Effects of Brand Name versus Empowerment Advertising Campaign Hashtags in Branded Instagram Posts of Luxury versus Mass-market Brands

Abstract: Through two studies, this research examined consumer responses to empowerment hashtags in social media–based fashion advertising. The findings of Study 1 indicated that consumers showed more favorable attitudes toward empowerment-campaign hashtags than brand-name hashtags, and that the perceived information value of hashtags meditated the relationship between hashtag type and attitudes toward the hashtags. Furthermore, consumer responses to the two hashtag types varied depending on the sophistication dimension of brand personality. Study 2 extended Study 1 by further examining the effects of empowerment hashtags on consumers’ attitudes toward ads and consumer–brand identification. Participants perceived greater information value from empowerment hashtags, showed more favorable attitudes toward the ads with empowerment hashtags, and identified more strongly with advertised brands. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.