Consumers’ Response to Advocacy Advertising: a Process Model of Consumer Skepticism, Empathic Response, and Prosocial Behavior

In order to be effective, advocacy advertising relies on establishing an emotional connection with consumers. Two studies examine an empathic hierarchy and subsequent coping responses. In study 1, blame (people vs. oil company) and self-blame (moderate vs. high) were manipulated to elicit empathic responses. Appeal type (emotional vs. cognitive) and peer advocacy (single vs. group) were manipulated in study 2. Results indicate that consumer skepticism (i.e., ad credibility, inferred manipulative intent) predicts empathic response (i.e., sympathy, empathy) which, in turn, impacts empathic emotions (anger, guilt, worry, hope). Each emotion predicted active coping aimed at alleviating the aversive situation.


Robert Madrigal, Johnny Chen, Monica LaBarge, and Namika Sagara (2009) ,"Consumers’ Response to Advocacy Advertising: a Process Model of Consumer Skepticism, Empathic Response, and Prosocial Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 731-732.


Robert Madrigal, University of Oregon, USA
Johnny Chen, University of Oregon, USA
Monica LaBarge, University of Montana, USA
Namika Sagara, University of Oregon, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

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