When the Face of Need Backfires: the Impact of Facial Emotional Expression on the Effectiveness of Cause-Related Advertisements

In cause-related advertisements, organizations often display the image of a victim with different facial expressions. Five studies show that a sad-faced (vs. happy-faced or neutral-faced) image evokes consumer inference of the organization’s manipulative intent, lowering ad effectiveness. This effect is moderated by skepticism towards cause-related marketing and cause-centrality.


In-Hye Kang, Marijke Leliveld, and Rosellina Ferraro (2018) ,"When the Face of Need Backfires: the Impact of Facial Emotional Expression on the Effectiveness of Cause-Related Advertisements", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 46, eds. Andrew Gershoff, Robert Kozinets, and Tiffany White, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 177-182.


In-Hye Kang, University of Maryland, USA
Marijke Leliveld, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Rosellina Ferraro, University of Maryland, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 46 | 2018

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