Defend Self Or Impress Others?: Mortality Proximity and Guilt Advertising

Sooyeon Nikki Lee-Wingate, Fairfield University, USA
This research introduces mortality proximity as a moderator for two distinct motivations that influence advertising appeals evoking consumer guilt. Mortality proximity involves perceived proximity to self, such that proximal (vs. distal) mortality regards one’s own (vs. someone else’s) death. I predict that proximal mortality motivates self-preservation, to facilitate guilt-lessening appeals encouraging self-indulgent consumption; and distal mortality motivates impression management, to assist guilt-magnifying appeals promoting socially desirable purchases. The results will aid the mortality literature by understanding when either motivation is activated, and the guilt literature on showing how guilt appeals are influenced within each process.
[ to cite ]:
Sooyeon Nikki Lee-Wingate (2009) ,"Defend Self Or Impress Others?: Mortality Proximity and Guilt Advertising", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1036-1036.