From online information seeking to native advertising exposure: examining the Thai millennials on online information cues, ad click-through and brand awareness

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Wonghatai Tunshevavong

Abstract

Three types of native advertising were examined: paid search units, in-feed units, and recommendation widgets. Online information seeking behaviors, online information cues recognition, and native advertising click-through behaviors of Thai millennials were investigated. Qualitative research was conducted. Methodological triangulation was used to compare data from in-depth interviews, observations, and coding sheets. Online information cues can be classified into two main categories: disclosure language and advertising executions. Participants recognized both categories as online information cues. Advertising executions were more remarkable when compared to disclosure languages. The advertising images used by in-feed units and recommendation widgets were product/service images, brand presenters, and brand name and logo. Text messages that participants frequently received featured all three types of native advertising. Participants pointed out that text messages of native advertising were persuasive, impulsive, and used straightforward selling messages. Advertising images and text messages were used to induce participants’ click-through behaviors and buying decisions. Recommendation widgets were the first type of native advertising that participants did not want to click through. Paid search units came in second place and in-feed units came in third place. Most participants knew the brands before being exposed to the click-through native advertising. Their intentions directed their online information seeking, communicating, product/service searching and buying. Without consumers own intentions, the opportunity of native advertising click through is hard to happen.

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