From the Editor: Another Eight Years Ahead

Hairong Li

We are delighted to present this new issue of the Journal of Interactive Advertising, an official online publication of the American Academy of Advertising. 

As JIAD sails into the ninth year of publication, our zeal for greater impact has never been stronger, and our efforts for betterment thus continue. Readers will notice a few changes in this issue. First, JIAD has a new design. All previous articles have been converted into a database system, and a set of templates ensures that the articles appear in a consistent style. Search engine-friendly URLs have been created for each article for proper indexing and easy reference. The new design also adopts Google Search and Analytics, which provide more relevant search results and more detailed site traffic statistics. Some of these techniques remain invisible to our readers, but they help create a pleasant user experience with JIAD. We hope readers like this new design. 

Second, JIAD has added new types of content in hopes that its articles are more useful to educators and practitioners. In addition to regular refereed articles, this issue includes two case studies. The first describes the Google Online Marketing Challenge, the first worldwide student competition for keyword advertising strategies, authored by the competition designers and winners. It offers insights into how to develop effective search advertising strategies and serves as a guide for faculty and students who plan to participate in future competitions. The second case study, authored by three professors at Ball State University, showcases how they have engaged students with users in research-informed design for interactive media; their pedagogical approach is certainly innovative in the field of education pertaining to interactive content development. Also among the new types of content is a perspective article by the founder of Siteminis, which introduces different approaches for optimizing Web sites for mobile access. As mobile phone users start to outnumber PC-based Internet users in many countries, mobile Web sites are taking center stage in electronic commerce. Site optimization issues certainly deserve more attention. 

Yet the core content of JIAD remains refereed articles. This issue features four compelling articles that provide a good overview of ongoing research in the broad field of interactive advertising. In the first article, Xia and Bechwati examine how a person’s level of cognitive personalization influences his or her reactions to both positive and negative online reviews. To test their primary hypotheses, these researchers conduct experiments based on measures of product type, review content, and consumers’ affect intensity (emotional responses), thereby providing insight into the cognitive processes that consumers use to evaluate online reviews. Furthermore, their work to develop a scale of cognitive personalization has both academic and practical implications.  

The second article, by Micu and Thorson, investigates the synergistic effect of publicity and advertising when promoting products in an online environment. The authors consider essential strategic consistency by experimentally comparing the effectiveness of using banner ads, news articles, or a combination of the two on attitude toward the ad, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intentions. Their research into how branding communications affect consumers through different delivery systems offers a fine contribution to existing scholarly work on branding, as well as to practitioner efforts in the future. 

Wise and colleagues take readers into the multimillion dollar industry of advergames and provide professionals and scholars with deeper insights into the effects of one of the newest and fastest growing forms of interactive advertising. Using an experimental design with a nonstudent sample, these authors examine the thematic connection between an advergame and the sponsoring brand and its effect on consumers’ attitudes toward the game brand. From a managerial perspective, these results suggest that the most effective advergame executions involve the design of product-relevant games as a way to increase the positive conditioning of brand attitudes.  

The article by Im, Lee, Taylor and D’Orazio explores the transference effect of self-disclosure on consumers’ attitude toward advertising in both online and offline environments. Their results show that consumers respond more positively to the advertising on a website where they had revealed their personal information and that such an effect is mediated by consumers’ prior knowledge and attitude. Theories presented in this study suggest the potential to apply self-disclosure findings beyond individualization, particularly to the context of advertising. 

As JIAD works to become an ISI journal, we continue to improve our journal quality and review process. Our effort has been recognized; as one author recently wrote to us: “I appreciate all of your help. The review process at JIAD has been far more professional (in terms of turnaround time, thoroughness, and editor assistance/responsiveness) than that which I’ve experienced at several of the ‘major’ journals in our field. Just wanted to let you know that it is noticed and appreciated, especially by those of us trying to get tenure.” We are encouraged by these words. We also take this opportunity to thank our editorial board members and ad hoc reviewers for their continued support. 

There have been changes to the JIAD editorial staff as well. Professor John Leckenby retired this summer after eight years of excellent service as founding Co-editor of JIAD. His vision, scholarship, and editorship have shaped JIAD into what it is today. Professor Leckenby’s contributions to the discipline of interactive advertising will have lasting impacts on our future research. Professor Karen Lancendorfer continues as Associate Editor; since joining the JIAD editorial staff as a copy editor in 2001, she has played an increasingly important role. Her years of dedication are greatly appreciated. Lastly, Chad Huntley serves as the new Webmaster for JIAD. A graduate of Michigan State University, Chad runs his own Internet marketing firm in Grand Rapids and helps with the new design and maintenance of the JIAD site. 

What we do is ultimately for our readers. Your interest, patronage, and contributions remain the primary reasons for the existence of JIAD. Thus, we sincerely hope that you can share your research with us and, through JIAD, with your peer readers to advance our knowledge of interactive advertising, the fastest growing segment of the advertising business. We are certain that our field will be more advanced eight years from now, as it has become in the eight years since we started. And JIAD is proud to have contributed uniquely to this field.