Fear-based advertising appeals : assessing execution styles of social marketing campaigns

Van Huyssteen, Lucea (2010-12)

Thesis (MComm (Economics)--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa faces an epidemic, namely, HIV/Aids, which has grown substantially over the last ten years. It can be regarded as the country with the most alarming statistical figures concerning HIV infection rates. Even though South Africa is a country under scrutiny, given the high prevalence of HIV/Aids, this epidemic also constitutes as a global problem, given that an approximate number of 7400 individuals are infected with HIV every day. The number of Aids related deaths has risen from 100 000 in 1999 to over 400 000 in 2009. Given the concern, and in an effort to combat the fast spread of HIV/Aids, the South African government has implemented various educational and support programs. Marketing efforts are related to the above topic, given that various marketing-related practices have been implemented by non-profit organisations in an attempt to create awareness of HIV/Aids and the related risks. These marketing communication programs are referred to as social campaigns. HIV/Aids social campaigns involve communication strategies which attempt to persuade the target market to ensure that they adhere to safesexual practices, by making individuals aware of the threat that infection poses to their lifestyles. Various campaigns also explore how an individual can ensure safe sexual behaviour. Empirical research stretching back to 1975 has provided marketers with guidelines as to what social communication campaigns, concerning threats to human health, should include regarding an emotional, cognitive aspect. Evidence exists for the need to include emotional cues that would stimulate medium to high levels of fear, rather than low levels of fear, in order to effectively persuade an individual to adhere to a protective behavioural pattern. No research has been conducted in order to conclude whether one type of execution style or specific advertising content would result in significantly increased intentions to behave in the recommended protective manner. This study investigated whether different execution styles would result in significantly different levels of attitude, fear and behavioural intention. This was done by sampling a group of 450 respondents who participated in an experimental study. Three execution styles were tested by means of a post-test self administered questionnaire including items related to variables of the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT). The PMT explores the effects that fear appeal would have on attitude change. Not only was it found that different execution styles result in significantly different levels of the mentioned variables, it was also found that one execution style is significantly more effective in evoking these cognitive responses in one race group as compared to another. The empirical results of this study reveal that by discontinuing mass communication, and, in preference, segmenting the market towards which HIV/Aids social campaigns are currently aimed, based on race, these awareness campaigns would be more effective in inducing protective sexual behaviour.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika word gekonfronteer met ’n epidemie, naamlik MIV/Vigs, wat aansienlik gegroei het oor die afgelope tien jaar. Suid Afrika kan beskou word as die land met die mees ontstellende statistieke met betrekking tot MIV-infeksie. Selfs al is Suid-Afrika die land met die hoogste gevalle van MIV/Vigs, is hierdie epidemie ook 'n wêreldwye probleem, gegewe dat 'n ongeveer 7400 individue met MIV besmet word elke dag. Die aantal Vigs-verwante sterftes het toegeneem van 100 000 in 1999 tot meer as 400 000 in 2009. Gegewe bogenoemde en in 'n poging om MIV/Vigs verspreiding te beveg, het die Suid- Afrikaanse regering verskeie ondersteunende en opvoedkundige programme geïmplementeer om hierdie doel te bereik. Die verwantskap tussen bemarkingspogings en die betrokke onderwerp is dat verskeie bemarkingsverwante praktyke geïmplementeer word deur nie-winsgewende organisasies in 'n poging om bewustheid van MIV/Vigs en die verwante risiko's te skep. Hierdie bemarkingskommunikasie programme word na verwys as sosiale veldtogte. Die relevante MIV/Vigs-veldtogte behels sosiale kommunikasie strategieë wat die teikenmark probeer oorreed om te verseker dat hulle voldoen aan veilige seksuele praktyke, deur individue bewus te maak van die bedreiging wat infeksie inhou tot hul lewenswyse. Verskeie veldtogte brei ook uit oor hoe 'n individu veilige seksuele gedrag kan verseker. Empiriese navorsing wat terugstrek tot 1975 voorsien bemarkers met riglyne oor wat die sosiale kommunikasie veldtogte, wat 'n bedreiging vir menslike gesondheid behels, moet insluit met betrekking tot 'n emosionele, kognitiewe aspek. Bewyse bestaan in guns van die noodsaaklikheid van emosionele leidrade wat medium tot hoë vlakke van vrees in ‘n individu sal stimuleer, eerder as lae vlakke van vrees, om sodoende 'n individu effektief te oorreed om te voldoen aan beskermende gedragspatrone gegewe die bedreiging wat bestaan. Geen navorsing bestaan tans met betrekking tot of ‘n sekere tipe advertensie uitvoeringstyl of spesifieke advertensie-inhoud sou lei tot ‘n aansienlik hoër voorneme om te reageer op die aanbevole beskermende gedrag nie. Hierdie studie ondersoek of sekere advertensie uitvoeringstyle sou lei tot aansienlik verskillende vlakke van houding, vrees en gedrag. Die ondersoek is gedoen deur middel van 'n groep van 450 respondente wat deelgeneem het aan 'n eksperimentele studie. Drie uitvoeringstyle is getoets deur middel van 'n na-toets self-voltooiingsvraelys wat items ingesluit het wat verband hou met veranderlikes van die beskermings-motiveringsteorie (BMT). Die BMT ondersoek die uitwerking wat vreesaanlagte sal hê op houding en aanpassing daarvan. Hierdie studie het bevind dat verskillende advertensie uitvoeringstyle bydra tot aansienlike verskillende vlakke van die bogenoemde veranderlikes, asook dat een uitvoeringstyl beduidend meer effektief is in die ontlokking van kognitiewe respons in sekere rassegroepe in vergelyking met ander. Die empiriese resultate van hierdie studie bewys dat bemarkers die doeltreffendheid van MIV/Vigs sosiale veldtogte kan verbeter deur massa-kommunikasie te staak en eerder segmentering toe te pas binne die mark op wie veldtogte gemik is. Segmentering op grond van rassegroepe sal veroorsaak dat bewusmakingsveldtogte meer effektief is met betrekking tot hul invloed op die toepassing van beskermende seksuele gedrag binne die teikenmark.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5445
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