Visual Design, Message Content, and Benefit Type: The Case of A Cause-Related Marketing Campaign

Yixing Gao, Laurie Wu, Joongwon Shin, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Engaging consumers in a firm’s prosocial initiatives can generate favorable responses. As such, cause-related marketing (CRM) advertisements typically employ various content and design elements to engage consumers. However, the appropriate integration of advertising elements has gained little research attention. To fill this void, this study focuses on the joint effect of benefit type (self-benefits vs. other-benefits), message content (prevention focused vs. promotion focused) and visual design (cute vs. aggressive) on customers’ CRM engagement. While previous research suggests that emphasizing self-benefits (vs. other-benefits) of giving is more effective, our findings indicate that the effectiveness of self-benefit appeals is contingent on the fit between regulatory focus of the message and visual design. This study contributes to the growing literature on CRM by illuminating the interplay of various advertising elements and providing guidelines for hospitality managers in promoting CRM campaigns. Additional theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-779
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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