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Does Corporate Sponsorship of a Socially-Oriented Message Make a Difference? An Investigation of the Effects of Sponsorship Identity on Responses to an Anti-Drinking and Driving Message

Lisa R. Szykman, Paul N. Bloom and Jennifer Blazing
Journal of Consumer Psychology
Vol. 14, No. 1/2 (2004), pp. 13-20
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1480368
Page Count: 8
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Does Corporate Sponsorship of a Socially-Oriented Message Make a Difference? An Investigation of the Effects of Sponsorship Identity on Responses to an Anti-Drinking and Driving Message
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Abstract

The sponsorship of social messages is becoming increasingly popular among corporations. Despite the growing involvement of corporations in the marketing of causes, little research has been done to guide these initiatives. Before corporations become more actively involved in the sponsorship of social messages, it is important to understand whether sponsor identity impacts the effectiveness of these messages. This article presents a preliminary investigation into the differences created by corporate versus nonprofit sponsorship of a social message. Results from two experiments suggest that consumers process socially-oriented messages differently based on the identity of the sponsor. Participants who viewed an anti-drinking and driving message sponsored by the nonprofit organization, MADD, tended to infer more positive, society-serving motives of the sponsor, whereas those who viewed the same ad sponsored by Budweiser, a corporation, inferred more negative, self-serving (ulterior) motives of the sponsor. However, neither message affected the participant's attitude toward the sponsor of the message.

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