Content analysis of decking material business-to-business advertisements: 2002-2014

Daniel F. McGraw, Paul M. Smith, Min Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study provides a longitudinal perspective on business-to-business advertising content contained in 82 Professional Deck Builder (PDB) decking ads from 2002 to 2014. Specifically, this study used content analysis to determine the presence-absence of a predefined set of 28 attributes and if the primary advertisement appeal was rational or emotional among five decking material categories-plastic lumber (PL), treated lumber (TL), wood-plastic composite (WPC), tropical hardwood (TH), and aluminum- steel (AS). Study results showed that the seven most-mentioned decking attributes were aesthetics-beauty (56% of the 79 PDB advertisements), durability-long life (45%), color options (37%), warranty-guarantee (34%), environmental friendliness (34%), easy-low maintenance (33%), and strength-stiffness (30%). By decking material category, the most frequently mentioned attributes for TL were environmental friendliness, aesthetics, and durability. WPC advertisements featured content regarding color options, aesthetics, and warranty, whereas PL advertisements most frequently addressed durability, aesthetics, color options, low maintenance, and warranty. TH decking advertisements highlighted aesthetics, durability, low maintenance, and strength, and AS decking advertisements focused on aesthetics, durability, low maintenance, and low heat retention-stays cool. Results also showed that rational vs emotional appeals by decking advertisements in PDB from 2002 to 2014 were fairly even with 57% rational and 43% emotional. By decking material, TH and TL decking advertisements favored the rational appeal approach and WPC decking used the greatest percentage of advertisements with emotional appeal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-95
Number of pages12
JournalWood and Fiber Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • General Materials Science


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