Analyze The Gender Factor In The Effectiveness of Advertising Using Sports on Social Networks (Case Study: Instagram)

Document Type : Original Article


1 MSc of Sport Marketing Management, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor of Sport Management, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of Sport Management, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.



By the successfulness of social media in various fields and its effectual presence in the daily lives of its users, marketing and advertising in this ubiquitous medium has many fans. Especially since 2018, when the Corona virus epidemic broke out, many businesses have been closed, and instead the growth of businesses and commercial activities in social media accelerated. Among the most popular social media among people in the world, especially Iranians, is Instagram. Although advertising and marketing have a special place on Instagram, one of the main reasons for promoting advertising on this social network is related to its audience, which has attracted the attention of marketers. Case studies and statistics from Instagram show that its audience includes a group of very active users who are willing to buy and interact with advertisers. In addition to social media, another component that makes advertising attractive and drives brand sales is sports. In an environment where trust in organizations and advertising has declined, advertising through sports is a way to gain a competitive advantage and serve as a communication tool to achieve marketing goals and support consumers. Therefore, creating a market and demand and maintaining and increasing market share are among the goals of advertising through sports.The combination of two influential components in the effectiveness of advertising, i.e. sports and social networks, has caused marketers to make significant investments in this regard, so that among the most visited Instagram pages, sports pages with different contents, including the personal pages of athletes, the page of sports clubs, the entertainment news regardin sports, scientific-sports pages, including fitness and nutrition, have been able to attract the attention of users.
 Naturally, advertising alone is not the reason for increased sales and good profits. Research should be done to find out how effective the ad was by taking into account the audience and visitors of the ad. Most researchers refer to attitude as an effective component of advertising effectiveness. In other words, attitude is a combination of beliefs and emotions that prepare a person in advance to view other people, objects, and events positively or negatively. Consumers' attitudes toward advertising can be the basis for believing and accepting advertising. Attitudes are influenced by several factors, the most important of which is gender. Gender is considered a key variable in marketing segmentation and plays an important role in moderating consumer judgments. In general, it can be said that women and men are biologically different, have different thinking patterns, and behave based on different goals. These differences may influence the outcome and evaluation process of Internet advertising. Thus, based on the research that has been conducted on the decision-making process of people, there are two mechanisms to explain the role of gender in evaluating the effectiveness of advertising: One is a direct role, e.g.: Gender has a direct and important influence on the decision outcome. Another is the moderator role, for example: gender influences the decision-making process or moderates the relationship between independent and dependent variables and the decision outcome. Therefore, in this study, gender was used as one of the main factors influencing the attitude toward advertising through sports in social networks.
Taylor, Lewin, and Strutton's (2011) model has been used to evaluate the effectiveness of social media advertising. It is one of the most important research models used in the field of evaluating the effectiveness of advertising in social media and is the main basis for subsequent models. In this model, there are eight independent components (entertainment, informativeness, self-brand congruence, peer influence, quality of life, time structure, invasiveness, and privacy concerns) and one dependent component (attitude toward social media advertising), as well as a moderating component, which is gender. The reason for using this model for the current study is to find out what is important to cyberspace users and what influences their attitudes toward advertising so that marketers and advertisers can use these components when designing and publishing their advertisements on social networks, leading to positive user attitudes toward advertising through sports on social networks.
The present study was conducted with the aim of analyzing the gender factor in the effectiveness of advertising through sports in social networks (case study: Instagram), the research being applied in terms of purpose and descriptive-correlative in terms of method. To collect the research data, the questionnaire on attitudes towards advertising in social networks by Taylor & et al. (2011) was used. This questionnaire, with a five-point Likert scale, assesses attitudes toward advertising on social networks and consists of two parts: The first part contains demographic questions and the second part is the main questionnaire, which includes nine components and 39 items. Celebi's (2015) questionnaire was designed based on the same model with slight modifications to adapt to Instagram advertising, so six items from this questionnaire were added to Taylor & et al.'s (2011) items for the attitude toward advertising component. The above-mentioned questionnaire was approved in terms of content and form by eight experts, including professors and experts in sports marketing and advertising management, after a three-stage translation process, and the proposed changes were adopted.
 The statistical population of the study is the users of Instagram sports pages. Therefore, the users of posterfootball, posterfutball, akhbare_perspolis, chejazab, and pages were selected as the available sample, which includes more than 100 thousand users in total. The questionnaire was designed using Google Docs and its link was placed in the story and bio of the mentioned sites. An advertising video of the LG brand was placed in the form of a post on the mentioned sports pages and users were asked to participate in this survey after watching the video. Finally, 260 questionnaires about the desired sports pages were collected and analyzed, the final results of which are listed in the research results section. In addition, smart PLS 3 software was used to analyze the data and verify the model based on the structural equation modeling method.
The results revealed that among independent factors, invasiveness and self-brand congruity were meaningful commonly between males and females. Also, informativeness among females, and entertainment and peer influence among males were meaningfully related to attitude. According to the results, if a brand wants to promote a product or service using sports on social networks, it is necessary to increase the effectiveness of advertising by considering the gender of the advertising audience and the factors influencing the formation of their attitude.


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