Tackling global challenges through cause-related marketing: How brands should promote their support to social causes

Investigates how consumers respond to guilt-arousing messages in cause-related advertising to provide advise to marketers looking to use this tactic.

Sustainability: Opportunities and challenges for brands

This article is part of a series of articles on sustainability. Read more.


Corporate social sustainability characterises considerable investment for companies. As part of their sustainability-related initiatives, companies support global social causes related to, for instance, poverty, environmental change, peace and justice. Such cause-related efforts of companies are often promoted via advertising campaigns appealing to consumers’ guilt emotion. Using such campaigns, companies seek to encourage consumer identification with the brand as well as purchasing behaviour. A key question is how consumers respond to guilt-arousing messages in cause-related advertising. Crucially, what...

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