Is that coffee mug smiling at me? How anthropomorphism impacts the effectiveness of desirability vs. feasibility appeals in sustainability advertising.
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 51, 352-361.
Abstract: In this study, we examine how two message appeals—feasibility vs. desirability—and anthropomorphism jointly shape the effectiveness of environmental persuasion. The findings of Study 1 showed that the feasibility appeal was more effective than the desirability appeal in an ad promoting recycling. In Study 2, we found that this effect was moderated by anthropomorphic imagery in the ad. That is, the desirability appeal was more effective than the feasibility appeal when the ad featured a reusable cup with a smiley face and first-person copy, whereas the feasibility appeal was more effective than the desirability appeal when the ad featured a reusable cup with no smiley face and third-person copy. Theoretical and practical implications for sustainability marketing strategies are discussed.