Research Project Takes ECU Professors To The Oscars

Two East Carolina University faculty members will be on Hollywood Boulevard for Sunday's Academy Awards show to conduct research from the red carpet.

Tracy Tuten and Christy Ashley are professors in ECU's College of Business and will be tracking how social media dovetails with celebrity influence.

Tuten, who has expertise in social media, says,"The Academy Awards reached 40 million viewers and resulted in 3.8 million comments on social media sites in 2012, which makes the Academy Awards an excellent context to study how social media works with celebrities."

Ashley studies the emotional connections that people have with brands. Her research focuses on how connections to a particular brand are formed, people's willingness to forgive a brand or not, and the general loyalty that people may have to a particular product.

Their travel is being paid for using private money from a development fund for business faculty members to encourage and enable research. Each researcher is investing $950.00 from her faculty development fund and will be co-authors of the research study.

You can follow Tuten and Ashley during the pre-show and the awards at @brandacity (Tuten) and @drcashley (Ashley).

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