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Brand Activism: The Future of Marketing? An exploratory study of the effectiveness of different levels of congruence and advertising appeals in brand activism and their influence on today's consumer.

Walter, L.S. (2021) Brand Activism: The Future of Marketing? An exploratory study of the effectiveness of different levels of congruence and advertising appeals in brand activism and their influence on today's consumer.

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Abstract:More than ever brands are speaking out on key socio-political issues, such as Black Lives Matter or climate change. Brand activism, as it is called, is an emerging marketing strategy where brands take a public stand in order to meet the demands of the modern consumer. However, the actual success and impact of this strategy is still unclear. The aim of this research was therefore to analyse the impact of different levels of congruence between a brand's values and the cause it supports on consumers' perceived brand sincerity, trust, brand choice, consumer impression formation and consumers' willingness to take actions themselves. Additionally, the role of the personality trait ‘openness’, as well as emotional advertising appeals was taken into account. For this research, a 3 (level of congruence: low vs. medium vs. high) x 2 (openness to experience: low vs. high) x 2 (emotional appeals: humour vs. guilt) online between-subjects quasi-experimental design was chosen. A quantitative research study was conducted, for which an online survey with closed- ended question items was designed. Responses of the participants (N= 272) were analyzed using two two-way ANOVAs and an additional linear regression. The results showed that the perceived congruence between a brand's values and the cause it supports is key to success in brand activism. The use of non-humour appeals in brand activism, as opposed to humorous appeals, was also shown to have a positive effect on consumers' first impression of a brand. Overall, this study provides new theoretical implications on the topic of brand activism as a marketing strategy. The practical implications ensuing from these findings concern the future of marketing. Lastly, since there is still a big research gap on the topic, findings of this study can serve as a first guide, or impetus, for future research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/86398
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