Date of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Chair

Dr. Fei Xue

Committee Member 2

Dr. Christopher P. Campbell

Committee Member 2 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 3

Dr. David R. Davies

Committee Member 3 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 4

Dr. Mary Lou Sheffer

Committee Member 4 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 5

Dr. Loren S. Coleman

Committee Member 5 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Abstract

This study comprehensively investigated the effects of visual themes, visual perspective, personal relevance, and brand familiarity on brand constructions (attitude-toward-brand, brand love, brand respect, and three dimensions of brand image) on Instagram. The study consists of two parts. In Study 1, the main and interaction effects of visual design elements on individuals’ visual attentions, brand recognition, and attitude toward brands were examined by using a 4 (visual theme: customer-centric, employee-centric, product-centric, and non-branded) × 2 (view perspective: first-person view vs. third-person view) between-subject eye-tracking test. In Study 2, a 4 (visual theme: customer-centric, employee-centric, non-brand, and product-centric) ×2 (brand familiarity: familiar vs. unfamiliar) × 2 (view perspective: first-person view vs. third-person view) × 2 (personal relevance: high vs. low) mixed between- and within-factorial design was used to test the influences of visual and intellectual content on participants’ reactions to brand constructions on Instagram. The roles of two moderators, personal relevance and brand familiarity, were also tested.

Results in Study 1 showed that, overall, participants spent the longest time viewing and paid the most visual attention to Instagram posts with customer-centric images from a first-person perspective. In terms of pictures using the third-person view, posts with product-centric images received the longest fixation duration and the most fixation frequency. Moreover, participants’ brand recognition performances were positively influenced by fixation frequency but not by total fixation duration. Findings from Study 2 indicated that high relevance Instagram posts with the first-person angle and customer-centric images to promote a familiar brand received the most favorable attitude, strongest brand respect, and strongest feeling of sensuality toward the brand in all experimental conditions. Limitations and future directions in visual branding on Instagram were also discussed.

ORCID ID

0000-0001-8350-069X