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Tongil "TI" Kim Tongil

Assistant Professor of Marketing | Emory University, Goizueta Business School


Researcher in health care marketing and franchising

Media Appearances (4)

Unintended Consequences of Viagra Advertising

American Marketing Association  online


Marketers often develop advertising campaigns to achieve various brand-related objectives such as increasing brand awareness, stimulating trial, or developing brand equity. However, advertising may also have unintended effects on important societal and economic variables. Sometimes television commercials trigger unexpected outcomes going far beyond the original objectives of an advertising campaign. A new Journal of Marketing Research article investigates the unintended consequences of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs (e.g., Viagra). In their recent article, Tongil “TI” Kim and Diwas KC (2020) explored public health outcomes of direct-to-consumer advertising of ED drugs. In particular, they examined the impact of such advertisements on birth rate at the population level. Basically, the authors set out to discover whether advertising of Viagra, probably the best-known ED drug, can make more babies.

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Do Hospital Ads Work?

Informs  online


Should hospital advertising be banned? A few policymakers in Washington, D.C., have recently considered such an action based on a long-standing debate on whether it poses the spread of misinformation, and that it is not an effective or responsible use of an already limited healthcare budget. New research in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science studies the impact of a ban on hospital advertising, and whether those fears are justified. Study authors, Tongil “TI” Kim and Diwas KC both of Emory University believe the results can help guide discussions about legislation pertaining to hospital advertising in the changing landscape of healthcare delivery.

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Banning hospital advertising could increase readmissions, study finds

Becker's Health IT and CEO Report  online


"Our research found that banning hospital advertising can negatively affect population health outcomes by increasing hospital readmissions within 30 days. A blanket ban on hospital advertising can lead to an additional 1.2 hospital readmissions for every 100 hospital discharges," study author Tongil Kim, PhD, assistant professor of marketing at Atlanta-based Emory University, said in a statement.

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Teaching business in the digital age

Emory News Center  


The sharing of materials has enhanced other technology-oriented courses at Goizueta, as well. Tongil "TI" Kim, assistant professor of marketing, teaches a course that was originally developed by one of his professors at UC Berkeley, now at Kellogg. "I subtracted and added material to it in order to specifically cater to Emory students, as we draw students of different backgrounds and experience," Kim says...

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Articles (3)

Can Viagra Advertising Make More Babies? Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Public Health Outcomes Forthcoming, Journal of Marketing Research

Tongil "TI" Kim and Diwas KC


Although product advertising has been widely studied and understood in relation to the consumer’s purchase decision, advertising may also have unintended but important societal and economic consequences. In this paper, the authors examine a public health outcome—birth rate—associated with advertisements for erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs. Since the United States loosened regulations on direct-to-consumer television advertising for prescription drugs in 1997, ED drug makers have consistently been top spenders. By comparing advertising data with multiple birth data sets (patient-level hospital data from Massachusetts between 2001 and 2010 and micro birth certificate data from the U.S. between 2000 and 2004), the authors demonstrate that increased ED drug television advertising leads to a higher birth rate. Their results, which are robust with respect to different functional forms and falsification tests, show that a 1% increase in ED drug advertising contributes to an increase of .04-.08% of total births. Their findings suggest that beyond the customer purchase decision, advertising can have important public health outcomes, with resulting implications for managerial decision-making and policy formulation.

The Impact of Hospital Advertising on Patient Demand and Health Outcomes Marketing Science

Tongil "TI" Kim and Diwas KC


Does hospital advertising influence patient choice and health outcomes? We examine more than 220,000 individual patient-level visits over 24 months in Massachusetts to answer this question. We find that patients are positively influenced by hospital advertising; seeing a television advertisement for a given hospital makes a patient more likely to select that hospital. We also observe significant heterogeneity in patient response depending on insurance status, medical conditions, and demographic factors, like age, gender, and race. For example, patients with more restrictive forms of insurance are less sensitive to advertisements. Our demand model allows us to study the impact of a ban on hospital advertising, which has been recently considered by policy makers. We find that banning hospital advertising can hurt patient health outcomes through increased hospital readmissions. This is because hospital advertisements drive patients to higher-quality hospitals, which tend to advertise more and have lower readmission rates. However, we do not find a significant change in the overall mortality rate.

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The Case for Franchise Encroachment Social Science Research Network

2015 As franchisors add same brand outlets to a geographical market, the resulting “encroachment” from multiple locations creates conflict via revenue cannibalization. We empirically explore the possibility that encroachment could, in fact, have the opposite effect by increasing revenues as more same brand units are added. In particular, we propose that same brand units create a spillover effect that can heighten joint revenues from multiple units. Using detailed proprietary data from the hotel industry and other publicly available data, we identify the circumstances under which such revenue growth will be greater than cannibalization. We model the possible brand spillover effects from encroachment into a structural demand model, and estimate it along with the supply side. Confirming the model-free evidence, we find a statistically and economically significant customer preference for hotels that have more same brand establishments in the vicinity. We also find that encroachment benefits franchisees in markets with low same brand concentration, but is detrimental in markets where the brand is highly concentrated. A counterfactual analysis examines the impact of encroachment reduction and the impact of legislation that bans encroachment practices outright. Implications for management, public policy, and franchise strategy are discussed.

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Tongil "TI" Kim joined the Goizueta Business School faculty in 2013. He holds a PhD in Business from Haas School of Business, University of California - Berkeley, a MS in Management Science from Stanford University, and a BAsc in engineering from Simon Fraser University. His research focuses on the development and application of structural models to understand market demand and supply, particularly in the context of franchising and public policy. His current research explores ways to quantify firm's unobservable service effort to consumers in vertical channels.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Marketing Analytics

Healthcare Marketing

Marketing and Public Policy

Empirical industrial organization


Education (3)

University of California - Berkeley: PhD, Marketing 2013

Stanford University: Master's, Management Science and Engineering, Operations Management 2008

Simon Fraser University: Bachelor's BASc, Electronics Engineering 2004