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The accelerating growth in mobile internet communications is giving rise to a new form of interactive marketing. This research identifies the factors that affect youth consumer participation in a mobile-based word-of-mouth (WOM) campaign. The study used a “real” brand promotion—a new men's hairstyling wax launched in the adolescent market—to stimulate interest and participation. Specifically, consumers were encouraged to spread the information via WOM and participate in a hairstyle photo contest. A core attitudinal model consisted of interpersonal connectivity, self-identification with the mobile device, affective commitment to the promoted brand, attitude toward the campaign, and willingness to make referrals. The data—based on the responses from 1,705 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 years—fit the model well and provided empirical support for all the hypothesized relationships. The model was further analyzed in terms of latent mean structures, which revealed that face-to-face WOM elicited stronger affective brand commitment and attitude toward the campaign than mobile-based WOM. This pattern is reversed, however, in the willingness to make referrals, suggesting that mobil-based WOM may be persuasive even when adolescents are less interested in the campaign content.
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