Li Honored with Prestigious National Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research

A Michigan State University faculty member in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences is the 2022 recipient of the Ivan Preston Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research at the American Academy of Advertising.

Ivan Preston Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research

Hairong Li, a professor of advertising, faculty associate of the Center for Business and Social Analytics, and core faculty of the Asian Studies Center, was selected for the prestigious national award in spring of 2022.

Hairong Li receiving the Ivan Preston Award"The Ivan Preston Award is the most prestigious research award in our field," Li said. “Nothing could make me happier than the formal recognition of my research contributions by my colleagues nationwide.”

Li’s research covers the uses, effects and implications of digital technology in advertising, communication and marketing. He has published extensively, and seven citation studies have ranked him a most published and cited scholar.

“I am one of the lucky few that have studied digital advertising since its very beginning in the early 1990s,” Li said. “Working with my colleagues and graduate students over the years, I have explored many innovations of digital advertising, addressed the issues that potentially affect the healthy growth of the digital economy, and advanced the discipline of digital advertising.”

In addition to his research work, Li pushed the study of advertising forward by co-founding the Journal of Interactive Advertising in 2000 with John Leckenby of the University of Texas. As the first of its kind, the journal was the outlet for nascent studies of digital advertising.

“After creating the journal, I served as co-editor and editor of the journal for more than a decade,” Li said. “I’m still very proud of this project — our effort and the contributions of numerous authors helped establish the study of digital advertising as its own discipline.”

Digital Advertising, AI, and MSU

Li continues to expand the discipline of advertising studies, diving into new and emerging topics like programmatic and intelligent advertising.

“As a driving force of the digital economy, digital advertising always has new issues, more data for analysis, and novel theoretical and practical problems to solve,” Li said. “With a lasting intellectual curiosity and facing endless new challenges, you will never run out of research questions on digital technology.”

“I wouldn’t be able to achieve what I have without the support of our department, college and university,” Li said. “I received a grant from MSU Foundation early in my career that helped me open a new area of research in experiential ecommerce that generated several influential publications. A supportive environment has been essential for my scholarship and research productivity and I’m grateful to my department and colleagues for that support.”

Learn more about the Department of Advertising + Public Relations, and the American Academy of Advertising Awards.

By Samantha Brichta