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Promoting gender equality in sports : The effect of influencer type and brand presence in social marketing campaigns via Instagram on consumer responses

Krieter, Maren (2021) Promoting gender equality in sports : The effect of influencer type and brand presence in social marketing campaigns via Instagram on consumer responses.

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Abstract:Via social marketing campaigns brands aim to tackle the societal issue of gender inequality in sports and to improve their brand image. On social media platforms, they use professional athletes as role models to reach their target group and create a transference towards the brand via brand placement. However, highly visible brand placements increase consumers’ persuasion knowledge and result in negative consumer responses. Furthermore, various types of influencers are perceived differently regarding their trustworthiness and expertise. Professional athletes might be perceived as expertise but might lack in trustworthiness compared to amateur athletes as they are known for commercial cooperation with brands. This research aims to add scientific knowledge to social marketing research by investigating the effect of influencer type and brand presence on consumer responses related to gender equality in sports. In addition, it is aimed to give practical advice on how to address the societal issue of gender inequality in sports. An online experiment was conducted, employing a 2 (type of influencer: professional athlete vs. amateur athlete) x 2 (brand presence: prominent vs. less prominent) between-groups design. 179 participants aging between 18 and 49 years were included. Attitude and behavioral intention towards gender equality and brand image were measured. Furthermore, conceptual and attitudinal persuasion knowledge such as influencer expertise and trustworthiness were measured and added as mediators. In addition, demographic variables such as age, gender, interest in sports, time spend on sports, and level of sports such as Instagram usage and being a follower of a sports-related Instagram account were included. Contrary to the expectations, a significant negative effect between brand presence and conceptual persuasion knowledge related to attitude and behavioral change was found. Since no further significant effects were found, no prior formulated hypotheses are confirmed. The study serves as a starting point to investigate influencer marketing in the context of social marketing. Future research should investigate consumer requirements and relationships between influencers and consumers. Similarly, social marketing professionals should focus on the consumer’s needs and interests. Hence, target groups need to be defined separately when planning social marketing activities.
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/87691
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