Selling stories of social justice. How consumers react to and learn from social ads
Keywords:social advertising, entertainment education, narrative persuasion, corporate social responsibility, reactance
Advertising strategies are constantly changing and today, companies often take a position regarding current social topics in their advertis-ing messages. With two experimental studies using actual ads, we explore how people react to and learn from social ads regarding particular social issues they tackle. With the first study, we examine whether an ad that deals with modern sexism raises awareness about this issue and whether it performs more effectively than a non-narra-tive, informative video (TED-talk) with the same topic. Second, as corporate social responsibility (CSR) ads are discussed to be received controversial among viewers, we explore how a social ad communi-cating a CSR message (gay rights) compared to a “classic” product ad performs on brand-relevant outcomes. Both studies indicate that raising awareness for a social issue through social ads could poten-tially backfire and might only work under certain circumstances. Advertisers, therefore, should elaborate on how they integrate CSR ads into their marketing strategies.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Tim Wulf, Brigitte Naderer
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