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Article

George Anghelcev and Sela Sar

The effectiveness of social marketing communication should depend both on message features and on the psychological characteristics of message recipients. This premise was…

Abstract

Purpose

The effectiveness of social marketing communication should depend both on message features and on the psychological characteristics of message recipients. This premise was tested in an experiment focused on why consumers may respond differently to different types of pro-recycling advertisements. The message feature was the way in which the advertisements were framed. The psychological characteristic of the message recipient was the respondent's mood. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were tested in the context of an experiment focused on paper recycling.

Findings

It was hypothesized that congruity between mood and the frame of the message would result in more favorable message evaluations and higher intentions to recycle than incongruity. Supporting the study's hypotheses, the data showed that participants in a negative mood had higher intentions to recycle paper and evaluated pro-recycling advertisements more favorably when the ads emphasized avoiding negative consequences as opposed to attaining desired benefits. Among participants in a positive mood, desired benefit advertisements induced higher intentions to recycle paper and were evaluated more favorably than advertisements framed in terms of avoiding negative consequences.

Practical implications

A clear message placement strategy is suggested to increase the effectiveness of social marketing communication campaigns.

Originality/value

This mood congruity effect has not been reported before in the context of pro-environmental communication. Furthermore, the study provides empirical evidence of the underlying psychological mechanisms that cause the observed interaction. The evidence suggests the data could be predictive of similar response patterns in other social marketing communication domains (e.g. in response to health messages, volunteering, charity, etc.).

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

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Article

George Anghelcev, Mun-Young Chung, Sela Sar and Brittany R.L. Duff

Successful marketing communication campaigns require a thorough assessment of the public's current perceptions and attitudes toward the topic of the campaign. Such…

Abstract

Purpose

Successful marketing communication campaigns require a thorough assessment of the public's current perceptions and attitudes toward the topic of the campaign. Such insights are most likely attained if a range of research methods are employed. However, in the area of pro-environmental campaigns, there has been an over-reliance on quantitative surveys. To illustrate the benefits of complementary, qualitative approaches, this paper reports a qualitative investigation of perceptions of climate change among young South Koreans.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a variant of the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET), a hybrid protocol which combines photo elicitation with metaphor analysis of subsequent in-depth individual interviews. Unlike survey research, ZMET uncovers the emotional, interpretive and sensory mental structures which, along with factual knowledge, make up the public mindset about climate change.

Findings

The analysis revealed a multifaceted mental model of climate change, whereby factual, interpretive and emotional knowledge is organized around themes of loss, human greed, affective distress and iconic representations of tragic endings. The causal dynamics of climate change are construed along a continuum of psychological distance, with antecedents placed in proximity and effects assigned to distant temporal, geographical and psychological spaces.

Practical implications

Four message strategies for climate change mitigation campaigns are identified based on the findings.

Originality/value

The study makes a methodological argument for supplementing survey research with image-based qualitative investigations in the formative stages of pro-environmental campaigns. More specifically, the article demonstrates the applicability of ZMET to social marketing communication. Apart from the methodological implications, this appears to be the first in-depth qualitative investigation of public perceptions of climate change in East Asia, a populous and fast developing region which has become a major contributor to the world’s carbon emissions, and an important player in the global effort toward mitigation.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

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Article

Sela Sar and George Anghelcev

The aim of the paper is to investigate the impact of pre‐existing audience mood on responses to health public service advertisements (PSAs). The paper also aims to show…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to investigate the impact of pre‐existing audience mood on responses to health public service advertisements (PSAs). The paper also aims to show the practical and theoretical importance of mood as a variable in health communication.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses regarding the impact of audience mood on the outcome of health PSAs were tested experimentally using health PSAs about vaccination and virus detection behaviors.

Findings

The influence of pre‐existing mood was mediated by the perceived risk of contracting the illness mentioned in the health advertisement. Personal estimations of risk mediated the impact of audience mood on behavioral intent and actual behavior. The more negative one's mood, the higher the perceived risk of contracting the disease mentioned in the message, and the more likely one was to adopt the precautionary behavior recommended by the PSA. Positive mood had opposite effects.

Practical implications

The findings suggest a novel media planning approach to maximizing the effectiveness of health risk messages. Due to the impact of context‐induced mood on perceptions of risk, messages could be more effective if placed in editorial contexts which induce negative mood (e.g. crime investigation reports) versus environments which induce positive mood (e.g. sitcoms), because negative mood makes people think they are more at risk and motivates them to act.

Originality/value

The mood‐and‐risk mediation hypothesis proposed here has never been examined in public health marketing. Findings call for further research on the impact of contextual affect on responses to public health communication. The paper suggests a new placement technique for media planners working in public health advertising.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

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