Document Type

Other Output


Department of Communication Studies




Purpose: In the digital era, children were exposed to different forms of advertising embedded in media contents. The current literature based on the understanding of television advertising needs updating.

Aims: This study adopts a dual-process model titled “Processing of Commercialized Media Content” proposed by Buijzen, Reijmersdal, and Owen (2010). In this model, advertising persuasion process takes three different forms, including systematic processing, heuristic processing, and automatic process of cognitive messages.

Design: A qualitative face-to-face interview study was conducted among 30 Chinese children aged 10 to 12. Interviewees were asked to watch a one-minute unboxing YouTube video. Afterward, they were asked about the purposes of this kind of video and the perceived influences of these messages on purchase decisions.

Findings: Interviewees demonstrated all three forms of cognitive processing of the commercial messages in YouTube videos. Interviewees had different understandings of the intentions of such messages. Most of the interviewees did not consider videos with brand endorsements advertising. Their judgement was based on the narrow way of defining advertising using traditional storytelling skills in television advertising. A few interviewees demonstrated sophisticated elaboration of how YouTubers made profits through endorsing products and developing a high volume of audience traffic.

Videos with product endorsements were popular among interviewees as a source of information about new products. Interviewees learned about brands for children as well as for adults from YouTube with product endorsements. They were aware of the persuasive effects of these videos on their brand knowledge and purchase behaviors.

Research implications: There is a need to review the current policy and the investigation of compulsory disclosure of sponsored brand messages in videos and other digital social media target children.


product placement, influencer marketing, advertising literacy, persuasive knowledge, qualitative method

Publication Date


Source Publication Title

2020 Academy of International Business Southeast Asia Regional Conference

Conference Location

The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong

Included in

Communication Commons