Current Issue Summary
December 2021 (Vol. 61, Issue 4)
Is Native Advertising Effective for Corporate Social Responsibility Messaging? How Advertising Recognition Affects Consumer Responses to Proactive versus Reactive CSR
Is native advertising an effective tool for corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication? This research by Linwan Wu and Holly Overton (both at the University of South Carolina) analyzes how advertising recognition—and its perceived manipulation—influences responses to native advertisements promoting two different CSR efforts. One version was proactive (doing good in the community); the other was reactive (repairing a damaged reputation). Respondents reacted more favorably, in terms of attitude and word-of-mouth intention, to the native ad promoting proactive CSR than for the reactive CSR messaging—but only when they did not recognize the persuasion purpose of the native advertisement.
Among the takeaways:
- When evaluating native CSR advertisements, consumers care about companies’ motivations only when they do not recognize the messages as advertisements.
- People respond to native CSR ads based on whether they recognize the ad, whether they feel it is manipulative and whether they grasp the motives implied by the effort .
- Developing content that is informational rather than promotional may be crucial for building an effective, native CSR advertisement.
Read the full article here.