Do social values, such as appeals to altruism, social justice, and sustainability in an ad impact consumers’ perception of the brand? If so, how and through which cognitive pathways, and for which population segments? Conversely, do ads that appear within potentially divisive content affect brand-related behaviors? Brand safety continues to be a major concern for advertisers in 2021 as news events and public comments on social platforms continue to ignite concern and controversy.
In 2020, the Cognition Council hosted an event with presentations about advertising in news programming and news sites. This event, which was held on Oct. 14—and the one that follows it in December (Part 2)—expanded on that research with fresh investigations from Twitter, an academic research team, and members of the Cognition Council.
Experts reviewed what is known about pro-social communication, an analysis of the characteristics of altruistic creative assets, research on public attitudes about brands’ embrace of social causes, and case studies focused on the impact of social values on attention and engagement.
The event concluded with a moderated discussion with the presenters on what still needs to be learned about the effects of potentially divisive content and altruistic appeals in advertising and whether the current inclusion of pro-social motivations in ads will be sustainable as we emerge from the pandemic.