Dynamics of retail advertising: Evidence from a field experiment

Dunchan Simester*, Hu Yu, Erik Brynjolfsson, Eric T. Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


We use a controlled field experiment to investigate the dynamic effects of retail advertising. The experimental design overcomes limitations hindering previous investigations of this issue. Our study uncovers dynamic advertising effects that have not been considered in previous literature. We find that current advertising does affect future sales, but surprisingly, the effect is not always positive; for the firm's best customers, the long-run outcome may be negative. This finding reflects two competing effects: brand switching and intertemporal substitution. We also find evidence of cross-channel substitution, with the firm's best customers switching demand to the ordering channel that corresponds to the advertising.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-499
Number of pages18
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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