UNDERSTANDING CONSUMER RESPONSES’ TO CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ADVERTISING MESSAGES
This research explores how corporate social responsibility (CSR) and women’s empowerment messages for luxury brands can be effectively and persuasively integrated into advertising messages using the context of jewelry advertising. For this program of research, two studies were conducted: a content analysis and in-depth interviews with jewelry consumers. The content analysis of 187 jewelry advertisements examined how jewelry ads communicate with consumers and found that jewelry advertising is traditional, aspirational, and non-discrepant. Furthermore, jewelry advertising’s use of CSR messages is almost non-existent (<3%). Prior research suggests that CSR messages, which includes the use of female empowerment messages, could act as a functional alibi for consumers who feel guilty about indulging in extravagant goods. Therefore, study 2 sought to understand how these CSR messages can be incorporated into advertising for jewelry and luxury goods. Using a qualitative inquiry, a Luxury Goods CSR Marketing Model was developed based on interviews with 20 consumer informants. The model and findings suggest that jewelry consumption requires an internal or external push. An external push is something extraneous to the brand such as a consumer seeking to celebrate a milestone or accomplishment, whereas an internal push can be delivered through the marketing strategy. An internal push can come through direct or indirect pathways, including CSR advertising messages which can include references to ethical sourcing, care and quality, diversity, and company values. The findings of the research contribute to the understanding of the role of advertising in the purchase of luxury goods and provides managerial implications for luxury retailers who are seeking to communicate a pro-social purpose in their advertising.
advertising, corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Edwards School of Business