The Risks of Shock Advertising for Non-profit Organizations : A qualitative study of the effects of shock advertising on consumer processing and evaluation
Sammanfattning: The use of shock advertising as a means to attract consumers’ attention has been prevalent during the last decade. This is especially true in the case of non-profit organizations, where consumers are more lenient to incongruent and explicit imagery. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate how the use of shock advertising has affected consumers’ processing of incongruity in advertising, how it has affected the consumers’ evaluation of a non-profit organization’s brand image and the risks of it. The research was conducted through in-depth interviews to get a better understanding of the thought process of the consumers. Questions were formulated with the help of Sjödin and Törn’s (2006) model of brand image incongruity to help evaluate the effects on consumer processing and consumer brand evaluation. The empirical findings showed that consumers perceive the advertisement from the past decade as less incongruent and the newer advertisement as more incongruent. In some cases, the incongruity of the newer advertisement caused an incremental negative change in brand attitude, even though the consumers found it trivial. The conclusion of the thesis shows that non-profit organizations have amplified the incongruity to keep attracting consumers’ attention. Furthermore, consumers showed leniency towards shock advertising if they believed that such marketing practices are employed for a greater cause. However, there is a risk of detrimental effects on brand image when non-profit organizations use incongruity that is too extreme.
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