Online Game Characters' Influence on Brand Trust: Self-disclosure, Group Membership, and Product Type

Document Type



Published by Elsevier in the Journal of Business Research, volume 66 issue 8, 2013. Bryant users may access this article here.

Publication Source

Journal of Business Research


Advergaming has become a marketers' essential exercise in branding. This paper examines how an animated character appearing in an advergame affects consumers' trust toward the promoted brand. Two studies demonstrate that a highly (vs. minimally) self-disclosing game character increases the game player's trust toward the promoted brand if the game character claims to be an outgroup member, but the opposite is true if the game character claims to be an ingroup member. These effects emerge only when promoted brands are publicly consumed products, but disappear when promoted brands are privately consumed products. The findings are robust across two countries—the United States and South Korea—which vary in the degree of consumer familiarity with advergaming practices.