Hannah Southern ’22, Kylee Hebert ’22 present research to Association of Collegiate Marketing Educators

The students shared their Honors thesis work during the association’s annual conference.

Hannah Southern ’22 and Kylee Hebert ’22 presented their undergraduate research projects at the Association of Collegiate Marketing Educators 2021 conference.

Headshots of Hannah Southern and Kylee Hebert
Hannah Southern ’22 (left) and Kyle Hebert ’22, ACME 2021 conference presenters

Southern and Hebert are Honors Fellows who are both mentored by Assistant Professor of Marketing Prachi Gala. They discussed their work in the annual conference’s student research track.

Southern, an international business and marketing double major, is investigating the role of burnout and its effects on consumers’ perceptions of informational versus emotional advertisements, as well as the subsequent results on consumer behavior and purchase intent.

Her research topic stems from her interests in content creation and how advertising may influence consumer behavior.

“There were huge shifts in advertisements as a result of the pandemic, which inspired me to include this variable in my research as well,” she says. “As a result, I came up with the idea of specifically looking at how the pandemic increased burnout in consumers and how those emotions would influence the relationship between advertising and consumer behavior.

Hebert, a marketing and sport management double major, is investigating the moderating role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and team net worth on consumer authenticity perceptions of professional sports leagues.

“I was drawn to the perceived authenticity of corporate social responsibility initiatives among professional sport leagues after observing, what was surprising to me at the time, backlash against many teams and leagues making statements over the summer addressing the Black Lives Matter movement,” Hebert explains. “I noticed that any time a team made a post outside of game stats and player updates, there seemed to be considerable complaints among their followers, however, it wasn’t consistent across different types of corporate social responsibility efforts.”

During the virtual conference, Southern and Hebert received feedback on their projects, attended other research presentations, and networked with marketing educators and students.

“The ACME conference was incredibly helpful to revitalizing my drive in my research, as I am almost halfway through the two-year project and could feel myself losing steam,” Hebert says. “Being able to discuss my project with marketing educators from all over the country was invaluable and the insights and advice I was offered will definitely be useful to the future work I have to do for this project.”

“It was my first opportunity to present to an academic audience outside of the classroom,” Southern adds, “so I was grateful for the opportunity to learn how to give a presentation like that, and gained so much insight and knowledge from watching the other student presentations after giving my own.”

Hebert is also presenting her research during this year’s National Conference on Undergraduate Research and Elon’s Student Undergraduate Research Forum.

“This research has given me an excuse to be more involved in my area of study and build relationships with faculty at and outside of Elon,” she says.