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Authors

Jihye Park

Abstract

This paper addresses the central issue of whether it is effective for a firm to discourage the purchase of its own product in order to support a social cause. The objectives of this study were: a) to examine whether a cause-related self-prevention ad would stimulate more positive evaluations compared to promotional ad, particularly when the product category is more negatively socially accepted; and 2) to determine if a negative attitude toward the product could induce a boomerang effect of a self-prevention ad. Results from three experiments revealed that socially responsible prevention campaigns against firm’s own product may be more effective for the product category negatively associated with social concerns or welfare. If products are more limited in the social context, communications of product prevention are beneficial to improve the public image of the brand. However, the self-hurting approach may be inappropriate for potential customers who currently possess a strong negative attitude toward the product.

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