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Sahni Receives 2021 Weitz-Winer-O’Dell Award

Sahni Receives 2021 Weitz-Winer-O'Dell Award

Navdeep Sahni has been selected to receive the 2021 Weitz-Winer-O’Dell Award for his article “Advertising Spillovers: Evidence from Online Field Experiments and Implications for Returns on Advertising,” which appeared in the August 2016 issue (Vol. 53, No. 4) of the Journal of Marketing Research (JMR).

The Weitz-Winer-O’Dell Award honors the JMR article published five years earlier that has made the most significant, long-term contribution to marketing theory, methodology, and/or practice. The award committee this year included Peter Danaher (Monash University), Tulin Erdem (New York University) and John Lynch (University of Colorado Boulder). The committee provided the following statement about their choice of Navdeep Sahni’s paper for this award:


In his paper, Navdeep Sahni tackles the important issue of establishing how online advertising for a focal brand might also stimulate sales for its competitors, commonly known as advertising spillover. Research on this topic is challenging due to selection, endogeneity and statistical power issues. To overcome these challenges, Navdeep employs a cleverly-designed field experiment in collaboration with a major restaurant search provider that operates in over 20 countries. The industry partner’s breadth enabled them to capture advertising outcomes for both the focal brand and its competitors.

The results confirm that when a focal brand advertises online its sales increase, but so do those of its competitors. The study further shows that as the focal-brand ad intensity increases, its ad effectiveness dominates over its competitors, mitigating the harmful effects of ad spillover. The findings are consistent with Navdeep’s posited theory of advertising awareness being generated even for brands that don’t advertise, thereby widening a consumer’s consideration set. Navdeep cites prior lab studies in consumer behavior that had shown a similar effect explained by principles of memory. By confirming that prediction in an ambitious field experiment, Navdeep’s paper represents a significant bridge between behavioral and quantitative sides of the field of marketing. 

To date, the article has 123 Google Scholar citations, has been used by practitioners to inform them of the complete picture of a customer’s search and purchase journey, and has been featured in multiple media mentions. Moreover, it has been cited in the information systems and economics literatures, and is used as a discussion paper in PhD classes.

Three other excellent papers were named finalists for the 2021 Weitz-Winer-O’Dell Award. Congratulations to the authors of all four of these papers: