Disentangling location-based advertising the effects of location congruency and medium type on consumers’ ad attention and brand choice

Image credit: Unsplash


Research on location-based advertising (LBA) suggests that the merits of LBA lie inthe fact that consumers can be targeted with location-congruent ads on their personal mobile devices. However, LBA consists of two underlying constructs; a mobile (vs.point-of-sales) advertising medium and location congruency (vs. location incongruency). This study aims to disentangle these underlying constructs by show ingthat they deferentially affect the efficacy of an ad. Using a virtual reality lab experiment, this study shows that location-congruent ads result in increased choice forthe target brand as compared to location-incongruent ads, independent of medium type. However, in location-incongruent situations, mobile ads attracted more attention than point-of-sales display ads. The advantages of LBA thus do not seem to emanate from medium type, but rather from the congruency between the ad and product location. When the ad is received at a different location than the product, the mobile medium is able to enhance consumers’ ad attention.

International Journal of Advertising