)   •  144  responses   •  44  per  intensity  level  (n=132)    
  11. 11. Results:  one-­‐way  ANOVA   •  Ahtude  toward  image   •  Intensity  proved  insignificant  (p  =  .09)   •  High  intensity  more  favorable  (M  =  4.77)  vs.  (M  =  4.30)   •  Ahtude  toward  ac6vity     •  Intensity  proved  insignificant  (p  =  .24)   •  High  intensity  more  favorable  (M  =  5.72)  vs.  (M  =  5.45)   •  Purchase  inten6on   •  Intensity  proved  insignificant  (p  =  .29)   •  High  intensity  more  favorable  (M  =  3.74)  vs.  (M  =  3.40)    
  12. 12. Results:  two-­‐way  ANOVA   •  No  significant  interac6on  between  SCO  and  intensity   level:  (p  =  .37)  (p  =  .68)  (p  =  .76)   •  Ahtude  toward  the  image   •  SCO  effects  significant  (p  =  .05)     •  High  SCO  more  favorable  (M  =  4.76)  vs.  (M  =  3.98)   •  Ahtude  toward  the  ac6vity     •  SCO  effects  significant  (p  =  .001)   •  High  SCO  more  favorable  (M  =  5.98)  vs.  (M  =  4.98)   •  Purchase  inten6on   •  SCO  effects  significant  (p  =  .009)   •  High  SCO  more  favorable  (M  =  4.09)  vs.  (M  =  2.88)  
  13. 13. Discussion     •  R1:  Does  the  level  of  intensity  portrayed  in  an  adventure   tourism  ac6vity  image  affect  consumers’  ahtude  toward  the   image?   •  R2:  Does  the  level  of  intensity  portrayed  in  an  adventure   tourism  ac6vity  image  affect  consumers’  ahtude  toward  the   ac6vity?     •  R3:  Does  the  level  of  intensity  portrayed  in  an  adventure   tourism  ac6vity  image  affect  consumers’  purchase  inten6ons?       •  Image  intensity  level  is  not  significant    
  14. 14. Discussion  con6nued…   •  R4:  Does  social  comparison  theory  explain  the   rela6onship  between  effec6ve  adver6sing  images   and  consumers?       •  High  SCO     – Posi6ve  ahtude  toward  the  brand     – Posi6ve  ahtude  toward  the  ac6vity   – Posi6ve  purchase  inten6on  
  15. 15. Discussion  con6nued…   •  R5:  Are  consumers  of  adventure  tourism  ac6vi6es   driven  by  upward  or  downward  comparisons  when   shown  adventure  images?     •  Upward  vs.  Downward  comparison   – High  intensity  =  less  experienced   – Low  intensity  =  more  experienced   •  Target  market  aliena6on    
  16. 16. Conclusion   •  Lack  of  research  focusing  on  images  and  adventure  tourism   •  As  the  industry  grows  so  does  the  need  for  sophis6cated  marke6ng   efforts   •  Social  comparison  theory  has  explanatory  power  how/why  people   use  experiences  to  display  a  self  image   •  Intensity  level  does  not  ma]er  à  appeal  to  those  with  less   experience  for  a  feeling  of  inclusion  in  the  target  market   •  Taking  part  in  an  adventure  ac6vity  is  enough  to  display  the   characteris6cs  of  high  SCO  regardless  of  the  intensity  level  of  the   images   •  Heightened  awareness  of  self  image  +  low  self-­‐esteem     •  Create  adver6sements  that  allow  consumers  to  live  vicariously   through  them  (Walters,  Sparks,  &  Herington,  2010).        
  17. 17. Limita6ons  and  Future  Research   •  One  ac6vity  (whitewater  raYing)   •  Sample  size     •  Current  tourism  habits   •  Images  accompanied  by  text  or  brand  name  

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