Blog advertising: Commercials or Not? An Empirical Study of the Perception of Amplified Posts on Fashion Blogs

Rikke Degn Nielsen & Ida Christine Petersen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The transition to Web 2.0 has changed the digital world, leading to new opportunities within communication - one of these being weblogs, also referred to as blogs. Recently, blogs have reached a growing popularity, which has led to an increasing research of the topic and it has shown to be an effective tool within advertising. However it is still to be investigated exactly why blog marketing is so effective. By examining how female millennial readers of Danish fashion blogs perceive amplified posts, this thesis aim to add knowledge to the field of blog advertising. The theoretical foundation of the thesis is based on the perception process of respective blogs readers. With this framework we investigate different phases of the process from an empirical perspective. Since only little research on the topic has been made, we interpret on the subject and aim to uncover the conscious and to some extend the unconscious mental processes of the blog reader. This is done through a qualitative methodology where the data was collected from focus group interviews. The findings are compared to relevant theory as they appear. Findings suggest that the reader’s needs, as well as the visual stimuli on the blog, are influential factors for selecting the amplified blog post, for further cognitive interpretation. When interpreting the amplified blog post the reader makes use of her knowledge stored in memory. The research shows that certain unwritten rules must be respected to ensure that the reader doesn’t perceive the amplified blog post in a negative way and categorize it as traditional advertising. Most importantly it should first of all be clearly indicated that the blog post is amplified. Second, there has to be a brand fit between the blogger and the product that is advertised, and third the blogger has to find a balance between amplified and organic posts. Furthermore, to be perceived in a positive manner the amplified blog post must add value to the blog reader. Based on the analysis it is clear that Danish female millennials perceive amplified blog post as more relevant than traditional advertisements. Whether the amplified posts are perceived positive, negative, or neutral depends on a combination of the underlying needs, the stimuli on the web blog and the knowledge stored in memory

EducationsMSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2016
Number of pages135