This research examines how death-related media contexts affect consumers' preferences for domestic and foreign brands. Four lab and field studies demonstrate that death-related media contexts affect subsequent brand evaluations in distinct ways, which have not yet been documented in the extant literature on media context. First, death-related media contexts shift consumers' preferences in favor of domestic brands by enhancing consumers' patriotism. Second, the death-related media context effect appears only with a temporal delay between the media context and the brand evaluation. Even after a 24-hour delay, the effect still takes place as long as consumers have not been given an opportunity to attenuate death-induced anxiety. Finally, the authors show that foreign brands can counter the negative effects of a death-related media context by making a prodomestic advertising claim.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Marketing Research
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Liu, J., & Smeesters, D. (2010). Have You Seen the News Today? The Effect of Death-Related Media Contexts on Brand Preferences. Journal of Marketing Research, 47(2), 251–262. doi:10.1509/jmkr.47.2.251