An ARF Cognition Council event focused on new data that can help advertisers signal support for social causes and place such ads in a suitable context.
This ARF Cognition Council
event on December 8
built on a previous event
(October 18) that was held to address advertisers' concerns with research-based insights. This includes responding to social activism and consumer support for brands and aligning with social causes while safeguarding from possible negative consumer reactions as a result of appearing in (what might be considered) risky content. In addition, the researchers discussed how to develop ad creative and messages that not only support social causes but also improve the brand's image and sell products.
- Jessica Canfield (Lundquist School of Business at the University of Oregon) presented research on, "Advertising in a Politically Polarized Environment." One of her studies found that consumers who identify as being very liberal or very conservative were impacted by the political content surrounding an advertisement, confirming advertiser concerns. However, most consumers were not affected. In fact, her research indicated that, in general, advertising on news channels seemed effective, judging by the amount of search generated by these ads.
- Josh Baines of Oracle Advertising showed trends in altruism content and discussed opportunities for advertisers to align with context to optimize ad impact.
- Mike Follett of Lumen Research, working with Oracle, found that online ads next to altruistic content often had lower view times, unless the content is specifically about a charity. However, his analysis suggests this finding is driven by the amount of attention to the content. This corroborates context effects research showing that ads benefit from attention to the surrounding content.
Finally, presenters suggested the continuance of exploring these topics considering research by Peter Fields (IPA, the UK Institute of Practitioners in Advertising), who found that many ads with altruistic themes were not effective and recommends a number of strategies to optimize such ads.
Sources: Stone, H. (2021, December 1). Values In Advertising And The Content Around It, Part II (Event Summary). The ARF Cognition Council, The ARF.
Field, P. (2021, November 10). The Effectiveness Of Brand Purpose. EffWorks Global 2021, IPA.
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