Published by the School of Communications, Elon University

The Journey Continues

Byung Lee

This edition of the journal provides studies on contemporary media topics ranging from identity and brand preference to culture in food advertising to stereotypes of poverty-stricken communities. Four articles are on marketing and advertisements; three articles are based on content analysis of magazines, newspapers and Twitter.

In her study on the influence of consumer identity on brand preference, Ilaw found that individuals prefer brands with images congruent to their own self-image and members of their in-group.

Calabro wrote an article on brand loyalty. To test the relationship between anthropomorphism and ideal traits, the researcher developed a survey for 211 Elon students to compare their preference for four brands from two industries. The results of the survey found that the use of a spokescharacter created significant brand preference.

Based on an analysis of 54 advertisements in nine women’s magazines, Van Drie found that the ads emphasized different themes depending on which of the three groups were targeted: mainstream, African-American or Latino females.

After analyzing Interactive Graphic Novels (IGNs), Ayer found IGNs to be a sustainable tactic for advertising and marketing professionals because of their ability to appeal to multiple human senses. IGNs are also able to harness the power of persuading through storytelling, making them a powerful tool to communicate messages.

The purpose of Gemberling’s research was to identify trends and themes that reflect feminist values in American women’s magazines throughout history. Relying on secondary sources, her research showed that feminism was represented in women’s magazines, highlighted the role of media, and reflected America’s ever-changing political and cultural landscape.

Horner explored the relationship between Christian leaders and Twitter. He found that Christian leaders have embraced Twitter for a number of different purposes, but sought first and foremost to challenge and inspire their followers through their Twitter accounts.

So’s research examined how The New York Times and a local Kentucky newspaper covered poverty in Appalachia in 1964 and 2014. The research found national media primarily focused on economic issues and used more negative language in 1964, in comparison with the local newspaper. The study found that the two newspapers switched their coverage pattern 50 years later.

These studies reflect hard work of students and their mentors in answering significant communication questions of our time. I hope these articles in this issue will inspire students in the next semester to commit to examining important research questions and submit their papers to this journal.

-- Elon Journal editor Dr. Byung Lee