Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 257–273 | Cite as

Measuring the economic effectiveness of place advertising in China

  • Chunying WenEmail author
  • Yingying Wu
  • Caroline Rosemary Whitfield
Original Article


The economic effectiveness of place advertising is a valuable inquiry for both policy makers and marketers. Our study aims to answer the research question of whether or not a significant and localized targeted place brand communication effort is associated with the generation of measurable economic benefits therein. The results indicate that there is a significant positive correlation between place advertising and tourist expenditure based on the data of place-brand advertising campaigns within 31 provinces in China over the period from 2005 to 2015. Further, this study indicates a relationship between the level of advertising spend and the consequential positive impact on tourist expenditure: each 1% increase in advertising spend generates a 0.013% increase in tourist expenditure. The novel concept model presented in this paper aids practitioners to better understand the effect of advertising and promotional place communication in the wider context of local economic planning and national development policy.


Place branding Advertising effectiveness Measurement of place branding Tourist expenditure 



  1. Anholt, S. 2007. What is Competitive Identity? Competitive Identity: The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Ao, R., and Y. Wei. 2006. A Study on the Regional Tourism Resources and the Unbalanced Development of the Tourism Industry in China. 中国区域旅游发展差异影响因素研究- 来自 1990–2003 年的经验数据检验. Journal of Finance and Economics. 财经研究 3: 32–43.Google Scholar
  3. Ashworth, G. 2007. Beyond the Logos Brand Management for cities.pdf. Brand Management 16: 520–531.Google Scholar
  4. Ashworth, G.J., and H. Voogd. 1988. Marketing the City: Concepts, Processes and Dutch Applications. The Town Planning Review 59: 65–79.Google Scholar
  5. Beerli, A., and J.D.M. Santana. 1999. Design and Validation of an Instrument for Measuring Advertising Effectiveness in the Printed Media. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising 21: 11–30.Google Scholar
  6. Braun, E., J. Eshuis, and E.-H. Klijn. 2014. The Effectiveness of Place Brand Communication. Cities 41: 64–70.Google Scholar
  7. Butterfield, D.W., K.R. Deal, and A.A. Kubursi. 1998. Measuring the Returns to Tourism Advertising. Journal of Travel Research 37: 12–20.Google Scholar
  8. Cárdenas-García, P.J., M. Sánchez-Rivero, and J.I. Pulido-Fernández. 2013. Does Tourism Growth Influence Economic Development? Journal of Travel Research 54: 206–221.Google Scholar
  9. Carroll, J.D., and P.E. Green. 1997. Psychometric Methods in Marketing Research: Multidimensional Scaling. Journal of Marketing Research 34: 193–204.Google Scholar
  10. Deng, H., and M. Li. 2015. An Empirical Analysis of the Influencing Factors of Tourism Revenue in China Based on the Tourism Related Data of 22 Provinces. 我国旅游收入影响因素的实证分析_基于全国 22 个省份旅游相关数据. Lan Zhou Xue Kan 兰州学刊 10: 171–176.Google Scholar
  11. Du, D., A.A. Lew, and P.T. Ng. 2014. Tourism and Economic Growth. Journal of Travel Research 55: 454–464.Google Scholar
  12. Eisend, M., and F. Tarrahi. 2016. The Effectiveness of Advertising: A Meta-Meta-Analysis of Advertising Inputs and Outcomes. Journal of Advertising 45: 519–531.Google Scholar
  13. Fier, S.G., and D.M. Pooser. 2016. Advertising Effectiveness for Financial Services Firms: Evidence from the Life Insurance. Journal of Insurance Issues 39: 137–168.Google Scholar
  14. Florek, M., and M. Kavaratzis. 2014. From Brand Equity to Place Brand Equity and from There to the Place Brand. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 10: 103–107.Google Scholar
  15. Fullerton, J.A., and A. Kendrick. 2011. Australia Tourism Advertising: A Test of the Bleed-Over Effect Among US Travelers. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 7: 244–256.Google Scholar
  16. Fullerton, J.A., and A. Kendrick. 2013. Strategic Uses of Mediated Public Diplomacy: International Reaction to U.S. Tourism Advertising. American Behavioral Scientist 57: 1332–1349.Google Scholar
  17. Gartner, W.C. 1994. Image Formation Process. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing 2: 191–216.Google Scholar
  18. Gil, S.M., and J.R.B. Ritchie. 2009. Understanding the Museum Image Formatio Process: A Comparison of Residents and Tourists. Journal of Travel Research 47: 480–493.Google Scholar
  19. Goovaerts, P., H. van Biesbroeck, and T. van Tilt. 2014. Measuring the Effect and Efficiency of City Marketing. Procedia Economics and Finance 12: 191–198.Google Scholar
  20. Grabow, B. 1998. City Marketing—A Critical Interim Balance. Deutsches Insitut Fur Urbanistik 1/1998 – Stadtmarketing 1: 1–6.Google Scholar
  21. Grunert, K.G., and S.C. Grunert. 1995. Measuring Subjectve Meaning Structures by the Laddering Method: Theoretical Considertations and Methodological Problems. International Journal of Research in Marketing 12: 209–225.Google Scholar
  22. Hannigan, J. 2003. Symposium on Branding the Entertainment Economy and Urban Place Building Introduction.Google Scholar
  23. He, H., K. Li, and L. Liang. 2010. An Empirical Analysis of the Influencing Factors of Domestic Tourism Revenue. 我国国内旅游收入影响因素的实证分析. Modern Property Management 现代物业管理 9: 21–23.Google Scholar
  24. Herget, J., Z. Petrů, and J. Abrham. 2015. City branding and Its Economic Impacts on Tourism. Economics & Sociology 8: 119–126.Google Scholar
  25. Huang, F., and H. Hu. 2015. Analysis on the Influencing Factors of Tourism Income in china - Based on Principal Component Curve Regression. 中国旅游收入影响因素分析——基于主分量曲线回归. Statistics and Management 统计与管理 2: 46–48.Google Scholar
  26. Jacobsen, B.P., and A. Kalandides. 2009. Investor-Based Place Brand Equity: A Theoretical Framework. Journal of Place Management and Development 2: 70–84.Google Scholar
  27. Johnson, J.P., and D.P. Myatt. 2006. On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Prodct design. The American Economic Review 96: 756–784.Google Scholar
  28. Kavaratzis, M. 2004. From City Marketing to City Branding: Towards a Theoretical Framework for Developing City Brands. Place Branding 1: 58–73.Google Scholar
  29. Kavaratzis, M. 2005. Place Branding: A Review of Trends and Conceptual Models. The Marketing Review 5: 329–342.Google Scholar
  30. Kavaratzis, M., and G. Ashworth. 2008. Place Marketing: How Did we Get Here and Where are we Going? Journal of Place Management and Development 1: 150–165.Google Scholar
  31. Keller, K.L. 1993. Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Managing Customer-Based Brand Equity. Journal of Marketing 57: 1–22.Google Scholar
  32. Kim, H.-B., and W.G. Kim. 2005. The Relationship Between Brand Equity and Firms’ Performance in Luxury Hotels and Chain Restaurants. Tourism Management 26: 549–560.Google Scholar
  33. Lucarelli, A., and P.O. Berg. 2011. City Branding: A State-of-the-Art Review of the Research Domain. Journal of Place Management and Development 4: 9–27.Google Scholar
  34. Martín-Santana, J.D., and A. Beerlipalacio. 2013. Development of an Advertising Impact Index to Test Advertisements in Magazines. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising 34: 107–124.Google Scholar
  35. McAlister, L., R. Srinivasan, N. Jindal, and A.A. Cannella. 2016. Advertising Effectiveness: The Moderating Effect of Firm Strategy. Journal of Marketing Research 53: 207–224.Google Scholar
  36. McWilliams, E.G., and J.L. Crompton. 1997. An Expanded Framework for Measuring the Effectiveness of Destination Advertising. Tourism Management 18: 127–137.Google Scholar
  37. Messmer, D.J., and R.R. Johnson. 1993. Inquiry Conversion and Travel Advertising Effectiveness. Journal of Travle Research 31 (4): 14–21.Google Scholar
  38. Pang, L., Z. Wang, and Q. Liu. 2006. Research on the Relationship between International Tourism and Economic Growth in China. 我国入境旅游和经济增长关系分析. Area Reserach and Development 地域研究与开发 25: 51–55.Google Scholar
  39. Papadopoiulos, N., and L.L. Heslop. 2002. Country Equity and Country Branding: Problems and Prospects. Journal of Brand Management 9: 294–314.Google Scholar
  40. Rainisto, S.K. 2003. Success Factors of Place Marketing: A study of Place Marketing Practices in Northern Europe and the United States.Google Scholar
  41. Seisdedos, G., and P. VAGGIONE. 2005. The City Branding Process: In Case of Madrid. 41 st ISoCaRP Congress.Google Scholar
  42. Siegel, W., and W. Zifflevine. 1990. Evaluating Tourism Advertising Campaigns: Conversion vs. Advertising Tracking Studies. Journal of Travel Research 28: 51–55.Google Scholar
  43. Silberman, J., and M. Klock. 1986. An Alternative to Conversion Studies for Measuring the Impact of Travel Ads. Journal of Travel Research 24 (4): 12–16.Google Scholar
  44. Stienmetz, J.L., J.G. Maxcy, and D.R. Fesenmaier. 2013. Evaluating Destination Advertising. Journal of Travel Research 54: 22–35.Google Scholar
  45. Sui, J., J. Liu, and C. Yan. 2013. Phase Transfer Identification of China’s Tourism Economy Dynamic Path: Based on Markov Regime Switching Model. 中国旅游经济增长动态路径的阶段性——于马尔科夫区制转移模型的实证分析. Tourism Tribune 旅游学刊 28: 22–32.Google Scholar
  46. Wober, K.W., and D.R. Fesenmaier. 2004. A Multi-Criteria Approach to Destination Benchmarking. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing 16: 1–18.Google Scholar
  47. Wen, C., Q. Lu, and X. Sui. 2012a. The Evolution of Mass Media Market in Contemporary China. 当代中国大众传媒格局演变. Media 传媒, 158.Google Scholar
  48. Wen, C., Q. Lu, and X. Sui. 2012b. The Evolution of Mass Media Market in Contemporary China. 当代中国大众传媒格局演变. Media 传媒, 159.Google Scholar
  49. Wen, C., X. Sui, and Y. WU. 2017. The Structure of Mass Media in Contemporary China. 現代中國のマスメディァ產業構造, Janpan, ミネルヴァ書房.Google Scholar
  50. Woodside, A.G. 1990. Measuring Advertising Effectiveness in Destination Marketing Strategies. Journal of Travel Research 29 (2): 3–8.Google Scholar
  51. Yuan, Y., and X. Shao. 2011. Factors Analysis of China’s Domestic Tourism Revenue—Based on 1994–2010 Years of Data. 我国国内旅游收入影响因素的计量分析——基于 1994–2010 年的数据. Science Mosaic 科技广场 10: 97–100.Google Scholar
  52. Zenker, S., and E. Braun. 2015. Rethinking the Measurement of Place Brands. In Rethinking Place Branding: Comprehensive Brand Development for Cities and Regions, ed. M. Kavaratzis, G. Warnaby, and G.J. Ashworth. Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  53. Zenker, S., E. Braun, and S. Petersen. 2017. Branding the Destination Versus the Place: The Effects of Brand Complexity and Identification for Residents and Visitors. Tourism Management 58: 15–27.Google Scholar
  54. Zenker, S., A. Kalandides, and S.C. Beckmann. 2013. My Place is not your Place—Different Place Brand Knowledge by Different Target Groups. Journal of Place Management and Development 6: 6–17.Google Scholar
  55. Zenker, S., and N. Martin. 2011. Measuring Success in Place Marketing and Branding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 7: 32–41.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunying Wen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yingying Wu
    • 2
  • Caroline Rosemary Whitfield
    • 3
  1. 1.Asia Media Research CenterCommunication University of ChinaBeijingChina
  2. 2.Advertising SchoolCommunication University of ChinaBeijingChina
  3. 3.Marketing and Rural Business DevelopmentScotland’s Rural CollegeEdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations