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“Donate to help combat COVID-19!” How typeface affects the effectiveness of CSR marketing?

Huiling Huang (Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)
Stephanie Q. Liu (Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 16 September 2020

Issue publication date: 14 October 2020

2975

Abstract

Purpose

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) marketing has become ubiquitous in the hospitality industry. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of donation appeals containing warmth-focused versus competence-focused messages in hospitality CSR marketing. Moreover, we offer an innovative visual design strategy focusing on the typeface (handwritten vs machine-written) in donation appeals to encourage consumers’ donations and boost their brand loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

This research used a 2 (message framing: warmth-focused vs competence-focused) × 2 (typeface: handwritten vs machine-written) between-subjects experimental design.

Findings

The findings suggest that donation appeals featuring warmth-focused messages combined with handwritten typeface and competence-focused messages combined with machine-written typeface can maximize donation intention and brand loyalty. Furthermore, results from the moderated mediation analyses indicate that brand trust is the psychological mechanism underlying these effects.

Practical implications

Hospitality managers should use typeface design, which is easy and inexpensive to manipulate, to enhance the effectiveness of CSR marketing. Specifically, for donation appeals featuring warmth-focused (competence-focused) messages, the handwritten (machine-written) typeface can boost consumers’ donation intention and brand loyalty.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this research is the first to reveal the competitive advantage of typeface design in hospitality CSR marketing. This research sheds light on the congruency effects of message framing and typeface design in donation appeals on consumers’ donation intention and brand loyalty while using the contemporary context of The Coronavirus Disease 2019 to test the theory.

Keywords

Citation

Huang, H. and Liu, S.Q. (2020), "“Donate to help combat COVID-19!” How typeface affects the effectiveness of CSR marketing?", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32 No. 10, pp. 3315-3333. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-05-2020-0462

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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