Choosing the right message for the right cause in social cause advertising: Type of social cause message, perceived company-cause fit and the persuasiveness of communication

Kihan Kim, Yunjae Cheong, Joon Soo Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study introduces two different types of communication strategies in social cause advertising: a partake-in-our-cause message attempts to engage audiences to take part in a social cause, whereas a promotional social cause message simply conveys information on what a company does for the social cause. The results of two experiments showed that the type of social cause message and the company-cause fit interacted to influence the perceptual and behavioral intention variables related to the company sponsoring the social cause. The partake-in-our-cause message led to more favourable perceptions and stronger behavioral intentions about the company when the company-cause fit was low, rather than high, and such a relationship was partly mediated by the perceived corporate self-serving motive and shared support for the social cause. In contrast, the promotional social cause message appeared to be more persuasive when the company-cause fit was high, rather than low, due in part to the enhanced processing fluency. These findings suggest different psychological mechanisms for each type of social cause message. Implications of the findings and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-494
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Advertising
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Company-cause fit
  • Social cause advertising
  • Type of message

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Marketing

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