The use of positive versus negative appeals for foster care advertisements



Publication Details

Randle, M. & Dolnicar, S. (2010). The use of positive versus negative appeals for foster care advertisements. Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy ANZMAC 2010 Doing More with Less (pp. 1-7). Christchurch, New Zealand: Department of Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Canterbury.


The use of negative advertising appeals which aim to induce action by arousing negativeemotions in the viewing audience at the thought of inaction in social marketing iscontroversial. Some conclude that inducing negative appeals increase advertisement persuasiveness; however others recommend against using negative appeals to affectbehavioural change. We investigate this issue from the perspective of foster care with anempirical study of 566 Australians. Findings indicate that the negative advertisement lead tolower ad likability and intention to act. No differences were found with respect to messagetake-out from the negative appeal, other than a lowered belief that fostering would be anenjoyable thing to do. Results suggest that negative advertisements are less effective in thecontext of foster care, supporting prior criticisms of negative advertising for social marketingmore generally.

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