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How consumers react to woke advertising: methodological triangulation based on social media data and self-report data

Yang Feng (School of Journalism and Media Studies, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA)
Huan Chen (Department of Advertising, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)
Ho-Young (Anthony) Ahn (Department of Communication Division, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, USA)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 31 May 2021

Issue publication date: 15 October 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Guided by a synthesis of social norms theory (SNT), the social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE) and information cascades theory (ICT), this study aims to unveil the mechanism underlying the role of social norms in shaping consumer responses to woke advertising in the algorithmic social media environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyzed 125,481 unique comments on a woke campaign, which represented the dynamic social norms condition in which the prominence of popularity information sets a social norm that can be passed on through a sequential commenting process. Also, this paper conducted an experiment with two conditions, namely, static social norms condition, representing a situation in which the prominence of popularity information sets a social norm through a non-sequential commenting process; without social norms condition, epitomizing the situation in which there is no popularity information that can set a social norm.

Findings

The results revealed that when evaluating a social media-based woke ad, depersonalized consumers in a dynamic social norms condition were more likely to be influenced by the prevailing norms than those in a static social norms condition were.

Originality/value

Through the lens of ICT, this research extends SNT and SIDE by detailing the procedure regarding how perceived social norms shape the formation of consumer opinions in a sequential fashion.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding information: This research was financially supported by the University Grants Program from San Diego State University.

Citation

Feng, Y., Chen, H. and Ahn, H.-Y.(A). (2021), "How consumers react to woke advertising: methodological triangulation based on social media data and self-report data", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 529-548. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-09-2020-0185

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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