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One approach to purpose advertising is brand activism—taking a stand on a sociopolitical issue. This research compares divergent perspectives on whether and how brand activism influences brand attitudes and purchase intentions. Results from three studies, in which real-world brands and messages were used, identify a credibility gap between brands with a reputation for activism (established activist brands) and those without a reputation (emergent activist brands). Findings also reveal how personal issue knowledge moderates the credibility gap. Among other contributions, this research creates a new brand typology in the brand activism arena and empirically demonstrates a more favorable effect for established (versus emergent) activist brands when taking a stand.
Journal of Advertising Research
Brand activism; brand purpose; purposedriven organizations; brand reputation; brand strategy; controversial issues
Advertising and Promotion Management | Public Relations and Advertising
Milfeld, Tyler and Haley, Eric, "Purpose Advertising And the Credibility Gap" (2023). Purpose Project. 2.