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Sustainable brand image: an examination of ad–brand incongruence

Paula Arbouw (Department of Business, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Paul W. Ballantine (UC School of Business, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Lucie K. Ozanne (Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 21 March 2019

Issue publication date: 19 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine how consumer attitudes are affected by corporate brands that have newly adopted a sustainable brand image. Specifically, this paper examines consumer responses to ad–brand incongruity and tests whether two-sided messages yield greater acceptance of incongruence.


In total, 528 responses were collected via an online experiment using a 3×2 between-subjects factorial design which manipulated three levels of perceived ad–brand congruence (congruent, moderately incongruent and extremely incongruent) and two levels of message sidedness (one- and two-sided).


Results indicate that brand managers have to be careful not to create ad–brand incongruence after adopting new brand values and should avoid two-sided messages during this period.


This paper tests the use of two-sided messages as resolution hints for ad–brand incongruence and furthers the corporate branding literature incorporating sustainability.



Arbouw, P., Ballantine, P.W. and Ozanne, L.K. (2019), "Sustainable brand image: an examination of ad–brand incongruence", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 513-526.



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