Fear, Guilt, and Shame Appeals in Social Marketing

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Brennan, Linda and Binney, Wayne (2010) Fear, Guilt, and Shame Appeals in Social Marketing. Journal of Business Research, 63 (2). pp. 140-146. ISSN 0148-2963


This paper presents the results from a qualitative study of income support recipients with regard to how they feel about advertising which overtly appeals to their sense of fear, guilt and shame. The motivation of the study was to provide formative research for a social marketing campaign designed to increase compliance with income reporting requirements. This study shows that negative appeals with this group of people are more likely to invoke self-protection and inaction rather than an active response such as volunteering to comply. Social marketers need to consider the use of fear, guilt and shame to gain voluntary compliance as the study suggests an overuse of these negative appeals. While more formative research is required, the future research direction aim would be to develop an instrument to measure the impact of shame on prosocial decision-making; particularly in the context of close social networks rather than the wider society.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/4175
DOI 10.1016/j.jbusres.2009.02.006
Official URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1505 Marketing
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Hospitality Tourism and Marketing
Historical > SEO Classification > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards
Keywords ResPubID17529. social marketing, emotions, emotional appeals in marketing, fear, guilt, shame, compliance, welfare recipients, income support recipients, prosocial decision-making
Citations in Scopus 220 - View on Scopus
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