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PhD Thesis: Enhancing Communication Efficiency: A Multi-level Approach

Congratulations! Our doctoral student Felix Wasser successfully defends his PhD thesis.

As part of the cooperative doctoral programme at HSBA, Felix Wasser started his dissertation on enhancing communication efficiency in 2017. Here, he analyses, among other things, the different cultural conditions in different countries and the resulting different approaches to the use of mass media, a topic that closely intertwines research and practice and is highly relevant to his professional work. Felix Wasser was supervised at HSBA by Prof. Dr. Goetz Greve and at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) by Prof. Dr. Oliver Schnittka. He successfully defended his dissertation on 25 October 2021. In a short interview published on the website of the SDU (University of Southern Denmark), he talks about his research field and the results of his work. 


How did you become interested in your field of research?

I became interested through my current occupation as a media planner. Through this job, I got in contact with the topic of advertising effectiveness, as it is key to understand how advertising works in general and how advertising budgets should be allocated across different channels, for example television and digital video. I decided that I would like to understand this phenomenon on an academic level and got in contact with the Hamburg School of Business Administration and the University of Southern Denmark, which led to the PhD project.

What is the focus of your PhD?

The research questions I am trying to answer in my PhD all revolve around the field of advertising effectiveness. The PhD analyses three different influences, which can enhance or diminish advertising effectiveness. 
These are the influence of how a brand is perceived through the consumer, the role of the media channels used for advertising and the influence of other, competitive brands in the market. 


What are the main findings of your PhD?

That all the above-mentioned factors play a role when it comes to the effect advertising has on a consumer, specifically the generation of awareness. When it comes to brand perception, the perceived personality of a brand influences which media channel has the greatest advertising effectiveness. For the competitive activities of other brands, the analysis showed that brands can profit from other brands’ advertising, if the other brands come from the same product category and the individual brand deploys media channels like radio and avoids advertising in television. The choice and orchestration of media channels per se also plays a role for advertising effectiveness: Depending on the sequence of media channels deployed – either television first and radio second or the other way round – these channels can either support each other or diminish each other’s advertising effectiveness.

Who are your results aimed at and how can they be used?

The PhD is primarily aimed at marketing academics and practitioners, and I hope that some of the results can be used in actual campaigns. Hopefully they can enhance the effectiveness and through this also the efficiency of advertising campaigns. 

Are there any results or discoveries you are particularly surprised of?

It surprised me a lot that competitive advertising could be anyhow beneficial for the individual brand. But I also liked the analysis of brand personality, as this was done with the help of a survey and the development of that was a lot of fun.

If you were to do further research, what would you research?

I found that a lot of topics from the PhD are interesting enough to facilitate further research, especially the psychological theories how brands are perceived and the connected analytical work. I was also surprised of the number of open questions regarding the effects of media synergy (when two or more media channels act together as mutual amplifiers), so that would also be an interesting topic for further research.


PhD Defense: Advertising effectiveness ( 


Are you interested in our part-time cooperative doctoral programme?  Find out more: HSBA Graduate Centre