Message framing: keeping practitioners in the picture

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Publication details

Pervan, SJ & Vocino, A 2008, 'Message framing: keeping practitioners in the picture', Marketing Intelligence and Planning, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 634-648.

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore how message framing is commonly used by magazine advertisers. Design/methodology/approach: Following the classification suggested by Levin et al., the frequency and nature of message framing in magazine advertising is explored using a content analysis of 2,864 advertisements in a sample of popular US magazines. Findings: Results suggest a lack of consistency between marketing practice and academic findings. Contrary to academic recommendations, advertisers used positive framing in almost all advertising messages. Further, the use of attribute framing and combined attribute and goal framing was more popular than pure goal framing Research limitations/implications: Although the findings are limited by a judgement sample of US magazines, they do suggest the need for academics to conduct more research on the effectiveness of combined attribute and goal framing techniques. Practical implications: Of equal importance is the need for practitioners to explore the potentiality of negative framing in their advertising content. Originality/value: Adopting the Levin et al.'s typology, this paper highlights the need for advertising researchers to engage with practitioners to try to understand current industry practice with regard to message framing. The inconsistencies revealed in this paper point to either an insufficient understanding of message framing by one or both parties or the need for better communication between the two.