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Alignment advertising

University of Florida Institutional Repository

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ALIGNMENT ADVERTISING: NOT-FOR-PROFIT VERSUS FOR-PROFIT SPONSORS By KENDRA A. FERGUSON A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORID A IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

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Copyright 2003 by Kendra A. Ferguson

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This document is dedicated to my mo ther, father and brother for their unconditional love and support.

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This process has been long and difficult, but well worth the challenge. I would like to thank my parents and brother for years of suppor t. I appreciate having a family that has always stress ed the importance of education. Their encouragement has pushed me thr ough all of the hard times. I would like to thank my friends for t heir smiles and laughter It is wonderful to have peers that I can look up to. Their kind words have helped pull me through all of the hard times. I would like to thank my thesis committee for their direction. I would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to my chairperson, Dr. Cynthia Morton, for her patience. I thank all of the special people in my life, who have been more help than they know. I could not have done this alone. Thank you.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGME NTS.......................................................................................iv ABSTRACT .........................................................................................................vii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUC TION............................................................................................1 2 LITERATURE REVIEW..................................................................................6 Alignment Adve rtising....................................................................................6 Consistency Theorie s.....................................................................................9 Balance Th eory.......................................................................................9 Congruency T heory...............................................................................12 Congruency exam ple......................................................................13 Incongruency ex ample....................................................................14 Hypothesis ...................................................................................................15 Context of Inve stigatio n................................................................................18 3 RESEARCH METHOD.................................................................................21 Design ..........................................................................................................21 Procedure....................................................................................................21 Pretest 1.......................................................................................................23 Pretest 2.......................................................................................................26 Measurement Inst ruments...........................................................................27 4 RESULT S....................................................................................................29 Discussio n....................................................................................................29 Hypotheses One..........................................................................................30 Hypothesis Two............................................................................................31 Hypothesis Th ree.........................................................................................31 Summary ......................................................................................................34 5 CONCLUS ION.............................................................................................37 APPENDIX A ALTERNATIVE TERMS FOR ALIGN MENT ADVERT ISING.......................43

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vi B HEIDER’S BALANCE DIAGRAMS...............................................................44 C CONGRUENCY THEORY DIAGRA MS.......................................................45 D SAMPLE TEST PACKET .............................................................................46 Informed Consent Agreement ......................................................................46 Beltramini’s TV Believ ability Scal e (1982) ....................................................48 Gaziano and McGrath’s TV News Credibility Scal e (1986)..........................49 E ATTITUDE SCALES....................................................................................52 Attitude Toward the Brand ...........................................................................52 Attitude Toward the Ad .................................................................................54 LIST OF REFE RENCES....................................................................................57 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .................................................................................62

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vii Abstract of Thesis Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulf illment of the Requirements for the Degr ee of Master of Arts in Mass Communication ALIGNMENT ADVERTISING: NOTFOR-PROFIT SPONSORS VERSUS FOR-PROFIT SPONSORS By Kendra A. Ferguson May 2003 Chair: Dr. Cynthia Morton Major Department: Mass Communication Alignment advertising is t he current industry term us ed to describe strategic partnerships among commercial and noncomme rcial organizations. Alignment advertising has also been attributed to partnerships between corporations and issues. For the purpose of this expl oration, alignment ads will refer to partnerships between corporations and socially motivated issues. This study observes audience percept ion of alignment messages. Experiments were conducted to determine th ree hypothetical predictions. It is predicted that messages presented by not-f or-profit sponsors will be considered more believable than those presented by fo r-profit sponsors. Secondly, it is predicted that not-for-profit sponsors will be considered more credible than forprofit sponsors. Finally, it is predicted that incongruence will occur for viewers of alignment messages sponsored by for-profi t corporations. Beltramini’s TV Believability scale and Gaziano and McGrath’s News Credibility scale were used

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viii to gather information concerning audience perception. The information was analyzed using a one-way ANOVA.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION People are intrigued by the lifestyles of t heir favorite celebrities. Fans want to know what products they purchase, and which items they reject. With this knowledge consumers feel more included in the exclusive community of the rich and famous. The purchasing behaviors of this elite group set the trends of our culture. With the continuing rise in popul arity of reality television, knowing the likes and dislikes of the common man further demonstrates America’s need to relate to others. Learning these per sonal commonalities creates a bond that draws consumers closer to both the star s and amateur television personalities. By linking their mission to a social iss ue, corporations cr eate similar bonds with customers. Just as audiences are in terested in the personal and charitable endeavors of their favorite celebrities, corporate executives try to stimulate similar interest for their consumers. Through relationship marketing, cor porations attempt to build bonds between their targeted consumer mark et and a branded product. By linking products to various charitable causes and social services, marketers try to set trends within our culture. Just as celebr ities create cause-rela ted foundations in their own names or use their notoriety to help existing charitable organizations to gain recognition, corporations hope to be viewed as a charit able neighbor willing to lend a helping hand or much more in a time of need.

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2 Many studies have shown over the year s that consumers are skeptical of advertising. “The information put out by large corporations is rated less credible than the writings of journalists and even the outpourings of politicians” (Knott 1999, p.34). “Mass media advertising cons ists of nonpersonal, one-way, planned messages paid for by an identified sponsor and disseminated to a broad audience in order to influence their a ttitudes and behavior” (Duncan 2002, p.20). The perception that advertisers will say anything to sell their products in turn influences the credibility in ways that may compromise the adver tiser’s ability to achieve its product marketing objective s. For example, when perceived credibility of the advertising sponsor is low, messages intended to be persuasive may instead be interpreted as manipulative. Persuasive messages may facilitate proactive intents such as considerati on, attitude change, or purchase behaviors, while manipulation suggests deceit. In any relationship, marketing included, manipulation is destructive to the bond between parties. More accepted by audiences are the works of public relations firms that reconcile a company’s mission with the public’s expectations. Duncan (2002, p.20) stated that the primary purpose of public relations is, “to manage relationships with company’s various publ ics to create and maintain goodwill, and to monitor public opinion and to c ounsel top management.” He also characterized its outputs as “programs that focus on opinions of relevant publics, to manage corporate communication and reput ation.” Comparatively, public relations is viewed as being more credi ble than advertising. News items have a legitimacy that advertising lacks. C onsumers discredit messages presented by

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3 an interested source. Information is mo re respected when t he item appears as news. The news has a legitimacy that advertising does not have. Consumers discount or discredit advertising, to some extent, because they know it to be from an interested source. A news stor y is not so easily discounted.” According to Schmidt and Hitchon (1999), brand ads that incorporate issues, otherwise referred to as alignment ads, are becoming more prevalent. Alignment advertising is the industry term th at refers to the process of pairing a brand with an issue in such a way that the latter will benefit from the visibility that results from the brand association. Alignment ads are an agreement between organizational partners — often a br and and a charitable organization — to promote an issue or cause of importance to both (Sch midt and Hitchon 1999). It can be compared to public relations in terms of the outcomes that generate publicity, goodwill, and relationship buildin g. However because the brand is as actively promoted in the ad as the iss ue, alignment messages cannot be purely placed into either the advertising or pub lic relations disciplines. The brand’s presence in the message may also imply an underlying selling objective presented in the context of issue promotion. Marketers often apply the tenants of public relations to brand communication by focusing on the image of the product and the company that produces it, instead of relying solely on a product’s features and uses. As a return on investment, brands may hope to boost profits and generate loyal customers who will purchase their products in support of the cause. Through this hybrid of brand advertising and public rela tions, advertisers assume a level of

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4 credibility typically associated with not-f or-profit organizations to accomplish persuasion objectives. By adopting a cause or taking a clear stance on an issue, companies build relationships that separate them from their seemingly pr ofit-driven competitors. In doing so, corporations humanize their organizations, similar to elite celebrity endorsers by directing the focus of their messages away from profit and toward the concerns of their targeted audience. But, can corporations ever be as effective as not-for-profit sector or ganizations when promoting social issue messages? The purpose of this study is to invest igate the effect of an audience’s attitudes toward the source and message, when source sponsor varies from a not-for-profit organization to a corporat ion. Congruency theory will be used to examine the relationship between the co mpany and issue as a result of their implied association in alignment adverti sing. This theory looks for agreement between the relationships of the corporat ion, consumer and issue. When those relationships are equivalent, congruen cy exists and cognitive dissonance is eliminated. A parody of a Nik e print ad promoting girls’ participation in sports will act as a stimulus for exploration. Chapter 2 provides a literary review of previous research done on alignment advertising, source credib ility and congruency theory. It also discusses the three research hypotheses and the case study. Chapter 3 explains the research methods used to draw conclusions about the hypotheses. The design consists of two pretests used to select message s ource and creative design lay-out for the

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5 larger study. The chapter also explai ns how to analyze the collected data. Chapter 4 discusses the results of the main study, which assess message believability and source credibility, and draws conclusions for the three hypotheses. Chapter 5 presents imp lications for corporations producing alignment advertisements and considerations for evaluating the effectiveness of such messages.

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6 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Alignment Advertising “Because alignment is the term current ly coined in industry to describe strategic alliances among commercial and noncommercial organizations that underline much of the recent trend, we call the product of those alliances ‘alignment ads’” (Schmidt and Hitchon 1999 p.433). Alignment advertising has also been attributed to partnerships betwe en corporations and issues. For the purpose of this exploration alignment ads will refer to partnerships between corporations and socially motivated i ssues. Alignment advertising has been around for many years under the guise of several other names, such as advocacy advertising, issue-oriented adv ertising and public issue advertising, among others (Rau 1984). In this form of advertising both the brand and the issue are promoted. The pur pose of such efforts has been to improve short-term relationships and images of goodwill. A co mplete listing of terms previously used to refer to the practice of promoti ng an issue through paid advertisements is listed in Appendix A. These terms refer to “all ads not marketing/product related, used by corporations to speak out on various issues of the day through paid advertising” (Rau 1984, p.10). Corporations choose to engage in a lignment advertising for several reasons, most of which have to do wit h perception. For newer companies, alignment messages help in creating relati onships with consumers. Established

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7 companies use the messages to appeal to new groups, but more so to maintain existing relationships. Presenting goodwill messages helps all companies to defend themselves against critics, to create favorable impressions, to be proactive in creating their image, and to increase their presence in the marketplace. Rau (1984, p.25) offered three assump tions supporting the use of advocacy advertising: 1. The public interest is the ultima te standard by which we are to judge everything, including business. 2. Since it is founded on t he pursuit of material we alth, business has a lower moral value than other activities. 3. Since it is subject to political controls, a company is a political, as well as an economic entity. These assumptions are important in c onsidering the effect that employing alignment advertising can have on a co mpany’s image. Consumers are the ultimate judge and jury for determining if a company will be a success. Because the marketplace is so varied, companies should therefore use any and all means to gain both exposure and consumer confi dence in their products or services. While doing so, they should also be cauti ous to be sincere in their efforts of gaining consumer attention. Materialism is viewed as a negative pers onal trait in American culture. It suggests a shallow, egocentric view of one’s personal position in society. However, corporations must be concerned with their material wealth if they are to remain profitable. By engaging in philanthropic activities and sponsoring alignment messages, they suggest to thei r stakeholders that the bottom line is

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8 not their only concern. They also show t hat they are interested in society as a whole, as well as how they fi t into the larger community. The purpose of politics is for those who have the means to administer public affairs for everyone. Corporati ons make billions of dollars in annual profits, and have the power to promote change in Americ an society. By taking a stance on an issue, they can leverage so me of that power to support the consumers that regularly purchas e their products or services. Rau (1984, p.39) finds t hat the general consensus among researchers is in support of corporate issue (alignment) adv ertising, when there is a match with the company’s profitability goals. He says that, “The major consensus seems to be that issue advertising by corporations has grown substantially in recent years and is no longer used sporadically by spons oring corporations as it used to be before the decade of t he seventies.” Morton (1998, p.234) proposes tha t, “the principal disadvantage of issue/advocacy (alignment) advertising is the audience’s skepticism in the message due to a heightened awareness of t he sponsor’s intent to persuade, particularly on issues which affect corporate business.” This is precisely why it is important for companies to choose an issue or cause that matches their mission. By doing so, they will help the consumer understand the connection that they are making to the charitable effort. They will also appear more sincere in tagging their logo onto such messages because t hey are not being deceptive in the fact that this cause does indeed support t heir profitable interests as well.

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9 Schmidt and Hitchon used schema congrue ncy, defined as “the extent to which information fits with category -based expectations about descriptive characteristics of the stimul us,” to examine the effects of alignment advertising. “Excluded from [their] defin ition of product-issue c ongruency and from [their] predictions was evaluative congruency” (1999, p.436). Evaluative congruency requires an elaboration of the informati on, in order to create a better understanding toward internal balance fo r the viewer of the message. Low evaluative congruency would exist when the consumer liked the product, but disagreed with the advertiser’s stance on t he issue. The researchers suggested that this discrepancy would cause the c onsumer to elaborate on the information presented before making a purchase decis ion about a product t hat they liked. For this study it is important to fu rther examine the det ails of congruency theory, and how it affects consumers when alignment messages are used to promote a company and an issue. Consistency Theories The consistency theories are a family of related propositions that predict valence and change in valence between re lational objects. The consistency theories include balance t heory, congruency theory and so cial judgment theory. Though this research will give primary concern to congruency theory, it is appropriate to lay the f oundation by discussing balance theory, which is broader in scope. Balance Theory Newcomb’s ABX-model has served as the balance theory model for numerous studies. It has primarily been paired with res earch of interpersonal

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10 relationships. “In this model, person A, the actor-perceiver, is assumed to be simultaneously oriented with another person, B, toward a focus of communication, X” (McLeod, Harburg, & Price 1966, p.198 ). One of the main implications of this model is that t he attraction of person A for person B will increase his/her willingness to be agreeabl e about topic X. An agreeable situation is a positive relationship. “In terms of Newcomb’s ABX system, the stronger this orientation is, the less the A-X (person-object) attitudes will conflict with A-B (person-person) a ttitudes” (McLeod, Harburg, & Price 1966, p.198). In terms of creating alignment adver tisements, person A, the company sponsoring an ad message is assumed to value the elements related to issue X. At question is how, person B, the audience will evaluate the company. A positive relationship between the consumer and adver tiser occurs when the two are in agreement about an issue of goodwill. It is the degree of attraction or likability that the consumer has for the intentions of the advertiser that will make the relationship positive. A positive relations hip results in support of the company’s efforts, which is intended to boos t both its image and its bottom line. According to Heider’s balance theory, two people and any single item on whic h they may fulfill each other are treated as a three-point st ructure. Whether a st ructure is balanced is determined by the combination of pos itive and negative relations among the three sets of two points. If all the sets are positive or if two are negative and one is positive, the exchange is balanced. Any other combination is unbalanced. (Alessio 1990, p.1267) Heider’s positive and negativ e determination relates to mathematics, in that an even number of negative signs become posit ive, thus balancing the situation. Any negative situations left unpaired will thro w the situation out of equilibrium.

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11 To clarify how two negatives can become a positive, refer to the triangular models presented in Appendix A. Assume that the consumer is already s upportive of a company, whether this is through purchasing its products, using its services, being a stockholder, or another endeavor. This is considered a positive relationship. If both the consumer and the company then agree that they are not in support of another issue, their two negative stances toward that issue strengthen their bond. For example, Anheuser Busch warns against underage drinking, so they have a negative stance towards young people consuming alcoholic beverages. While a parent may buy Busch beer regularly with their weekly groceries, and they are doing so for adult consumption and forbid ch ildren to indulge, it can be assumed that they have a negative stance toward s young people drinking alcohol as well. The two negative stances in this tri angle are in agreement, and thus become a positive bond between the consumer and cor poration. In Figure 1, the Anheuser Busch example is used to pictorially illust rate Heider’s definit ion of balance. Further explanations of balance and unbal anced states can be found in Appendix B. Anheuser Busch (Person/Company A) presents ant i-underage drinking message Parent (Person B) buys Anheuser Busch Parent refuses to allow children to consume alcoholic beverages

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12 Anheuser Busch (Company/Advertiser) Parent Underage Drinking (Audience) (Issue) Figure 1: Anheuser Busch Scenario Congruency Theory These notions all assume inconsistency to be a painful or at least psychologically uncomfortable state, but they differ in the generality of the application. The most r estrictive and specific is the principle of congruity, since it restricts itself to the problems of the effects of information about objects and events on the attitudes toward the source of information. (Zajonc 1960, p.282) This more focused notion will be used to judge whether, the decodification of a message of goodwill is affected by its source. The principle of congruity, which is in fact a special case of balance, was advanced by Osgood and Tannenbaum in 1955. It deals specifically with the probl em of direction of attitude change. The authors assume that judgmental frames of reference tend toward maximal simplicity. Therefore, related concepts will tend to be evaluated in a similar manner (Zajonc 1960, p.286). Changes in attitude will move in a direction that increases balance and congruity, and reduce dissonance and uncertainty. The paradigm of congruity is that of an individual who is confronted with an assertion regarding a particular matter about which he believes and feels a certain w ay, made by a person toward whom he also has some attitude (Zajonc1960, p.287). The respect that the individual has for that person may

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13 change their stance on the issue; or the i ndividual’s strong convictions toward the issue may change their attitude toward the per son. For example, assume that an individual believes that women need to be presented more seriously in the athletic arena, and that this person is a supporter of Nike’s athletic endeavors. From that individual’s point of view, if Nike (a company that the consumer supports) later becomes the exclusive spon sor of a professional women’s athletic league (a platform that the consumer supports), congruity exists between the individual’s attitude toward the issue and the sponsor. This is because the consumer assumes that Nike also is a se rious supporter of women’s athletics. All sides of the congruency triangle would be in positive alignm ent. However, if Nike then refused to endorse a woman simply because she had been too outspoken about the lack of support that women’s sports receives from the media, the audience may believe that Nik e did not truly believe in championing the efforts toward serious female athletic outlets. Incongruity would exist. While the consumer still has strong views about the issue, and still likes Nike as a company, the consumer and the company do not agree on the issue. The Nike examples of congruity and incongruity are shown below, in Figures 2 and 3. Further examples are avail able in Appendix C. Congruency example Sports fan feels that women need to be presented as serious athletes Sports fan purchases Nike running shoes Nike becomes the exclusive sponsor of a professional women’s athletic league

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14 Nike (Corporation/Advertiser) Sports Fan Women’s Athletics (Audience/Consumer) (Issue) Figure 2: Congruency Incongruency example Sports fan feels that women need to be presented as serious athletes Sports fan purchases Nike running shoes Nike refuses to sponsor female athlete because she is outspoken about the lack of support women’s sports receives from the media Nike (Corporation/Advertiser) Sports Fan Women’s Athletics (Audience/Consumer) (Issue) Figure 3: Incongruency “Since congruent information reinforc es the existing evaluative concept, congruent ad information is expected to have a greater impact on evaluations. Therefore.. alignment ads containing mention of congruent issues will produce more favorable attitudes” (Schmidt and Hitchon 1999, p.437). This study will

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15 therefore examine the role of an athletic corporation an d the issue of young girls’ participation in athletics. This study further examines alignment advertising messages in the context of the congruency theory framework. The three components of the case’s congruency triangle will include: (1) the issue--young girls engaged in sport lead healthier physical, emotional and social lives; (2) the ad sponsor; (3) and the audience--those concerned with t he welfare of young girls. Hypothesis Do consumers view corporations as credible enough to create believable messages concerning societal issues, or do they view such attempts as deceptive ways to keep their own brand names top-of-mind? In order to answer that question, source credibi lity must first be defined. Hovland defines source credibility as the “combined effect of, (1) the extent to which a communicator is perceived to be a source of valid asserti ons (his ‘expertness’) and (2) the degree of confidence in the communicator’s int ent to communicate the assertions he considers most valid (his ‘trustworthi ness’)” (Hovland, Janis, and Kelley 1953, p.21). Finding a match between sponsor and issue should increase audience perceptions of credibility. An above average level of knowledge concerning a specific issue identifies one as a source of information. Expertise is, “the extent to which a communicator, speaker, sponsor or source is perceived capable of making valid and correct assertions by virt ue of having relevant skills” (Hovland, Janis, and Kelley 1953, p.21).

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16 The source is only useful if it can be tr usted to provide accurate information. Trustworthiness is, “the degree of confi dence in the communicator’s intent to communicate the assertions he considers most valid” (Hovland, Janis, Kelley 1953, p.21). In other word s, the degree to which the communicator’s claims can be considered truthful makes the source believable. “Besides seeming expert enough to know the truth, the source must seem [believable] enough to want to report it” (McGuire 1985, p.263). The following hypotheses make predictions concerning source credibility. The first asserts what the effects of message believability will be when the source organizational sector varies (e.g. for-profit or not-f or-profit). Information regarding the message’s believability in re lation to the source is necessary to draw conclusions regarding source credibi lity. The other is comprised of both believability and expertise of the source in relation to the promoted issue. Hypothesis two assumes that sponsor sector will affect audience perceptions of credibility. Characteristics attribut ed to a message sponsor may influence an audience's perception. One reason that a corporation may choos e to align with a public issue is that, because it is founded on the pursuit of material wealth, business has a lower moral value than other activities (Rau 1984). Being concerned with society as a corporate citizen, can change the per ceptions of potential consumers. Thus it is assumed that an alignment adv ertising message will be perceived as more believable when associated wit h a non-profit sponsor versus a for-profit sponsor.

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17 The first hypothesis is as follows: H0: Viewers will not see alignment adv ertising messages as any more or less believable when associated with a not-for-profit sponsor versus a corporate sponsor. H1: Viewers will see alignment advertising messages as more believable when associated with a not-for-profi t sponsor versus a corporate sponsor. With regard to the message source congruency theory will assume that both the consumer and sponsor take the same stance on the issue in order to test attitude toward the varied source. It is assumed that congruence will exist when a non-profit sponsor present s an issue-oriented message because promoting and supporting issues is thei r common goal. If it is found that congruence also exists when a corpor ate sponsor presents an alignment message, then the research predicts such a tool should not hurt the company’s image, should promote socially consci ous behavior and should help build relationships between the corporation and the audience. Thus it would be in a corporation’s best interests to practi ce alignment advertising. The null hypotheses sees both control and te st groups having similar results. H0: There will be no difference in audienc e evaluations of credibility for a not a not-for-profit sponsor versus a corporate sponsor of alignment advertising. H2: The audience will evaluate a not-for-pro fit sponsor more credible than a corporate sponsor of a lignment advertising messages. It is important for companies to be c autious in their convictions when selecting appropriate charities to suppor t. An incongruent psychological state will result when the corporation is not view ed as a credible source, or when the message is evaluated as not believable. When a company fails to make a

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18 successful match between their business mission and a social issue or cause, then consumers may not be able to just ify supporting the sponsored issue by buying the company’s product. H0: There will be no difference in the alignment ad congruency the audience of a not-for-profit sponsor versus the for-profit sponsor. H3: Congruency will result when the not-for-profit sponsor is evaluated in the context of alignment messages and incongruency will result when the for-profit sponsor is evaluated. Schmidt and Hitchon (1999) suggest thr ee strategies for consumers who find themselves in incongruent alignment sit uations. The first is to ignore it, and select only information that supports their own convictions. However if using the inconsistent information is unavoidable, they recommend assimilating it into existing schema. “The incongruency c an be either attributed to situational causes, or distorted to expl ain it away (p.436)”. The final strategy involves accepting the inconsisten cy, but modifying the orig inal schema to maintain internal consistency. “This requires the individual to spend more time processing the information. The third strategy tends to be adopted therefore when the incongruency is extreme and integral to t he information processing task” (p.436). Context of Investigation The advertisement prepared for the study is based on Nike’s P.L.A.Y campaign. William Gregory, an execut ive at Nike, provided the following information to explain the tenants of the P.L.A.Y. campaign. P.L.A.Y. is an acronym fo r “Participating in the Lives of America’s Youth”, and is Nike’s commitment to creating athletic opportunities for underserved kids and to encourage adult participation. Through participation in sports, kids will be healthier and can develop self -esteem, discipline, teamwork and individual achievement. P.L.A.Y. has seven guidi ng principles, one of

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19 which recognizes girls as being a lar ge focus of the underserved athletic population. “If you Let me Play” is the basis of the spot being prepared for use in the study. AdCritic.com summarized the ov erall tone of this commercial as a message to parents about how their daughters could be better people if they were allowed to play sports (www.adc ritic.com 12/11/01). The original ad showed several young girls who appeared to be between the ages of 8 and 13, on a playground. They spoke directly to the camera, and repor ted how their lives could positively be influenced by involvement in athletics. One girl said, “If you let me play, I’ll be more likely to leave a man who beats me.” Another simply says, “If you let me play, I’ll be str onger,” which was echoed by another girl reinforcing, “stronger.” Because all of the topics raised in t he commercial’s monologue are clearly above the age level of discussion for the spokespersons, the advertising objective is to create awareness about the benefits of athletics on girls. In doing so, parents may be encouraged to get their daughters involved in athletics as to avoid the problems suggested by the young spokespersons. It is the role of alignment advertising to rais e an issue that will be tied to the product. Due to the message presented by the advertisement and the guiding principles of P.L.A.Y., audiences can make an educated assumption that the ad sponsor supports the involvement of young girls in athletics. The conclusion can be drawn that the company has a positive relationship toward the issue. Some questions arise as to whether parents of young girls view this appeal as a genuine effort to help young girls take better care of themselves physically, socially, and emotionally as

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20 they get older, or if it is a covert way of boosting the corporation’s product sales. If the audience does not buy into the fact that the corporation is sincerely concerned with the well being of girls, negative reactions toward the company’s message may overwhelm the ability of the message claim. Is the advertisement perceived as being persuasive or manipulative in its use of appealing to real life conflicts that young women may face gr owing up? Would the message be better received if it were attributed to a non-company source? The next chapter discusses the research method used to examine these questions.

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21 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHOD Design Experimental research was conducted using a post test only with control group design to test the research hypothes is. “Experiments ar e especially well suited to research projects involving relatively limited and well-defined concepts and propositions” (Babbie 2001, p.217). T he independent variable manipulated was the source. It had two conditions, a not-for-profit spons or and for-profit sponsor. The not-for-profit group served as the control for the fo r-profit group. The dependent variables measured were message believability and source credibility. The research sample was divided into two groups, based on the variation of the independent variable. T hese conclusions would provide answers as to how believable alignment messages were, how credible the sponsors of alignment messages were, and how audienc e’s made sense of advertising that was devoid of product or s ource promotion. Finding the answer to these three inquiries all depended on the i ndependent variables, for-pr ofit versus not-forprofit sources. Procedure Subjects were recruited from an undergraduate class in the College of Journalism and Communications, at the Un iversity of Florida. They were randomly assigned to one of two test groups – the not-for-profit group or the for-

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22 profit group – and exposed to an ad that pr omoted the issue. The theme of the ad encouraged the participation of young girls in athletics. The subjects were exposed to one of two versions of an advertisement. The ad showed a picture of a young girl swimming, followed by copy concerning the issue. The message urged young girls to participate in sports now, in order to avoid specific problems later in life. The bottom right hand corner of the ad contained the sponsor’s logo, which was varied between a not-for-profit organization and a for-profit company Student assignments were randomly determined according to the questionnai re version that they received. Each student’s questionnaire packet consisted of an informed consent agreement, a version of the print advertise ment, Beltramini’s believability scale, and Gaziano and McGrath’s credibility sca le. The consent agreement informed the students that by partici pating in the experiment they would not experience any personal discomfort, stress or personal ri sks; it also told them how they could receive more information concerning t he study. In exchange for cooperative participation, the students did receive extra credit points fr om their professor. The print ad either contained the not-for -profit sponsor’s corporate logo or the for-profit sponsor’s organizational logo in the lower right corner. A sample of the test packet can be found in the Append ix D. Please note that Appendix D represents both versions of the advert isement tested. Aside from varied sponsor, the advertisements were identical All of the respondents received the same two questionnaires. In order to contro l for response order bias, a portion of the packets presented the believability sca le followed the credibility scale. The

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23 rest of the packets presented the credibili ty scale first and the believability scale second. After reviewing the advert isement, the subjects were asked to respond to two paper and pencil questionnaires. The q uestionnaires used in the experiment contained five-point semantic different ials. “The semantic differential asks respondents to a questionnaire to choose between two opposite positions using qualifiers to bridge the distance between the two opposites” (Babbie 2001, p.168). The questionnaires provided dat a regarding message believability and source credibility. Beltramini’s TV Beli evability Scale (1982) was used to assess message believability. Gaziano and McGr ath’s News Credibility Scale (1986) was used to measure source credibility. The experiment took the subjects approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Attitude toward the ad has an impact on attitude toward the brand through affect transfer, and attitude toward the brand affects intentions. Thus attitude toward the brand, which includes beliefs formed from ad brand attribute information and inferences based on ad picture content, mediates the impact of attitude toward the ad on intentions. (Biehal, Stephens and Curlo 1992, p.20) Before the experiment could be execut ed the ad stimuli had to be prepared. In order to do so, pretests were admin istered to select the ad sponsors and creative design layout. The following sect ions discuss the process of pretesting the message source and advertising layout. Pretest 1 A pretest was conducted to select t he not-for-profit organization and forprofit company to be used in the larger study. By pretesting attitude toward the brand, the selection was s ubstantiated and researcher bias was eliminated.

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24 Using questionnaires, subjects responded to a seven-point semantic differential scale. Pretest subjects were recruited fr om an undergraduate class in the College of Journalism and Communications, at the Un iversity of Florida, in February of 2003. Twenty-eight subjects evaluated atti tude toward the names of either four not-for-profit organizations or four for-profit corporat ions using MacKenzie and Lutz’s (1989) Attitude toward the Brand scale The scale reliability was of .95, .90, and .85 for positive, negative and neut ral brand-related cognitions. A random portion for the test subjects assessed the following not-for-profit organizations: Big Brothers/Bi g Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). These organizations were chos en by the researcher because of their record of activities directed to suppor ting youth programs and girls’ athletic involvement. The rest of the test group rated the follo wing for-profit corporations: Adidas, New Balance, Nike and Reebok. Because Nike origin ally presented the ad message that was prepared for use in the larger experiment, it was an obvious choice for the brand testing exer cise. Adidas, New Balance and Reebok were selected because they are large sports apparel companies that often advertise on television and in print formats. When the pretest was administered, subj ects participating in the attitude toward the brand study were given either the four company or four organization names, followed by the scale. They were not exposed to ad copy, the company’s logo, or a creative ad design. The stimu li used in determining Attitude toward the

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25 Brand can be found in Appendix E. Subjects evaluated the organizations on four criteria. The ratings were then su mmed and averaged to cr eate a composite score for each subject. The, sample mans were calculated and t-test evaluated against a scale mean of 3. When the co llected data was analyzed, the for-profit corporation and the not-for -profit organization would be chosen based on similar levels of significance. Significance is measured as being at or less than .05, and is expressed as a probability. “Signific ant at the .05 level ( p < .05) simply means that the probability that a relationship as strong as the observed one can be attributed to sampling error alone is no more than 5 in 100” (Babbie 2001, p.456). The attitude mean for Reebok was significantly gr eater than all others. Based on the subject’s responses, Reebok was the brand chosen for the study. A one-sample t-test revealed attitudes toward Reebok (Mean=2.44, p <.05) were found to be most favorable at a statistical significance of .002. The most significant value of the four corporations, that value meant that the probability that a relationship could be stronger than that of the audience’s to Reebok was less than 2 in 1000. A similar analysis was conducted when analyzing the results from the notfor-profit organizations. All of the not-fo r-profit organizations re ceived significant scores. However, only two not-for-profit organizations had comparable attitudes toward the brand as Reebok. In order to standardize recognition of the for-profit and not-for-profit sponsors that would be presented in the lar ger experiment, the YWCA (Mean=2.21) was chosen over t he NCAA (Mean=2.17) because it yielded a slightly higher average score.

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26 Pretest 2 A second pretest was executed to dete rmine the layout of the final test stimulus. One design had a single image, where the entire script, resembling that of the original Nike ad, was printed below the picture. The other design was based on the actual print vers ion of the Nike advertisemen t. It displayed several images, and key sentences from the lar ger script were written in the gaps between the pictures. Agai n, students were asked to respond to a questionnaire that contained seven-point semantic differentials. The top of the original Nike print ad r ead, “If you let me play”, and the final statement was, “If you let me play spor ts”. The wording was changed in those particular places in order to help distance Nike from the respondent’s recollection. The top of the prepared pr int ad read, “Playing sports will change my life”, and the final line said, “All because I played sports.” The Attitude toward the Ad scale can be found with the two creat ive print versions in Appendix E. Subjects were recruited from a class in the College of Education, at the University of Florida, in February of 2003. Twenty-nine students ranked their attitudes toward the advertisement. Bo th creative designs were anonymous as far as ad sponsor. MacKenzie and Lutz’ (1986) Attitude towa rd the Ad scale was used. “The reliability estimates for the positive, negative and neutral ad-related cognitions were .95, .93, and .88. A random por tion of the sample assessed the single image design, while the rest ranked their attitude toward the multiple image design. The ratings were then su mmed and averaged to cr eate a composite score for each subset. Then, sample means were calculated and t-test

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27 evaluated against a scale mean of 3. The significance value was p =.00. The single-image design (Mean=2.92) was se lected because it had a stronger mean score than the multiple-i mage design (Mean=2.29). After the sponsors were chosen in the pretesting phase, they were added to the selected creative design. The pretests yielded three results to be used in preparing the larger experiment. The for-p rofit corporation and the not-for-profit organization, Reebok and the YWCA, were selected; along with the single-image creative design layout. Measurement Instruments A believability scale and a credibility scale were utilized in this study. Beltramini’s TV Advertising Believability Scale (1982) was used as the instrument to measure audience evaluation of mess age believability. This scale has an average reliability of .90. The scale uses five-point semantic differential scales to rate nine criteria. All of the semantic differential components used in the original scale were included in the test. Th is scale can be found in Appendix D. Gaziano and McGrath’s (1986) News Credi bility Scale was initially intended to measure credibility in the news media. For the purposes of this study it was adapted to test corporate credi bility. Specifically, t he News Credibility Scale examined whether viewer s thought Reebok had enough expertise to make claims about, and deliver messages regardi ng the social welfare of young girls through their participation in sport. The or iginal scale had a reliability of .92 for newspaper credibility. The relevant crit erion found in the News Credibility Scale can be found in Appendix D, along with the two final versions of the print

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28 advertisement. Results of the larger ex periment are presented in more detail in the next chapter.

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29 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Discussion The final experiment consisted of two test conditions, not-for-profit and forprofit, which were represented by Reebok and the YWCA. A total of 154 adult subjects were sampled from the same large public university as those that participated in the pretest. Because the issue promoted in the advertisement focused on the benefits received by young girls after becoming involved in athletics, responses from the male s ubjects were removed from experimental analysis. After eliminating the male s ubjects, a total of 102 questionnaires were used to study audience perceptions of message believability and source credibility. Fifty subjects were exposed to the not-for -profit stimulus sponsored by the YWCA, and 52 saw the for-profit stimulus sponsored by Reebok. Seventy-seven percent (n=79) of the subjects reported holding a junior or senior academic standing, while anot her one percent (n=1) of the group consisted of freshmen. The remain ing 22 percent (n=22) reported being sophomores. Most of the subjects were in the same age range. Eighty-one percent (n=83) of the subjects were between the ages of 18 and 21. Seventeen percent (n=17) ranged in age from 22 to 25, and two percent (n=2) were over age 25.

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30 Hypotheses One Beltramini’s TV Believability Scale had a reliability of .93. This means that the scale is consistent in measur ing believability. A oneway ANOVA was conducted to test the significance of t he collected data. The mean differences were considered significant if t he probability was less than or equal to p =.05. Believability was not found to be significant ( p =.120). Table 1. Between Groups Analysis of Variance for Message Believability Source Sum of Squares df Mean Square F-ratio P p < .05 Message Believability 1.537 1 1.537 2.454 .120 The first hypothesis predicted that vi ewers who saw an alignment message presented by a not-for-profit sponsor woul d find it to be more believable than an alignment message presented by a for-prof it sponsor. This prediction was not supported. The difference in opinion was not varied enough to be considered significant, therefore the s ponsoring source did not affect message believability. The quantitative data which supports the s lightly more believable perception of believability toward the not-for-profit sponsored message is demonstrated Table 2. The mean value was used to express th e direction in which the condition was favored. Table 2. Means by Subject Group for Message Believability Message Believability Not-for-Profit For-Profit n Mean (SD) 50 3.72 (.80) 52 3.47 (.78)

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31 Hypothesis Two Gaziano and McGrath’s News Credibility scale had a reliability of .71. Although not as strong a measure of reliabilit y, this scale is considered consistent in measuring sponsor credibility. A onew ay ANOVA was conducted to test the significance of the collected data. T he mean differences were considered significant if the probabili ty was less than or equal to p =.05. Sponsor credibility was found to be signifi cant at the .04 ( p= .038) level. This suggested that another relationship being stronger than the obser ved one could not be more than 4 in 1000. Table 3. Between Groups Analysis of Va riance Results for Source Credibility Source Sum of Squares df Mean Square F-ratio P (*p< .05) Sponsor Credibility 1.085 1 1.085 4.411 .038* Hypothesis two predicted that, an audience would evaluate a not-for-profit sponsor as more credible than a for-profi t sponsor when delivering an alignment advertising message. This prediction was al so supported. As illustrated in Table 4, the mean scores of the not-for-profit c ondition were higher than those of the for-profit condition. Table 4. Means by Subject Group for Sponsor Credibility Sponsor Credibility No t-for-Profit For-Profit n Mean (SD) 50 3.50 (.50) 52 3.30 (.50) Hypothesis Three The final hypothesis stated that the c ongruency triangle for a not-for-profit sponsor would be balanced, while the co rporate triangle would be imbalanced

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32 and thus incongruent. This prediction was not supported. A separate scale or study was not needed to observe this predi ction; the results found by the two previous hypotheses provided the data to draw conclusions related to the third hypothesis. Congruency existed in both cases, as indicated by the message believability and sponsor credibility. The me ans for believability and credibility in the not-for-profit condition were 3.72 and 3.50 respectively. Believability and credibility mean scores under the for-profit c ondition were 3.48 and 3.29. In both test situations, the scores were above average. The data demonstrated that when the same attempt was made by the forprofit corporation, the test subjects received adoption of an issue by a not-for-profit or ganization better. An open-ended question was asked in ev ery packet. By asking what the respondents thought was the purpose of the ad, further insight could be gained as to why the respondents may have made certain choices when rating their levels of believability. While many be lieved that the ad’s sole purpose was to encourage and empower young girls through spor ts, not all were as optimistic. Hypothesis two predicted that respondents would think the for-profit sponsor lacked the credibility to make the claims presented in the ad. The responses could imply that people also saw the not-for-profit organization as having selfish reasons for presenting the alignment message. However, further research is necessary to understand the rationale behind the subjects’ comments. A few thought t hat the purpose of the ad was to increase awareness of the YWCA, to boost membership, and to inspire monetary donations. One

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33 person thought that the ad was a creat ive way to encourage youngsters to become involved in the church. A far greater number of t he for-profit sample menti oned the sponsor in their idea of the ad’s purpose. Thirty-seven of the fifty-two respondents believed the purpose of the ad was to encourage girls to play sports, to remember Reebok was the one who encouraged them to do so, or to wear Reebok shoes and apparel when engaging in athletic activiti es. Specifically, one respondent said the purpose of the ad was, “t o make the viewer aware of the benefits of being involved in sports and if they were to be involved in sports to remember to use Reebok products.” Another said that the purpose was, “to get women to like Reebok for their respect towards women.” Two students were particularly opposed to the advertisement. One wrote in, “Where are the proven fa cts? You can’t make me believe that stuff will happen from (participation) in sports.” T he other said that the ads’ purpose was, “to sell Reebok by scaring weak women into believing what they claim.” “The paradigm of congruity is that of an individual who is confronted with an assertion regarding a particular matter about which he also has some attitude” (Zajonc 1960, p.287). The individual responses to the open-ended question demonstrated that audiences were more av erse to the for-pro fit corporation’s presentation of the ali gnment message. Although a few of the respondents recognized that a not-for-profit organiza tion may also benefit from presenting alignment messages, the tone of their comments was not as negative as when the for-profit corporation pr acticed the same methods.

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34 People are more accustomed to not-fo r-profit organization s looking for the community’s assistance so that they c an in turn help the community, than forprofit corporations. Respondents who re ceived the not-for-profit test condition made the match of sponsor and issue easier than those who received the forprofit test condition. Summary This research demonstrated that alig nment advertising can be a positive tool for boosting corporate profits, when executed properly. Companies engaging in such practices can also use t heir alignments as a recruiting tool for acquiring additional employees. In this case, Reebok should consider that they are made up of many people who may in fact have daughters. Working for a company that supports their children can wo rk to increase job loyalty as well as consumer brand loyalty. Nine in 10 employees of firms associ ated with charitable causes feel proud of their companies’ good works; only fifty-six percent of those whose employers aren’t committed to a cause share that pride, according to Cone/Roper. And eighty -seven percent of employ ees of firms with cause programs feel a strong sense of loyalt y, versus two-thirds (sixty-seven percent) of workers in companies without a cause association. (Meyer 1999) In summary, predictions concerning message believability and sponsor credibility were support ed. The final hypotheses, which suggested that audiences would find themselves in an in congruent state when viewing alignment messages presented by for-profit cor porations, was unsupported. Although people viewed messages presented by not -for-profit sponsors to be more believable and not-for-profit sponsors to be generally more credible, the results of

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35 this study are still positive for adver tisers and practitioners of alignment messages. Audiences may think that advertisers will say anything to sell their products or services, but the pres ent study supports the fact that when there is an alignment between ad message and sponsor that is perceived as appropriate, the audience will view the advertiser as cr edible, though the believability of the message is not affected by the sponsor. It is important t hat advertisers be perceived as persuasive, rather than mani pulative, when attempting to build brand loyalty among potential consumers and employees. The ultimate purpose behind performing this study, was to find out how audiences made sense of alignment advertising, which was defined as a hybrid form of public relations and advertising. Deighton and Grayson say that, “any new marketplace consensus is a comp romise reached among three forces: (a) what the marketer wants, (b) what t he consumer wants, and (c) what the institutionalized reality wil l allow” (1995, p.662). By observing the results, in terms of congruency theory, conclusions can be drawn to answer that ultimate question. There were definite limitations to this study. The way in which subjects were sampled, the visual quality of t he test advertisement, and the lack of depth in which the open-ended question was analyz ed may have affected the results of the experiment. Should this experiment be replicated, these limitations would need to be corrected.

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36 All of the subjects for the main ex periment were university students, who were enrolled in a mass communication class. These students may pay more attention to advertising messages, as they relate to their studies. Although the message used in the advertisement is se ven years old, familiarity with the message content may have contaminat ed the outcome of the responses. The visual quality of the test advertise ment was a second limitation of this study. If the print quality matched that of a professiona lly printed advertisement, the outcome of the believability and credibility responses may have been different. Appearance has been shown to have an effect on perception, and so improving the visual quality may improv e the subjects’ responses toward the advertisement. If the study were replicat ed, then the quality of the creative layout should be improved. The open-ended question asked in the final experiment had limitations. The results were qualitative, and woul d need to be explored further for true understanding. Qualitat ive data provides initial directio n, but it is unclear why the subjects made the comments t hat they did concerning t he alignment message. It is also unclear as to how their ideas r egarding the ad’s purpose might affect their purchase decisions. Therefore, furt her questioning is needed to evaluate the meaning of the open-ended responses.

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37 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION As long as a company is not deceitful in their ad message, one might wonder if its motive for a ligning with an issue even ma tters. In essence the corporation and the issue are both benefiting from the partnership. It is the goal of any business to increase profits, and t hat of most charitable organizations to serve a designated group of people. Thr ough these partnership s the for-profit sponsor indirectly looks for a boost in sales figures, just as a not-for-profit organization may gain necessary exposure for recruiting additional volunteers or other resources. Regardless of w ho sponsors the message, the number of people aware of and working to improve a part icular issue also increases. It is a win-win situation. When marketer and consumer reach a pr ivate agreement that is in harmony with the institutionalized agreements, the result is easy to sustain. However, when the priv ate agreement is discordant, it may still be sustainable (but precariously) if t he marketer manages to insulate the agreement from conflict with the larger social reality or contrives evidence to suggest a wider consensus. (Dei ghton and Grayson, 1995, p.662) The fact that the subjects in the for-p rofit condition found the ad message to be believable and the source to be credi ble has practical implications for managers and corporations practicing alig nment advertising. The research showed that using alignment advertisement s could be a positive way to spend ad dollars. A long-term relationship w hen employing alignment advertising messages is definitely suggested to improv e sincerity and believability measures.

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38 “Over time subjects tend to dissociate the source from the message and are therefore subsequently less influenced by t he prestige of the communicator. The results showed that the permanence of the attitude change depended on the association of the source ” (Zajonc 1960, p.285). If initially a person did not agree with the intentions of a corporation, they may become less adverse to a company that made a long-term effort. Eventually they would associate more with the i ssue presented in the message, and less with the sponsor. That is not good news for the corporation spending millions of ad dollars without recognition. Just as is the case in tradition al advertising, the corporation would have to update its message and delivery techniques to keep their brand name fresh. Congruency theory was used to observe whether there was a change in valence toward the ad sponsor. The a ssumption made in the final hypothesis was that the for-pro fit sponsor would create feeli ngs of incongruence for the audience. Although people recognized t he corporation’s concern with the community as a way to boost profits, they did not find the message to be untrue or insincere. The practical implication of the congruency framew ork, was that as long as the message is a match for the sponsor, promoting socially conscious issues can help improve a corporation’s im age. The subjects in this experiment were not opposed to profit being made by involving the general well being of the community. In fact, although not recogni zed until reading the responses to the open-ended question, the same assumption was being made of the not-for-profit sponsor.

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39 As mentioned earlier, there are three assumptions supporting the use of advocacy advertising: 1. The public interest is the ultima te standard by which we are to judge everything, including business. 2. Since it is founded on t he pursuit of material we alth, business has a lower moral value than other activities. 3. Since it is subject to political controls, a company is a political, as well as an economic entity (Rau 1984, p.25). The respondents of the study were ex posed to a message about improving the lives of young women through athletics. They judged the message to be believable, and both sponsors to be credibl e. Many menti oned Reebok’s intent to improve sales by promoting the issue. They recognized the corporate sponsor as a business that had to be concerned wit h their material wealth, but they did not seem to be opposed to the notion. A capitalist economy, strives on competition. One way t hat competitive success is measured is through net profits, so corporations must concern themselves with the bottom line. As a political entity, the corpor ation used it’s power to ra ise awareness of an issue. Individual citizens have the opportunity to voice their opinions in favor or against social issues. However, they do not a lways have the means to deliver their ideas and opinions to the mass audience’s that a corporation could reach through advertisements. The message used in t he study provided examples that the audience could use in combating the issues raised in the ad. These solutions did not necessarily require viewers of the advertisement to bec ome consumers of their products or services. Regardless of whether or not the audience includes

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40 the corporate sponsor in a later purchase decision, all were equally exposed to the presented issue and potential solution. While for-profit corporations and not-f or-profit organizations are the two groups that most people consider to have a vested interest in the result of the alignment, advertisers also have a stake in this type of relationship marketing. “The profession devoted explicitly to se lling commodities also has to engage in an ongoing project of ma rketing itself as a legitimate institution. Hampered by the public’s deeply held suspicion of adver tisers’ messages, a legacy of the hype, exaggeration, and even downr ight deception that had been perpetrated in certain marketing domains, the emerging ad agenc ies developed various strategies to inspire the confidence of both sellers and of buyers” (Dor st 1999, p.224). Only the prediction concerning source credibility was supported. This showed that alignment messages are more easily accepted when presented by not-for-profit organizations. Viewers of alignment advertising were not swayed by the change between not-for-profit and for-profit sponsor. The audience evaluated a not-for-profit sponsor as more credible than a co rporate sponsor of alignment messages. These two outco mes helped to conclude the final hypothesis. Altruistic acts were not as easily reconciled as a match between issues and corporations in the mind of cons umers, but they were still recognized. The congruency triangle for a not-for-pro fit sponsor was balanced, as was the corporate triangle. Future research could be executed in se veral directions. This study could be replicated using parents of young girls as the test subjects, since they were

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41 the intended audience for the ad message. A sample of parents and guardians could be found at local agencies that work to find appropriate activities for female children. The results would then be more specific and applicable to corporations that do spend ad dollars encouraging young gi rls to become athletic. This study could also be replicated with a more equal g ender distribution. This would clarify whether the gender imbalance of this expe rimental sample affected the test results. In more general terms, anot her study could be done to test the validity of these test results. The researcher could go door-to-door requesting donations on behalf of a not-for-profit organization to support a particular issue, and then on behalf of a for-profit corporation supporting t he same issue. It is not often that companies collect money to support t heir charitable endeavors through door-todoor solicitation. Such practices are more conventionally accepted in the notfor-profit sector. Such a study would again test how respondents viewed actions of alignment when the profitab ility of the source varied. The research seems to indicate that audiences associate more with alignment messages presented by not-for-p rofit sponsors. Further research could examine whether consumers view alignment messages as part of the public relations or advertising discipli nes, and how that effects the public’s perception of the intended me ssage. Because public relations is viewed more credibly by consumers, corporate s ponsors may improve believability and credibility perceptions by using pre ss releases and other public relations practices to present issue alignments.

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42 Finally, future research may reveal if the use of this form of ad message improves the perception of advertising as well. Advertisers and lawyers have a similar perception of being willing to bend the truth in order to promote their cause. When lawyers do pro bono work, they are seen as more compassionate. Advertisers may have to take on a sim ilar approach when deal ing with non-profit agencies, to convey that “caring member of society” persona. A study could be done to see whether an increased use of adv ertising by corporations to promote social issues, changes the public perception of advertisers as persuaders.

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43 APPENDIX A ALTERNATIVE TERMS FOR ALIGNMENT ADVERTISING Rau (1984) provided the following list previously used to refer to the practice of promoting and iss ue through paid advertisements: Adversary Advertising Advocacy Advertising Cause-and-Issue Advertising Controversy Advertising Issue-Oriented Advertising Opinion Advertising Propaganda Advertising Public Affairs Advertising Public Issue Advertising Strategic Advertising Viewpoint Advertising

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44 APPENDIX B HEIDER’S BALANCE DIAGRAMS Figure 4 Examples of balanced and unba lanced states according to Heider’s definition of balance. Solid lines represent pos itive, and broken lines negative relations (Zajonc, 1960).

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45 APPENDIX C CONGRUENCY THEORY DIAGRAMS Figure 5 The figures demonstrate examples of congruity and incongruity. Heavy lines represent assertions, light lines attitudes. Solid heavy lines represent assertions which imply a positive attitude on the part of the source, and broken heavy lines negative attitudes. Solid light lines represent positive, and broken light lines negat ive attitudes (Zajonc, 1960).

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46 APPENDIX D SAMPLE TEST PACKET Informed Consent Agreement Purpose of study: The purpose of this questionnaire is to assess audience perceptions of organization sponsor and issue advertising. What you will be asked to do in the study: If you choose to participate in the study, you w ill be asked to provide feedback regarding your opinions about an advertising message. All responses will be recorded on the questionnaire provided and should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Risks: There are no personal discomfort, stress, or persona l risks associated with participating in this study. Benefits: By participating in this research, more info rmation can be learned about how audiences perceive advertising messages. Confidentiality: The results of your participation will be anonymous. As such, the researcher will have no way of associating your responses direct ly to you. Responses will be kept confidential to the extent provided, by law. Your participation is completely voluntary and y ou may withdraw your consent at any time during the experiment without penalty. In the event that you do withdraw consent, the results of your participation, to the extent that they can be identified as yours, will be returned to you, removed from the research records, or destroyed. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: If you would like to learn more about the study you may contact Kendra Ferguson, a graduate student in the College of Journalism and Communica tion’s Department of Advertising by e-mail at kendrauf@ufl.edu. You may also contact Dr. Cynthia Morton, of the College of Journalism and Communication’s Department of Advertising. She is the faculty supervisor for this project, and can be reached at (352) 392-8841 or via e-mail at cmorton@jou.ufl.edu.

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47 Whom to contact about your right as a research participant in the study: UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; ph 392-0433 I have read the above consent disclosure agreement. I have been made aware that there are no personal di scomforts, stresses or personal risks associated with participating in this study. I agree to complete the questionnaire and participat e fully in the study. X_________________ ________________________ ______Date____________

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48 Beltramini’s TV Believability Scale (1982) Instructions: After viewing the advertisement on the previous page, please circle the number between each pair of words or phrases that best represents how you feel about the advertising message. Unbelievable 1 2 3 4 5 Believable Untrustworthy 1 2 3 4 5 Trustworthy Not convincing 1 2 3 4 5 Convincing Unreasonable 1 2 3 4 5 Reasonable Dishonest 1 2 3 4 5 Honest Questionable 1 2 3 4 5 Unquestionable Inconclusive 1 2 3 4 5 Conclusive Not authentic 1 2 3 4 5 Authentic Unlikely 1 2 3 4 5 Likely

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49 Gaziano and McGrath’s TV News Credibility Scale (1986) Instructions: After viewing the advertisement on the previous page, please circle the number between each pair of words or phrases that best represents how you feel about the ad sponsor Is unfair 1 2 3 4 5 Is fair Is unbiased 1 2 3 4 5 Is biased Doesn't tell the 1 2 3 4 5 Tells the whole story whole story Is inaccurate 1 2 3 4 5 Is accurate Respects people's 1 2 3 4 5 Invades people's privacy Privacy Does not watch after 1 2 3 4 5 Does watch after readers' interests readers' interests Is not concerned about 1 2 3 4 5 Is concerned about the community's well-being community's well-being Does not separate 1 2 3 4 5 Does separate Fact and opinion fact and opinion Cannot be trusted 1 2 3 4 5 Can be trusted Is concerned about 1 2 3 4 5 Is concerned about making profits the public interest Is opinionated 1 2 3 4 5 Is factual On the next two pages you will find the two ad versions used in the experiment. Each subject sa w one of the two versions.

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50 Playing sports will change my life. I will like myself more I will have more self confidence I will suffer less depression I will be 60% less likely to get breast cancer I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me I will be less likely to get pregnant before I want to I will learn what it means to be strong All because I was involved in sports

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51 I will like myself more I will have more self-confidence I will suffer less depression I will be 60% less like ly to get breast cancer I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me I will be less likely to get pregnant before I want to I will learn what it means to be strong All because I was involved in sports Young Women’s Christian AssociationPlaying sports will change my life.

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52 APPENDIX E ATTITUDE SCALES Attitude Toward the Brand Not-for-Profit Condition The purpose of this study is to measure your attitude toward four not-for-profit organizations. Below are four brand names followed by a series of scales. Please evaluate the brands by circling the nu mber that best reflects your attitude toward each. Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike quite a lot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like quite a lot Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pleasant Poor quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good quality Boys & Girls Club Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike quite a lot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like quite a lot Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pleasant Poor quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good quality NCAA Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike quite a lot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like quite a lot Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pleasant Poor quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good quality YWCA Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike quite a lot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like quite a lot Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pleasant Poor quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good quality

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53 For-Profit Condition The purpose of this study is to measure your attitude toward four for-profit organizations. Below are four brand names followed by a series of scales. Please evaluate the brands by circling the nu mber that best reflects your attitude toward each. Adidas Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike quite a lot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like quite a lot Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pleasant Poor quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good quality New Balance Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike quite a lot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like quite a lot Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pleasant Poor quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good quality Nike Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike quite a lot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like quite a lot Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pleasant Poor quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good quality Reebok Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Dislike quite a lot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Like quite a lot Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pleasant Poor quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good quality

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54 Attitude Toward the Ad The purpose of this study is to measure your attitude toward the creative design of an advertising layout. On the fo llowing page is an advertisement, after reviewing it please evaluate the ad by circ ling the number that best reflects your attitude. Good 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bad Like 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dislike Interesting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Boring Creative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Uncreative Informative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Uninformative The two versions of the creative pretest designs are provided on the next pages.

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55 Playing sports will change my life. I will learn what it means to be strong I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me I will like myself more I will be 60% less likely to get breast cance r

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56 Playing sports will change my life. I will like myself more I will have more self confid ence I will suffer less depression I will be 60% less likely to get breast cancer I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me I will be less likely to get pregnant before I want to I will learn what it means to be strong All because I was involved i n sports

PAGE 65

57 LIST OF REFERENCES Alessio, John C. “A Synthesis and Formalization of Heidarian Balance and Social Exchange Theory.” Social Forces 68.4 (Jun., 1990), 1267-1286. Babbie, Earl. The Practice of Social Research, 9th ed California: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2001. Backman, Carl W., and Secord, Paul F. “Liking, Selective Interaction, and Misperception in Congruent Interpersonal Relations.” Sociometry 25.4 (Dec., 1962), 321-335. Barone, Michael J., Miyazaki, Anthony D ., and Taylor, Kimberly. “The Influence of Cause-Related Marketing on Consum er Choice: Does One Good Turn Deserve Another?” Academy of Marketing Science Journal. 28.2 (Spring, 2000), 248-262. Belch, George E., and Belch, Michael A. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2001. Beltramini, R. (1982). “Adv ertising Perceived Believab ility Scale.” In D.R. Corrigan, F.B. Kraft, and R.H. Ross (eds.), Proceedings for the Southwestern Marketing Association (pp.1-3). Wichita, Kansas: Southwestern Marketing Association, Wichita State University. Berkowitz, Eric N., Kerin, Roger A., Ha rtley, Steven W., and Rudelius, William. Marketing New York: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2000. Bernt, Joseph. “Image Makers: Advertisi ng, Public Relations, and the Ethos of Advocacy.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 77.4 (Winter, 2000), 926-927. Biehal, Gabriel, Stephens, D ebra, and Curlo, Eleonora. “Attitude Toward the Ad and Brand Choice.” Journal of Advertising. 21.3 (Sep., 1992), p.19. Clarkson, Max B.E. “A Stakeholder Fr amework for Analyzi ng and Evaluating Corporate Social Performance.” The Academy of Management Review 20.1 (Jan., 1995), 92-117.

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58 Deighton, John, and Grayson, Kent. “Marketing and Seduction: Building Exchange Relationships by Managing Social Consensus.” The Journal of Consumer Research 21.4 (Mar., 1995), 660-676. Dorst, John D. “Advertising Progress: American Business and the Rise of Consumer Marketing/Creating the Co rporate Soul: The Rise of Public Relations and Corporate Imagery in American Big Business.” Journal of Communication 49.4 (Autumn, 1999), 223-227. Dunbar, Roger L.M. and Ahlstron, David. “Seeking the Institut ional Balance of Power: Avoiding the Power of a Balanced View.” The Academy of Management Review. 20.1 (Jan., 1995), 171-192. Duncan, Tom. IMC:Using Advertising & Pr omotions to Build Brands New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2002. Frankental, Peter. “Corporate Social Responsibility – a PR invention?” Corporate Communications 6.1 (2001), 18-23. Gaziano, C., and McGrath, K. “Measuri ng the Concept of Credibility.” Journalism Quarterly. 63 (1986), 451-462. Gelb, David S., and Stawer, Joyce A. “Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Disclosures: An Alternative Explanation for Increased Disclosure.” Journal of Business Ethics 33.1 (Sep., 2001), 1-13. Goldman, Robert. Reading Ads Socially. New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall Inc., 1992. Haas, Ernst B. “The Balance of Power: Prescription, Concept, or Propaganda.” World Politics. 5.4 (Jul., 1953), 442-477. Hovland, C.I., Janis, Irving K., and Kelley, Harold H. Communication and Persuasion New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953. Iversen, Gudmund R., and Norporth, Helmut. Analysis of Variance London: Sage Publications, 1976. Kapstein, Ethan B. “The Co rporate Ethics Crusade.” Foreign Affairs 80.5 (Sep./Oct., 2001), 105-119. Knott, David. “The Halo Effect.” Oil and Gas Journal 97.33 (Aug 16, 1999), 34. Leiss, William, Kline, Stephen, and Jhally, Sut. Social Communication in Advertising: Person, Products & Images of Well-Being New York: Methuen Publications, 1986.

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59 MacKenzie, Scott B., and Lutz, Richard J. “An Empirical Examination of the Structural Antecedents of Attitude To ward the Ad in an Advertising Pretesting Context.” Journal of Marketing 53.2 (April, 1989), 48–66. McGuire, W. “Attitude and Attitude Change.” Handbook of Social Psychology. New York: Random House, 1985. McLeod, Jack M., Harburg, Ernest, and Price, Kendall O. “Socialization, Liking and Yielding of Opinions in Imbalanced Situations.” Sociometry 29.3 (Sep., 1966), 197-212. McWilliams, Abagail and Siegel, Donald. “Corporate Social Responsibility: A Theory of the Firm Perspective.” The Academy of Management Review (Jan., 2001), 117-127. Meyer, Harvey. “When the Cause Is Just.” The Journal of Business Strategy 20.6 (Nov./Dec. 1999), 27-31. Mohr, Lois A., Webb, Deborah J., and Harri s, Katherine E. “Do Consumers Expect Companies to Be Socially Responsible? The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Buying Behavior.” The Journal of Consumer Affairs 35.1 (Summer, 2001), 45-72. Morton, Cynthia R. “Consciousness-Raisin g Advertising: Issue Promotion, Brand Building, or a Combination of Both?” pp. 233-240, in Proceedings of the 1998 Conference of the American Academy of Advertising, Harrel P. Muehling (ed.). Austin, TX: Un iversity of Texas, 1998. Newport, Frank. “An Experim ental Analysis of Some Structural Determinants of Equitable and Inequitable Exchange Relations.” American Sociological Review 40.6 (Dec., 1975), 838-843. Nike: If You Let Me Play [Online]. Retreived December 11, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.adcritic.com Pollay, Richard W. and Mittal, Banwari. “H ere’s the Beef: Fact ors, Determinants, and Segments in Consumer Criticism of Advertising.” Journal of Marketing 57.3 (July, 1993), 99-115. Polonsky, Michael Jay, and Wood, Greg. “Can the Overcommercialization of Cause-Related Marketing Harm Society?” Journal of Macromarketing 21.1 (June, 2001), 8-22. Rau, Pradeep Anantaswamy. An Examination of t he Trends in Corporate Advertising on Public Issues by National and Multinational Firms. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1984.

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60 Russo, Anthony R. “Observations on Corporate Citizenship.” The CPA Journal 71.9 (Sep., 2001), p.12. Schmidt, Toni L., and Hitchon, Jacqueli ne C. “When Advertising and Public Relations Converge: An Application of Schema Theory to the Persuasive Impact of Alignment Ads.” J & MC Quarterly 76.3 (Autumn 1999), 433455. Schudson, Michael. The Uneasy Persuasion: Its Dubious Impact on American Society New York: Basic Books, 1990 reprint. Schwab, Bernhard. “A Note on Ethi cs and Strategy: Do Good Ethics Always Make for Good Business?” Strategic Management Journal 17.6 (Jun., 1996), 499-500. Schwartz, Robert H., and Post, Frederick R. “The Unexplored Potential of Hope to Level the Playing Field: A Multilevel Perspective.” Journal of Business Ethics 37.2 (May, 2002), 135-143. Singer, Benjamin D. Advertising and Society Don Mills, Ontario: AddisonWesley Publishers Limited, 1986. Smith, Warren and Higgins, Matthew. “Caus e-related Marketing: Ethics and the Ecstatic.” Business and Society 39.3 (Sep., 2000), 304-322. Stockburger, David W. Introductory Statistics: Concepts, Models, and Applications [Online]. Retreived March 24, 2002, from the World Wide Web: http://www.psychstat.smsu.edu/introbook/sbk00m.htm Till, Brian D., and Nowak, Linda I. “Tow ard Effective Use of Cause-Related Marketing Alliances.” The Journal of Product and Brand Management 9.7 (2000), 472-484. Troldahl, Verling C. “A Field Test of a Modified ‘Two-Step Flow of Communication Model.” Public Opinion Quarterly. 30.4 (Winter, 19661967), 609-623. Wilks, Neil. “Good Behaviour is its own Reward”. Professional Engineering 15.8 (May 1, 2002), 36-37. Zajonc, Robert B. “The Concepts of Balance, Congruity, and Dissonance”. Public Opinion Quarterly 24.2, Special Issue: Attitude Change (Summer, 1960), 280-296.

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61 Zelditch, Morris, Jr., Lauderdale, Pa trick, and Stublarec, Stephen. “How are Inconsistencies Between Stat us and Ability Resolved?” Social Forces 58.4 (Jun., 1980), 1025-1043.

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62 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH I am extremely excited to be ending my formal education. I know that learning is a life-long process, and I will continue to acquire knowledge for the rest of my years. Now it is time to enter the work force, and apply all the lessons that my professors have impress ed upon me. I am eager and ready! I entered the world on August 14, 1979, in Queens, New York. I was welcomed into a loving family of three, by my mother, father, and brother Bryan. Shortly thereafter, my family moved upsta te to Fairport, a suburb of Rochester, New York. I completed all of my elementary and secondary schooling in the Fairport School District, which is not common as Rochester is a transient area. The move exposed my brother and me to many oppor tunities to become more well-rounded people. Growing up I participated in danc e, piano and clarinet lessons; I was a Pop Warner cheerleader, a Brownie, and eventually a Girl Scout; and I was a member of my school’s basketball and tr ack teams. I graduat ed from Fairport High School in June of 1997. I spent the next four years in Winston-Salem, North Ca rolina. While there, I studied communication at Wake Forest University. Again, I was exposed to many opportunities to better myself. I mentored children, tutored adults who were returning to school, and listened to m any amazing speakers. I graduated in May of 2001, with a Bachelor of Arts.

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63 Immediately following graduation, I mov ed to Florida. After a summer of interning for the National Basketball A ssociation’s Orlando franchise, I headed to Gainesville to begin school. While studying advertising in the Master of Arts in Mass Communication program, I worked for the University Athletic Association. I hope to use my education to continue working in athletics, as both fields are challenging, competitive, and entertaining. I will be graduating from the University of Florida in May of 2003.


Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0000681/00001

Material Information

Title: Alignment advertising : not-for-profit versus for-profit sponsors
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Ferguson, Kendra A. ( Designer )
Morton, Cynthia R. ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2003
Copyright Date: 2003

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Mass Communication

Notes

Abstract: Alignment advertising is the current industry term used to describe strategic partnerships among commercial and noncommercial organizations. Alignment advertising has also been attributed to partnerships between corporations and issues. For the purpose of this exploration, alignment ads will refer to partnerships between corporations and socially motivated issues. This study observes audience perception of alignment messages. Experiments were conducted to determine three hypothetical predictions. It is predicted that messages presented by not-for-profit sponsors will be considered more believable than those presented by for-profit sponsors. Secondly, it is predicted that not-for-profit sponsors will be considered more credible than for-profit sponsors. Finally, it is predicted that incongruence will occur for viewers of alignment messages sponsored by for-profit corporations. Beltramini's TV Believability scale and Gaziano and McGrath's News Credibility scale were used to gather information concerning audience perception. The information was analyzed using a one-way ANOVA.
Subject: advertising, alignment, issue, not, profit, sponsors
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2003.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0000681:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0000681/00001

Material Information

Title: Alignment advertising : not-for-profit versus for-profit sponsors
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Ferguson, Kendra A. ( Designer )
Morton, Cynthia R. ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2003
Copyright Date: 2003

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Mass Communication

Notes

Abstract: Alignment advertising is the current industry term used to describe strategic partnerships among commercial and noncommercial organizations. Alignment advertising has also been attributed to partnerships between corporations and issues. For the purpose of this exploration, alignment ads will refer to partnerships between corporations and socially motivated issues. This study observes audience perception of alignment messages. Experiments were conducted to determine three hypothetical predictions. It is predicted that messages presented by not-for-profit sponsors will be considered more believable than those presented by for-profit sponsors. Secondly, it is predicted that not-for-profit sponsors will be considered more credible than for-profit sponsors. Finally, it is predicted that incongruence will occur for viewers of alignment messages sponsored by for-profit corporations. Beltramini's TV Believability scale and Gaziano and McGrath's News Credibility scale were used to gather information concerning audience perception. The information was analyzed using a one-way ANOVA.
Subject: advertising, alignment, issue, not, profit, sponsors
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2003.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0000681:00001


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ALIGNMENT ADVERTISING: NOT-FOR-PROFIT VERSUS
FOR-PROFIT SPONSORS














By

KENDRAA. FERGUSON


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003
































Copyright 2003

by

Kendra A. Ferguson
































This document is dedicated to my mother, father and brother for their
unconditional love and support.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This process has been long and difficult, but well worth the challenge. I

would like to thank my parents and brother for years of support. I appreciate

having a family that has always stressed the importance of education. Their

encouragement has pushed me through all of the hard times.

I would like to thank my friends for their smiles and laughter. It is wonderful

to have peers that I can look up to. Their kind words have helped pull me

through all of the hard times.

I would like to thank my thesis committee for their direction. I would like to

offer a heartfelt thanks to my chairperson, Dr. Cynthia Morton, for her patience. I

thank all of the special people in my life, who have been more help than they

know. I could not have done this alone. Thank you.















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............... .................. ...............iv

ABSTRACT ............... ......... .................. vii

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION........................ .......... ................ ......... 1

2 LITERATURE REVIEW................. ........... ....... ............... 6

Alignment Advertising ............... ......... ........... .............. 6
Consistency Theories........................................... ............... 9
Balance Theory ....................... ........................ 9
Congruency Theory ............ .......... ....................... 12
Congruency exam ple ............................................................... 13
Incongruency exam ple ........... ............. .......... ....... ........... 14
Hypothesis .................... .............................. 15
Context of Investigation......................................... ............... 18

3 R ES EA R C H M ETH O D ........................................... ............................ 21

D e s ig n ................................................. 2 1
Procedure ............... ........................... ............... 21
P re te st 1 ..................................................................... ................................. 2 3
Pretest 2...................................... .......... ......... 26
Measurement Instruments ...................................... 27

4 RESULTS ........................................ .... ...... ............... 29

Discussion.......................... .................... ............... 29
Hypotheses One ................................ ................ 30
Hypothesis Two.................................... ............... 31
H ypothesis T hree ........................ .................. ........................................ 3 1
S u m m a ry .............................. .............. ...... 34
5 CONCLUSION ........................ ................................ 37

APPENDIX

A ALTERNATIVE TERMS FOR ALIGNMENT ADVERTISING ....................... 43









B HEIDER'S BALANCE DIAG RAM S...................................... .................... 44

C CONGRUENCY THEORY DIAGRAMS .................. ................ 45

D SAM PLE TEST PACKET ......................... .......... ............ ........ ....... 46

Informed Consent Agreement ......................... ........... ...... ............. 46
Beltram ini's TV Believability Scale (1982)................................................. 48
Gaziano and McGrath's TV News Credibility Scale (1986)....................... 49

E A TT IT U D E S C A LES ...................... .. ................................... ............... 52

Attitude Toward the Brand ...... .... ............ ..................... ............... 52
A attitude T ow ard the A d .................................................................. 54

LIST O F REFERENCES ............................. ........ ............................... 57

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ...................... ............................ 62

































vi















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication

ALIGNMENT ADVERTISING: NOT-FOR-PROFIT SPONSORS VERSUS
FOR-PROFIT SPONSORS

By

Kendra A. Ferguson

May 2003

Chair: Dr. Cynthia Morton
Major Department: Mass Communication

Alignment advertising is the current industry term used to describe strategic

partnerships among commercial and noncommercial organizations. Alignment

advertising has also been attributed to partnerships between corporations and

issues. For the purpose of this exploration, alignment ads will refer to

partnerships between corporations and socially motivated issues.

This study observes audience perception of alignment messages.

Experiments were conducted to determine three hypothetical predictions. It is

predicted that messages presented by not-for-profit sponsors will be considered

more believable than those presented by for-profit sponsors. Secondly, it is

predicted that not-for-profit sponsors will be considered more credible than for-

profit sponsors. Finally, it is predicted that incongruence will occur for viewers of

alignment messages sponsored by for-profit corporations. Beltramini's TV

Believability scale and Gaziano and McGrath's News Credibility scale were used









to gather information concerning audience perception. The information was

analyzed using a one-way ANOVA.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

People are intrigued by the lifestyles of their favorite celebrities. Fans want

to know what products they purchase, and which items they reject. With this

knowledge consumers feel more included in the exclusive community of the rich

and famous. The purchasing behaviors of this elite group set the trends of our

culture. With the continuing rise in popularity of reality television, knowing the

likes and dislikes of the common man further demonstrates America's need to

relate to others. Learning these personal commonalities creates a bond that

draws consumers closer to both the stars and amateur television personalities.

By linking their mission to a social issue, corporations create similar bonds with

customers. Just as audiences are interested in the personal and charitable

endeavors of their favorite celebrities, corporate executives try to stimulate

similar interest for their consumers.

Through relationship marketing, corporations attempt to build bonds

between their targeted consumer market and a branded product. By linking

products to various charitable causes and social services, marketers try to set

trends within our culture. Just as celebrities create cause-related foundations in

their own names or use their notoriety to help existing charitable organizations to

gain recognition, corporations hope to be viewed as a charitable neighbor willing

to lend a helping hand or much more in a time of need.









Many studies have shown over the years that consumers are skeptical of

advertising. "The information put out by large corporations is rated less credible

than the writings of journalists and even the outpourings of politicians" (Knott

1999, p.34). "Mass media advertising consists of nonpersonal, one-way, planned

messages paid for by an identified sponsor and disseminated to a broad

audience in order to influence their attitudes and behavior" (Duncan 2002, p.20).

The perception that advertisers will say anything to sell their products in turn

influences the credibility in ways that may compromise the advertiser's ability to

achieve its product marketing objectives. For example, when perceived

credibility of the advertising sponsor is low, messages intended to be persuasive

may instead be interpreted as manipulative. Persuasive messages may facilitate

proactive intents such as consideration, attitude change, or purchase behaviors,

while manipulation suggests deceit. In any relationship, marketing included,

manipulation is destructive to the bond between parties.

More accepted by audiences are the works of public relations firms that

reconcile a company's mission with the public's expectations. Duncan (2002,

p.20) stated that the primary purpose of public relations is, "to manage

relationships with company's various publics to create and maintain goodwill, and

to monitor public opinion and to counsel top management." He also

characterized its outputs as "programs that focus on opinions of relevant publics,

to manage corporate communication and reputation." Comparatively, public

relations is viewed as being more credible than advertising. News items have a

legitimacy that advertising lacks. Consumers discredit messages presented by









an interested source. Information is more respected when the item appears as

news. The news has a legitimacy that advertising does not have. Consumers

discount or discredit advertising, to some extent, because they know it to be from

an interested source. A news story is not so easily discounted."

According to Schmidt and Hitchon (1999), brand ads that incorporate

issues, otherwise referred to as alignment ads, are becoming more prevalent.

Alignment advertising is the industry term that refers to the process of pairing a

brand with an issue in such a way that the latter will benefit from the visibility that

results from the brand association. Alignment ads are an agreement between

organizational partners often a brand and a charitable organization to

promote an issue or cause of importance to both (Schmidt and Hitchon 1999). It

can be compared to public relations in terms of the outcomes that generate

publicity, goodwill, and relationship building. However because the brand is as

actively promoted in the ad as the issue, alignment messages cannot be purely

placed into either the advertising or public relations disciplines. The brand's

presence in the message may also imply an underlying selling objective

presented in the context of issue promotion.

Marketers often apply the tenants of public relations to brand

communication by focusing on the image of the product and the company that

produces it, instead of relying solely on a product's features and uses. As a

return on investment, brands may hope to boost profits and generate loyal

customers who will purchase their products in support of the cause. Through this

hybrid of brand advertising and public relations, advertisers assume a level of









credibility typically associated with not-for-profit organizations to accomplish

persuasion objectives.

By adopting a cause or taking a clear stance on an issue, companies build

relationships that separate them from their seemingly profit-driven competitors.

In doing so, corporations humanize their organizations, similar to elite celebrity

endorsers by directing the focus of their messages away from profit and toward

the concerns of their targeted audience. But, can corporations ever be as

effective as not-for-profit sector organizations when promoting social issue

messages?

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of an audience's

attitudes toward the source and message, when source sponsor varies from a

not-for-profit organization to a corporation. Congruency theory will be used to

examine the relationship between the company and issue as a result of their

implied association in alignment advertising. This theory looks for agreement

between the relationships of the corporation, consumer and issue. When those

relationships are equivalent, congruency exists and cognitive dissonance is

eliminated. A parody of a Nike print ad promoting girls' participation in sports will

act as a stimulus for exploration.

Chapter 2 provides a literary review of previous research done on alignment

advertising, source credibility and congruency theory. It also discusses the three

research hypotheses and the case study. Chapter 3 explains the research

methods used to draw conclusions about the hypotheses. The design consists of

two protests used to select message source and creative design lay-out for the






5


larger study. The chapter also explains how to analyze the collected data.

Chapter 4 discusses the results of the main study, which assess message

believability and source credibility, and draws conclusions for the three

hypotheses. Chapter 5 presents implications for corporations producing

alignment advertisements and considerations for evaluating the effectiveness of

such messages.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Alignment Advertising

"Because alignment is the term currently coined in industry to describe

strategic alliances among commercial and noncommercial organizations that

underline much of the recent trend, we call the product of those alliances

'alignment ads'" (Schmidt and Hitchon 1999, p.433). Alignment advertising has

also been attributed to partnerships between corporations and issues. For the

purpose of this exploration alignment ads will refer to partnerships between

corporations and socially motivated issues. Alignment advertising has been

around for many years under the guise of several other names, such as

advocacy advertising, issue-oriented advertising and public issue advertising,

among others (Rau 1984). In this form of advertising both the brand and the

issue are promoted. The purpose of such efforts has been to improve short-term

relationships and images of goodwill. A complete listing of terms previously used

to refer to the practice of promoting an issue through paid advertisements is

listed in Appendix A. These terms refer to "all ads not marketing/product related,

used by corporations to speak out on various issues of the day through paid

advertising" (Rau 1984, p.10).

Corporations choose to engage in alignment advertising for several

reasons, most of which have to do with perception. For newer companies,

alignment messages help in creating relationships with consumers. Established









companies use the messages to appeal to new groups, but more so to maintain

existing relationships. Presenting goodwill messages helps all companies to

defend themselves against critics, to create favorable impressions, to be

proactive in creating their image, and to increase their presence in the

marketplace.

Rau (1984, p.25) offered three assumptions supporting the use of advocacy

advertising:

1. The public interest is the ultimate standard by which we are to judge
everything, including business.

2. Since it is founded on the pursuit of material wealth, business has a lower
moral value than other activities.

3. Since it is subject to political controls, a company is a political, as well as an
economic entity.

These assumptions are important in considering the effect that employing

alignment advertising can have on a company's image. Consumers are the

ultimate judge and jury for determining if a company will be a success. Because

the marketplace is so varied, companies should therefore use any and all means

to gain both exposure and consumer confidence in their products or services.

While doing so, they should also be cautious to be sincere in their efforts of

gaining consumer attention.

Materialism is viewed as a negative personal trait in American culture. It

suggests a shallow, egocentric view of one's personal position in society.

However, corporations must be concerned with their material wealth if they are to

remain profitable. By engaging in philanthropic activities and sponsoring

alignment messages, they suggest to their stakeholders that the bottom line is









not their only concern. They also show that they are interested in society as a

whole, as well as how they fit into the larger community.

The purpose of politics is for those who have the means to administer

public affairs for everyone. Corporations make billions of dollars in annual

profits, and have the power to promote change in American society. By taking a

stance on an issue, they can leverage some of that power to support the

consumers that regularly purchase their products or services.

Rau (1984, p.39) finds that the general consensus among researchers is in

support of corporate issue (alignment) advertising, when there is a match with

the company's profitability goals. He says that, "The major consensus seems to

be that issue advertising by corporations has grown substantially in recent years

and is no longer used sporadically by sponsoring corporations as it used to be

before the decade of the seventies."

Morton (1998, p.234) proposes that, "the principal disadvantage of

issue/advocacy (alignment) advertising is the audience's skepticism in the

message due to a heightened awareness of the sponsor's intent to persuade,

particularly on issues which affect corporate business." This is precisely why it is

important for companies to choose an issue or cause that matches their mission.

By doing so, they will help the consumer understand the connection that they are

making to the charitable effort. They will also appear more sincere in tagging

their logo onto such messages because they are not being deceptive in the fact

that this cause does indeed support their profitable interests as well.









Schmidt and Hitchon used schema congruency, defined as "the extent to

which information fits with category-based expectations about descriptive

characteristics of the stimulus," to examine the effects of alignment advertising.

"Excluded from [their] definition of product-issue congruency and from [their]

predictions was evaluative congruency" (1999, p.436). Evaluative congruency

requires an elaboration of the information, in order to create a better

understanding toward internal balance for the viewer of the message. Low

evaluative congruency would exist when the consumer liked the product, but

disagreed with the advertiser's stance on the issue. The researchers suggested

that this discrepancy would cause the consumer to elaborate on the information

presented before making a purchase decision about a product that they liked.

For this study it is important to further examine the details of congruency

theory, and how it affects consumers when alignment messages are used to

promote a company and an issue.

Consistency Theories

The consistency theories are a family of related propositions that predict

valence and change in valence between relational objects. The consistency

theories include balance theory, congruency theory and social judgment theory.

Though this research will give primary concern to congruency theory, it is

appropriate to lay the foundation by discussing balance theory, which is broader

in scope.

Balance Theory

Newcomb's ABX-model has served as the balance theory model for

numerous studies. It has primarily been paired with research of interpersonal









relationships. "In this model, person A, the actor-perceiver, is assumed to be

simultaneously oriented with another person, B, toward a focus of

communication, X" (McLeod, Harburg, & Price 1966, p.198). One of the main

implications of this model is that the attraction of person A for person B will

increase his/her willingness to be agreeable about topic X. An agreeable

situation is a positive relationship. "In terms of Newcomb's ABX system, the

stronger this orientation is, the less the A-X (person-object) attitudes will conflict

with A-B (person-person) attitudes" (McLeod, Harburg, & Price 1966, p.198).

In terms of creating alignment advertisements, person A, the company

sponsoring an ad message is assumed to value the elements related to issue X.

At question is how, person B, the audience will evaluate the company. A positive

relationship between the consumer and advertiser occurs when the two are in

agreement about an issue of goodwill. It is the degree of attraction or likability

that the consumer has for the intentions of the advertiser that will make the

relationship positive. A positive relationship results in support of the company's

efforts, which is intended to boost both its image and its bottom line.

According to Heider's balance theory,

two people and any single item on which they may fulfill each other are
treated as a three-point structure. Whether a structure is balanced is
determined by the combination of positive and negative relations among the
three sets of two points. If all the sets are positive or if two are negative
and one is positive, the exchange is balanced. Any other combination is
unbalanced. (Alessio 1990, p.1267)

Heider's positive and negative determination relates to mathematics, in that an

even number of negative signs become positive, thus balancing the situation.

Any negative situations left unpaired will throw the situation out of equilibrium.









To clarify how two negatives can become a positive, refer to the triangular

models presented in Appendix A.

Assume that the consumer is already supportive of a company, whether this

is through purchasing its products, using its services, being a stockholder, or

another endeavor. This is considered a positive relationship. If both the

consumer and the company then agree that they are not in support of another

issue, their two negative stances toward that issue strengthen their bond. For

example, Anheuser Busch warns against underage drinking, so they have a

negative stance towards young people consuming alcoholic beverages. While a

parent may buy Busch beer regularly with their weekly groceries, and they are

doing so for adult consumption and forbid children to indulge, it can be assumed

that they have a negative stance towards young people drinking alcohol as well.

The two negative stances in this triangle are in agreement, and thus become a

positive bond between the consumer and corporation. In Figure 1, the Anheuser

Busch example is used to pictorially illustrate Heider's definition of balance.

Further explanations of balance and unbalanced states can be found in Appendix

B.

* Anheuser Busch (Person/Company A) presents anti-underage drinking
message

* Parent (Person B) buys Anheuser Busch

* Parent refuses to allow children to consume alcoholic beverages











Anheuser Busch
(Company/Advertiser)

+

Parent > Underage Drinking
(Audience) (Issue)

Figure 1: Anheuser Busch Scenario

Congruency Theory

These notions all assume inconsistency to be a painful or at least
psychologically uncomfortable state, but they differ in the generality of the
application. The most restrictive and specific is the principle of congruity,
since it restricts itself to the problems of the effects of information about
objects and events on the attitudes toward the source of information.
(Zajonc 1960, p.282)

This more focused notion will be used to judge whether, the decodification of a

message of goodwill is affected by its source.

"The principle of congruity, which is in fact a special case of balance, was

advanced by Osgood and Tannenbaum in 1955. It deals specifically with the

problem of direction of attitude change. The authors assume that 'judgmental

frames of reference tend toward maximal simplicity'. Therefore, related

'concepts' will tend to be evaluated in a similar manner" (Zajonc 1960, p.286).

Changes in attitude will move in a direction that increases balance and congruity,

and reduce dissonance and uncertainty.

"The paradigm of congruity is that of an individual who is confronted with an

assertion regarding a particular matter about which he believes and feels a

certain way, made by a person toward whom he also has some attitude"

(Zajoncl960, p.287). The respect that the individual has for that person may









change their stance on the issue; or the individual's strong convictions toward the

issue may change their attitude toward the person. For example, assume that an

individual believes that women need to be presented more seriously in the

athletic arena, and that this person is a supporter of Nike's athletic endeavors.

From that individual's point of view, if Nike (a company that the consumer

supports) later becomes the exclusive sponsor of a professional women's athletic

league (a platform that the consumer supports), congruity exists between the

individual's attitude toward the issue and the sponsor. This is because the

consumer assumes that Nike also is a serious supporter of women's athletics.

All sides of the congruency triangle would be in positive alignment. However, if

Nike then refused to endorse a woman simply because she had been too

outspoken about the lack of support that women's sports receives from the

media, the audience may believe that Nike did not truly believe in championing

the efforts toward serious female athletic outlets. Incongruity would exist. While

the consumer still has strong views about the issue, and still likes Nike as a

company, the consumer and the company do not agree on the issue. The Nike

examples of congruity and incongruity are shown below, in Figures 2 and 3.

Further examples are available in Appendix C.

Congruency example

* Sports fan feels that women need to be presented as serious athletes

* Sports fan purchases Nike running shoes

* Nike becomes the exclusive sponsor of a professional women's athletic
league










Nike
(Corporation/Advertiser)

+ +


Sports Fan Women's Athletics
(Audience/Consumer) (Issue)

Figure 2: Congruency
Incongruency example

* Sports fan feels that women need to be presented as serious athletes

* Sports fan purchases Nike running shoes
* Nike refuses to sponsor female athlete because she is outspoken about the
lack of support women's sports receives from the media

Nike
(Corporation/Advertiser)

+


Sports Fan Women's Athletics
(Audience/Consumer) + (Issue)

Figure 3: Incongruency
"Since congruent information reinforces the existing evaluative concept,

congruent ad information is expected to have a greater impact on evaluations.

Therefore.. alignment ads containing mention of congruent issues will produce

more favorable attitudes" (Schmidt and Hitchon 1999, p.437). This study will









therefore examine the role of an athletic corporation and the issue of young girls'

participation in athletics.

This study further examines alignment advertising messages in the context

of the congruency theory framework. The three components of the case's

congruency triangle will include: (1) the issue--young girls engaged in sport lead

healthier physical, emotional and social lives; (2) the ad sponsor; (3) and the

audience--those concerned with the welfare of young girls.

Hypothesis

Do consumers view corporations as credible enough to create believable

messages concerning societal issues, or do they view such attempts as

deceptive ways to keep their own brand names top-of-mind? In order to answer

that question, source credibility must first be defined. Hovland defines source

credibility as the "combined effect of, (1) the extent to which a communicator is

perceived to be a source of valid assertions (his expertnesss') and (2) the degree

of confidence in the communicator's intent to communicate the assertions he

considers most valid (his 'trustworthiness')" (Hovland, Janis, and Kelley 1953,

p.21).

Finding a match between sponsor and issue should increase audience

perceptions of credibility. An above average level of knowledge concerning a

specific issue identifies one as a source of information. Expertise is, "the extent

to which a communicator, speaker, sponsor, or source is perceived capable of

making valid and correct assertions by virtue of having relevant skills" (Hovland,

Janis, and Kelley 1953, p.21).









The source is only useful if it can be trusted to provide accurate information.

Trustworthiness is, "the degree of confidence in the communicator's intent to

communicate the assertions he considers most valid" (Hovland, Janis, Kelley

1953, p.21). In other words, the degree to which the communicator's claims can

be considered truthful makes the source believable. "Besides seeming expert

enough to know the truth, the source must seem [believable] enough to want to

report it" (McGuire 1985, p.263).

The following hypotheses make predictions concerning source credibility.

The first asserts what the effects of message believability will be when the source

organizational sector varies (e.g. for-profit or not-for-profit). Information

regarding the message's believability in relation to the source is necessary to

draw conclusions regarding source credibility. The other is comprised of both

believability and expertise of the source in relation to the promoted issue.

Hypothesis two assumes that sponsor sector will affect audience perceptions of

credibility. Characteristics attributed to a message sponsor may influence an

audience's perception.

One reason that a corporation may choose to align with a public issue is

that, because it is founded on the pursuit of material wealth, business has a

lower moral value than other activities (Rau 1984). Being concerned with society

as a corporate citizen, can change the perceptions of potential consumers. Thus

it is assumed that an alignment advertising message will be perceived as more

believable when associated with a non-profit sponsor versus a for-profit sponsor.









The first hypothesis is as follows:

Ho: Viewers will not see alignment advertising messages as any more or
less believable when associated with a not-for-profit sponsor versus a
corporate sponsor.

Hi: Viewers will see alignment advertising messages as more believable
when associated with a not-for-profit sponsor versus a corporate
sponsor.

With regard to the message source, congruency theory will assume that

both the consumer and sponsor take the same stance on the issue in order to

test attitude toward the varied source. It is assumed that congruence will exist

when a non-profit sponsor presents an issue-oriented message because

promoting and supporting issues is their common goal. If it is found that

congruence also exists when a corporate sponsor presents an alignment

message, then the research predicts such a tool should not hurt the company's

image, should promote socially conscious behavior and should help build

relationships between the corporation and the audience. Thus it would be in a

corporation's best interests to practice alignment advertising. The null

hypotheses sees both control and test groups having similar results.

Ho: There will be no difference in audience evaluations of credibility for a
not a not-for-profit sponsor versus a corporate sponsor of alignment
advertising.

H2: The audience will evaluate a not-for-profit sponsor more credible than
a corporate sponsor of alignment advertising messages.

It is important for companies to be cautious in their convictions when

selecting appropriate charities to support. An incongruent psychological state will

result when the corporation is not viewed as a credible source, or when the

message is evaluated as not believable. When a company fails to make a









successful match between their business mission and a social issue or cause,

then consumers may not be able to justify supporting the sponsored issue by

buying the company's product.

Ho: There will be no difference in the alignment ad congruency the
audience of a not-for-profit sponsor versus the for-profit sponsor.

H3: Congruency will result when the not-for-profit sponsor is evaluated in
the context of alignment messages and incongruency will result when
the for-profit sponsor is evaluated.

Schmidt and Hitchon (1999) suggest three strategies for consumers who

find themselves in incongruent alignment situations. The first is to ignore it, and

select only information that supports their own convictions. However if using the

inconsistent information is unavoidable, they recommend assimilating it into

existing schema. "The incongruency can be either attributed to situational

causes, or distorted to explain it away (p.436)". The final strategy involves

accepting the inconsistency, but modifying the original schema to maintain

internal consistency. "This requires the individual to spend more time processing

the information. The third strategy tends to be adopted therefore when the

incongruency is extreme and integral to the information processing task" (p.436).

Context of Investigation

The advertisement prepared for the study is based on Nike's P.L.A.Y

campaign. William Gregory, an executive at Nike, provided the following

information to explain the tenants of the P.L.A.Y. campaign.

P.L.A.Y. is an acronym for "Participating in the Lives of America's Youth",
and is Nike's commitment to creating athletic opportunities for underserved
kids and to encourage adult participation. Through participation in sports,
kids will be healthier and can develop self-esteem, discipline, teamwork and
individual achievement. P.L.A.Y. has seven guiding principles, one of









which recognizes girls as being a large focus of the underserved athletic
population.

"If you Let me Play" is the basis of the spot being prepared for use in the

study. AdCritic.com summarized the overall tone of this commercial as a

message to parents about how their daughters could be better people if they

were allowed to play sports (www.adcritic.com 12/11/01). The original ad

showed several young girls who appeared to be between the ages of 8 and 13,

on a playground. They spoke directly to the camera, and reported how their lives

could positively be influenced by involvement in athletics. One girl said, "If you

let me play, I'll be more likely to leave a man who beats me." Another simply

says, "If you let me play, I'll be stronger," which was echoed by another girl

reinforcing, "stronger."

Because all of the topics raised in the commercial's monologue are clearly

above the age level of discussion for the spokespersons, the advertising

objective is to create awareness about the benefits of athletics on girls. In doing

so, parents may be encouraged to get their daughters involved in athletics as to

avoid the problems suggested by the young spokespersons. It is the role of

alignment advertising to raise an issue that will be tied to the product. Due to the

message presented by the advertisement and the guiding principles of P.L.A.Y.,

audiences can make an educated assumption that the ad sponsor supports the

involvement of young girls in athletics. The conclusion can be drawn that the

company has a positive relationship toward the issue. Some questions arise as

to whether parents of young girls view this appeal as a genuine effort to help

young girls take better care of themselves physically, socially, and emotionally as









they get older, or if it is a covert way of boosting the corporation's product sales.

If the audience does not buy into the fact that the corporation is sincerely

concerned with the well being of girls, negative reactions toward the company's

message may overwhelm the ability of the message claim. Is the advertisement

perceived as being persuasive or manipulative in its use of appealing to real life

conflicts that young women may face growing up? Would the message be better

received if it were attributed to a non-company source? The next chapter

discusses the research method used to examine these questions.














CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH METHOD

Design

Experimental research was conducted using a post test only with control

group design to test the research hypothesis. "Experiments are especially well

suited to research projects involving relatively limited and well-defined concepts

and propositions" (Babbie 2001, p.217). The independent variable manipulated

was the source. It had two conditions, a not-for-profit sponsor and for-profit

sponsor. The not-for-profit group served as the control for the for-profit group.

The dependent variables measured were message believability and source

credibility. The research sample was divided into two groups, based on the

variation of the independent variable. These conclusions would provide answers

as to how believable alignment messages were, how credible the sponsors of

alignment messages were, and how audience's made sense of advertising that

was devoid of product or source promotion. Finding the answer to these three

inquiries all depended on the independent variables, for-profit versus not-for-

profit sources.

Procedure

Subjects were recruited from an undergraduate class in the College of

Journalism and Communications, at the University of Florida. They were

randomly assigned to one of two test groups the not-for-profit group or the for-









profit group and exposed to an ad that promoted the issue. The theme of the

ad encouraged the participation of young girls in athletics.

The subjects were exposed to one of two versions of an advertisement.

The ad showed a picture of a young girl swimming, followed by copy concerning

the issue. The message urged young girls to participate in sports now, in order

to avoid specific problems later in life. The bottom right hand corner of the ad

contained the sponsor's logo, which was varied between a not-for-profit

organization and a for-profit company. Student assignments were randomly

determined according to the questionnaire version that they received.

Each student's questionnaire packet consisted of an informed consent

agreement, a version of the print advertisement, Beltramini's believability scale,

and Gaziano and McGrath's credibility scale. The consent agreement informed

the students that by participating in the experiment they would not experience

any personal discomfort, stress or personal risks; it also told them how they could

receive more information concerning the study. In exchange for cooperative

participation, the students did receive extra credit points from their professor.

The print ad either contained the not-for-profit sponsor's corporate logo or

the for-profit sponsor's organizational logo in the lower right corner. A sample of

the test packet can be found in the Appendix D. Please note that Appendix D

represents both versions of the advertisement tested. Aside from varied

sponsor, the advertisements were identical. All of the respondents received the

same two questionnaires. In order to control for response order bias, a portion of

the packets presented the believability scale followed the credibility scale. The









rest of the packets presented the credibility scale first and the believability scale

second.

After reviewing the advertisement, the subjects were asked to respond to

two paper and pencil questionnaires. The questionnaires used in the experiment

contained five-point semantic differentials. "The semantic differential asks

respondents to a questionnaire to choose between two opposite positions using

qualifiers to bridge the distance between the two opposites" (Babbie 2001,

p.168). The questionnaires provided data regarding message believability and

source credibility. Beltramini's TV Believability Scale (1982) was used to assess

message believability. Gaziano and McGrath's News Credibility Scale (1986)

was used to measure source credibility. The experiment took the subjects

approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

Attitude toward the ad has an impact on attitude toward the brand through
affect transfer, and attitude toward the brand affects intentions. Thus
attitude toward the brand, which includes beliefs formed from ad brand
attribute information and inferences based on ad picture content, mediates
the impact of attitude toward the ad on intentions. (Biehal, Stephens and
Curlo 1992, p.20)

Before the experiment could be executed the ad stimuli had to be prepared.

In order to do so, protests were administered to select the ad sponsors and

creative design layout. The following sections discuss the process of protesting

the message source and advertising layout.

Pretest 1

A pretest was conducted to select the not-for-profit organization and for-

profit company to be used in the larger study. By protesting attitude toward the

brand, the selection was substantiated and researcher bias was eliminated.









Using questionnaires, subjects responded to a seven-point semantic differential

scale.

Pretest subjects were recruited from an undergraduate class in the College

of Journalism and Communications, at the University of Florida, in February of

2003. Twenty-eight subjects evaluated attitude toward the names of either four

not-for-profit organizations or four for-profit corporations using MacKenzie and

Lutz's (1989) Attitude toward the Brand scale. The scale reliability was of .95,

.90, and .85 for positive, negative and neutral brand-related cognitions.

A random portion for the test subjects assessed the following not-for-profit

organizations: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, National Collegiate

Athletic Association (NCAA), and the Young Women's Christian Association

(YWCA). These organizations were chosen by the researcher because of their

record of activities directed to supporting youth programs and girls' athletic

involvement. The rest of the test group rated the following for-profit corporations:

Adidas, New Balance, Nike and Reebok. Because Nike originally presented the

ad message that was prepared for use in the larger experiment, it was an

obvious choice for the brand testing exercise. Adidas, New Balance and Reebok

were selected because they are large sports apparel companies that often

advertise on television and in print formats.

When the pretest was administered, subjects participating in the attitude

toward the brand study were given either the four company or four organization

names, followed by the scale. They were not exposed to ad copy, the company's

logo, or a creative ad design. The stimuli used in determining Attitude toward the









Brand can be found in Appendix E. Subjects evaluated the organizations on four

criteria. The ratings were then summed and averaged to create a composite

score for each subject. The, sample mans were calculated and t-test evaluated

against a scale mean of 3. When the collected data was analyzed, the for-profit

corporation and the not-for-profit organization would be chosen based on similar

levels of significance.

Significance is measured as being at or less than .05, and is expressed as

a probability. "Significant at the .05 level (p<.05) simply means that the

probability that a relationship as strong as the observed one can be attributed to

sampling error alone is no more than 5 in 100" (Babbie 2001, p.456). The

attitude mean for Reebok was significantly greater than all others. Based on the

subject's responses, Reebok was the brand chosen for the study. A one-sample

t-test revealed attitudes toward Reebok (Mean=2.44, p<.05) were found to be

most favorable at a statistical significance of .002. The most significant value of

the four corporations, that value meant that the probability that a relationship

could be stronger than that of the audience's to Reebok was less than 2 in 1000.

A similar analysis was conducted when analyzing the results from the not-

for-profit organizations. All of the not-for-profit organizations received significant

scores. However, only two not-for-profit organizations had comparable attitudes

toward the brand as Reebok. In order to standardize recognition of the for-profit

and not-for-profit sponsors that would be presented in the larger experiment, the

YWCA (Mean=2.21) was chosen over the NCAA (Mean=2.17) because it yielded

a slightly higher average score.









Pretest 2

A second pretest was executed to determine the layout of the final test

stimulus. One design had a single image, where the entire script, resembling

that of the original Nike ad, was printed below the picture. The other design was

based on the actual print version of the Nike advertisement. It displayed several

images, and key sentences from the larger script were written in the gaps

between the pictures. Again, students were asked to respond to a questionnaire

that contained seven-point semantic differentials.

The top of the original Nike print ad read, "If you let me play", and the final

statement was, "If you let me play sports". The wording was changed in those

particular places in order to help distance Nike from the respondent's

recollection. The top of the prepared print ad read, "Playing sports will change

my life", and the final line said, "All because I played sports." The Attitude toward

the Ad scale can be found with the two creative print versions in Appendix E.

Subjects were recruited from a class in the College of Education, at the

University of Florida, in February of 2003. Twenty-nine students ranked their

attitudes toward the advertisement. Both creative designs were anonymous as

far as ad sponsor.

MacKenzie and Lutz' (1986) Attitude toward the Ad scale was used. "The

reliability estimates for the positive, negative and neutral ad-related cognitions

were .95, .93, and .88. A random portion of the sample assessed the single

image design, while the rest ranked their attitude toward the multiple image

design. The ratings were then summed and averaged to create a composite

score for each subset. Then, sample means were calculated and t-test









evaluated against a scale mean of 3. The significance value was p=.00. The

single-image design (Mean=2.92) was selected because it had a stronger mean

score than the multiple-image design (Mean=2.29).

After the sponsors were chosen in the protesting phase, they were added to

the selected creative design. The protests yielded three results to be used in

preparing the larger experiment. The for-profit corporation and the not-for-profit

organization, Reebok and the YWCA, were selected; along with the single-image

creative design layout.

Measurement Instruments

A believability scale and a credibility scale were utilized in this study.

Beltramini's TV Advertising Believability Scale (1982) was used as the instrument

to measure audience evaluation of message believability. This scale has an

average reliability of .90. The scale uses five-point semantic differential scales to

rate nine criteria. All of the semantic differential components used in the original

scale were included in the test. This scale can be found in Appendix D.

Gaziano and McGrath's (1986) News Credibility Scale was initially intended

to measure credibility in the news media. For the purposes of this study it was

adapted to test corporate credibility. Specifically, the News Credibility Scale

examined whether viewers thought Reebok had enough expertise to make

claims about, and deliver messages regarding the social welfare of young girls

through their participation in sport. The original scale had a reliability of .92 for

newspaper credibility. The relevant criterion found in the News Credibility Scale

can be found in Appendix D, along with the two final versions of the print






28


advertisement. Results of the larger experiment are presented in more detail in

the next chapter.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Discussion

The final experiment consisted of two test conditions, not-for-profit and for-

profit, which were represented by Reebok and the YWCA. A total of 154 adult

subjects were sampled from the same large public university as those that

participated in the pretest. Because the issue promoted in the advertisement

focused on the benefits received by young girls after becoming involved in

athletics, responses from the male subjects were removed from experimental

analysis. After eliminating the male subjects, a total of 102 questionnaires were

used to study audience perceptions of message believability and source

credibility. Fifty subjects were exposed to the not-for-profit stimulus sponsored

by the YWCA, and 52 saw the for-profit stimulus sponsored by Reebok.

Seventy-seven percent (n=79) of the subjects reported holding a junior or

senior academic standing, while another one percent (n=1) of the group

consisted of freshmen. The remaining 22 percent (n=22) reported being

sophomores. Most of the subjects were in the same age range. Eighty-one

percent (n=83) of the subjects were between the ages of 18 and 21. Seventeen

percent (n=17) ranged in age from 22 to 25, and two percent (n=2) were over

age 25.









Hypotheses One

Beltramini's TV Believability Scale had a reliability of .93. This means that

the scale is consistent in measuring believability. A oneway ANOVA was

conducted to test the significance of the collected data. The mean differences

were considered significant if the probability was less than or equal to p=.05.

Believability was not found to be significant (p=.120).


The first hypothesis predicted that viewers who saw an alignment message

presented by a not-for-profit sponsor would find it to be more believable than an

alignment message presented by a for-profit sponsor. This prediction was not

supported. The difference in opinion was not varied enough to be considered

significant, therefore the sponsoring source did not affect message believability.

The quantitative data which supports the slightly more believable perception of

believability toward the not-for-profit sponsored message is demonstrated Table

2. The mean value was used to express the direction in which the condition was

favored.

Table 2. Means by Subject Group for Message Believability
Message Believability Not-for-Profit For-Profit
n 50 52
Mean 3.72 3.47
(SD) (.80) (.78)









Hypothesis Two

Gaziano and McGrath's News Credibility scale had a reliability of .71.

Although not as strong a measure of reliability, this scale is considered consistent

in measuring sponsor credibility. A oneway ANOVA was conducted to test the

significance of the collected data. The mean differences were considered

significant if the probability was less than or equal to p=.05. Sponsor credibility

was found to be significant at the .04 (p=.038) level. This suggested that another

relationship being stronger than the observed one could not be more than 4 in

1000.

Table 3. Between Groups Analysis of Variance Results for Source Credibility
Source Sum of df Mean F-ratio P
Squares Square <(*p<.05)
Sponsor
Sponsor 1.085 1 1.085 4.411 .038*
Credibility


Hypothesis two predicted that, an audience would evaluate a not-for-profit

sponsor as more credible than a for-profit sponsor when delivering an alignment

advertising message. This prediction was also supported. As illustrated in Table

4, the mean scores of the not-for-profit condition were higher than those of the

for-profit condition.

Table 4. Means by Subject Group for Sponsor Credibility
Sponsor Credibility Not-for-Profit For-Profit
n 50 52
Mean 3.50 3.30
(SD) (.50) (.50)


Hypothesis Three

The final hypothesis stated that the congruency triangle for a not-for-profit

sponsor would be balanced, while the corporate triangle would be imbalanced









and thus incongruent. This prediction was not supported. A separate scale or

study was not needed to observe this prediction; the results found by the two

previous hypotheses provided the data to draw conclusions related to the third

hypothesis.

Congruency existed in both cases, as indicated by the message

believability and sponsor credibility. The means for believability and credibility in

the not-for-profit condition were 3.72 and 3.50 respectively. Believability and

credibility mean scores under the for-profit condition were 3.48 and 3.29. In both

test situations, the scores were above average. The data demonstrated that

when the same attempt was made by the for-profit corporation, the test subjects

received adoption of an issue by a not-for-profit organization better.

An open-ended question was asked in every packet. By asking what the

respondents thought was the purpose of the ad, further insight could be gained

as to why the respondents may have made certain choices when rating their

levels of believability. While many believed that the ad's sole purpose was to

encourage and empower young girls through sports, not all were as optimistic.

Hypothesis two predicted that respondents would think the for-profit

sponsor lacked the credibility to make the claims presented in the ad. The

responses could imply that people also saw the not-for-profit organization as

having selfish reasons for presenting the alignment message. However, further

research is necessary to understand the rationale behind the subjects'

comments. A few thought that the purpose of the ad was to increase awareness

of the YWCA, to boost membership, and to inspire monetary donations. One









person thought that the ad was a creative way to encourage youngsters to

become involved in the church.

A far greater number of the for-profit sample mentioned the sponsor in their

idea of the ad's purpose. Thirty-seven of the fifty-two respondents believed the

purpose of the ad was to encourage girls to play sports, to remember Reebok

was the one who encouraged them to do so, or to wear Reebok shoes and

apparel when engaging in athletic activities. Specifically, one respondent said

the purpose of the ad was, "to make the viewer aware of the benefits of being

involved in sports and if they were to be involved in sports to remember to use

Reebok products." Another said that the purpose was, "to get women to like

Reebok for their respect towards women."

Two students were particularly opposed to the advertisement. One wrote

in, "Where are the proven facts? You can't make me believe that stuff will

happen from (participation) in sports." The other said that the ads' purpose was,

"to sell Reebok by scaring weak women into believing what they claim."

"The paradigm of congruity is that of an individual who is confronted with an

assertion regarding a particular matter about which he also has some attitude"

(Zajonc 1960, p.287). The individual responses to the open-ended question

demonstrated that audiences were more averse to the for-profit corporation's

presentation of the alignment message. Although a few of the respondents

recognized that a not-for-profit organization may also benefit from presenting

alignment messages, the tone of their comments was not as negative as when

the for-profit corporation practiced the same methods.









People are more accustomed to not-for-profit organizations looking for the

community's assistance so that they can in turn help the community, than for-

profit corporations. Respondents who received the not-for-profit test condition

made the match of sponsor and issue easier than those who received the for-

profit test condition.

Summary

This research demonstrated that alignment advertising can be a positive

tool for boosting corporate profits, when executed properly. Companies

engaging in such practices can also use their alignments as a recruiting tool for

acquiring additional employees. In this case, Reebok should consider that they

are made up of many people who may in fact have daughters. Working for a

company that supports their children can work to increase job loyalty as well as

consumer brand loyalty.

Nine in 10 employees of firms associated with charitable causes feel proud
of their companies' good works; only fifty-six percent of those whose
employers aren't committed to a cause share that pride, according to
Cone/Roper. And eighty-seven percent of employees of firms with cause
programs feel a strong sense of loyalty, versus two-thirds (sixty-seven
percent) of workers in companies without a cause association. (Meyer
1999)

In summary, predictions concerning message believability and sponsor

credibility were supported. The final hypotheses, which suggested that

audiences would find themselves in an incongruent state when viewing alignment

messages presented by for-profit corporations, was unsupported. Although

people viewed messages presented by not-for-profit sponsors to be more

believable and not-for-profit sponsors to be generally more credible, the results of









this study are still positive for advertisers and practitioners of alignment

messages.

Audiences may think that advertisers will say anything to sell their products

or services, but the present study supports the fact that when there is an

alignment between ad message and sponsor that is perceived as appropriate,

the audience will view the advertiser as credible, though the believability of the

message is not affected by the sponsor. It is important that advertisers be

perceived as persuasive, rather than manipulative, when attempting to build

brand loyalty among potential consumers and employees.

The ultimate purpose behind performing this study, was to find out how

audiences made sense of alignment advertising, which was defined as a hybrid

form of public relations and advertising. Deighton and Grayson say that, "any

new marketplace consensus is a compromise reached among three forces: (a)

what the marketer wants, (b) what the consumer wants, and (c) what the

institutionalized reality will allow" (1995, p.662). By observing the results, in

terms of congruency theory, conclusions can be drawn to answer that ultimate

question.

There were definite limitations to this study. The way in which subjects

were sampled, the visual quality of the test advertisement, and the lack of depth

in which the open-ended question was analyzed may have affected the results of

the experiment. Should this experiment be replicated, these limitations would

need to be corrected.









All of the subjects for the main experiment were university students, who

were enrolled in a mass communication class. These students may pay more

attention to advertising messages, as they relate to their studies. Although the

message used in the advertisement is seven years old, familiarity with the

message content may have contaminated the outcome of the responses.

The visual quality of the test advertisement was a second limitation of this

study. If the print quality matched that of a professionally printed advertisement,

the outcome of the believability and credibility responses may have been

different. Appearance has been shown to have an effect on perception, and so

improving the visual quality may improve the subjects' responses toward the

advertisement. If the study were replicated, then the quality of the creative layout

should be improved.

The open-ended question asked in the final experiment had limitations.

The results were qualitative, and would need to be explored further for true

understanding. Qualitative data provides initial direction, but it is unclear why the

subjects made the comments that they did concerning the alignment message. It

is also unclear as to how their ideas regarding the ad's purpose might affect their

purchase decisions. Therefore, further questioning is needed to evaluate the

meaning of the open-ended responses.














CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION

As long as a company is not deceitful in their ad message, one might

wonder if its motive for aligning with an issue even matters. In essence the

corporation and the issue are both benefiting from the partnership. It is the goal

of any business to increase profits, and that of most charitable organizations to

serve a designated group of people. Through these partnerships the for-profit

sponsor indirectly looks for a boost in sales figures, just as a not-for-profit

organization may gain necessary exposure for recruiting additional volunteers or

other resources. Regardless of who sponsors the message, the number of

people aware of and working to improve a particular issue also increases. It is a

win-win situation.

When marketer and consumer reach a private agreement that is in harmony
with the institutionalized agreements, the result is easy to sustain.
However, when the private agreement is discordant, it may still be
sustainable (but precariously) if the marketer manages to insulate the
agreement from conflict with the larger social reality or contrives evidence
to suggest a wider consensus. (Deighton and Grayson, 1995, p.662)

The fact that the subjects in the for-profit condition found the ad message to

be believable and the source to be credible has practical implications for

managers and corporations practicing alignment advertising. The research

showed that using alignment advertisements could be a positive way to spend ad

dollars. A long-term relationship when employing alignment advertising

messages is definitely suggested to improve sincerity and believability measures.









"Over time subjects tend to dissociate the source from the message and are

therefore subsequently less influenced by the prestige of the communicator. The

results showed that the permanence of the attitude change depended on the

association of the source" (Zajonc 1960, p.285).

If initially a person did not agree with the intentions of a corporation, they

may become less adverse to a company that made a long-term effort. Eventually

they would associate more with the issue presented in the message, and less

with the sponsor. That is not good news for the corporation spending millions of

ad dollars without recognition. Just as is the case in traditional advertising, the

corporation would have to update its message and delivery techniques to keep

their brand name fresh.

Congruency theory was used to observe whether there was a change in

valence toward the ad sponsor. The assumption made in the final hypothesis

was that the for-profit sponsor would create feelings of incongruence for the

audience. Although people recognized the corporation's concern with the

community as a way to boost profits, they did not find the message to be untrue

or insincere. The practical implication of the congruency framework, was that as

long as the message is a match for the sponsor, promoting socially conscious

issues can help improve a corporation's image. The subjects in this experiment

were not opposed to profit being made by involving the general well being of the

community. In fact, although not recognized until reading the responses to the

open-ended question, the same assumption was being made of the not-for-profit

sponsor.









As mentioned earlier, there are three assumptions supporting the use of

advocacy advertising:

1. The public interest is the ultimate standard by which we are to judge
everything, including business.

2. Since it is founded on the pursuit of material wealth, business has a lower
moral value than other activities.

3. Since it is subject to political controls, a company is a political, as well as an
economic entity (Rau 1984, p.25).

The respondents of the study were exposed to a message about improving the

lives of young women through athletics. They judged the message to be

believable, and both sponsors to be credible. Many mentioned Reebok's intent

to improve sales by promoting the issue. They recognized the corporate sponsor

as a business that had to be concerned with their material wealth, but they did

not seem to be opposed to the notion. A capitalist economy, strives on

competition. One way that competitive success is measured is through net

profits, so corporations must concern themselves with the bottom line. As a

political entity, the corporation used it's power to raise awareness of an issue.

Individual citizens have the opportunity to voice their opinions in favor or against

social issues. However, they do not always have the means to deliver their ideas

and opinions to the mass audience's that a corporation could reach through

advertisements. The message used in the study provided examples that the

audience could use in combating the issues raised in the ad. These solutions did

not necessarily require viewers of the advertisement to become consumers of

their products or services. Regardless of whether or not the audience includes









the corporate sponsor in a later purchase decision, all were equally exposed to

the presented issue and potential solution.

While for-profit corporations and not-for-profit organizations are the two

groups that most people consider to have a vested interest in the result of the

alignment, advertisers also have a stake in this type of relationship marketing.

"The profession devoted explicitly to selling commodities also has to engage in

an ongoing project of marketing itself as a legitimate institution. Hampered by

the public's deeply held suspicion of advertisers' messages, a legacy of the hype,

exaggeration, and even downright deception that had been perpetrated in certain

marketing domains, the emerging ad agencies developed various strategies to

inspire the confidence of both sellers and of buyers" (Dorst 1999, p.224).

Only the prediction concerning source credibility was supported. This

showed that alignment messages are more easily accepted when presented by

not-for-profit organizations. Viewers of alignment advertising were not swayed

by the change between not-for-profit and for-profit sponsor. The audience

evaluated a not-for-profit sponsor as more credible than a corporate sponsor of

alignment messages. These two outcomes helped to conclude the final

hypothesis. Altruistic acts were not as easily reconciled as a match between

issues and corporations in the mind of consumers, but they were still recognized.

The congruency triangle for a not-for-profit sponsor was balanced, as was the

corporate triangle.

Future research could be executed in several directions. This study could

be replicated using parents of young girls as the test subjects, since they were









the intended audience for the ad message. A sample of parents and guardians

could be found at local agencies that work to find appropriate activities for female

children. The results would then be more specific and applicable to corporations

that do spend ad dollars encouraging young girls to become athletic. This study

could also be replicated with a more equal gender distribution. This would clarify

whether the gender imbalance of this experimental sample affected the test

results.

In more general terms, another study could be done to test the validity of

these test results. The researcher could go door-to-door requesting donations on

behalf of a not-for-profit organization to support a particular issue, and then on

behalf of a for-profit corporation supporting the same issue. It is not often that

companies collect money to support their charitable endeavors through door-to-

door solicitation. Such practices are more conventionally accepted in the not-

for-profit sector. Such a study would again test how respondents viewed actions

of alignment when the profitability of the source varied.

The research seems to indicate that audiences associate more with

alignment messages presented by not-for-profit sponsors. Further research

could examine whether consumers view alignment messages as part of the

public relations or advertising disciplines, and how that effects the public's

perception of the intended message. Because public relations is viewed more

credibly by consumers, corporate sponsors may improve believability and

credibility perceptions by using press releases and other public relations

practices to present issue alignments.









Finally, future research may reveal if the use of this form of ad message

improves the perception of advertising as well. Advertisers and lawyers have a

similar perception of being willing to bend the truth in order to promote their

cause. When lawyers do pro bono work, they are seen as more compassionate.

Advertisers may have to take on a similar approach when dealing with non-profit

agencies, to convey that "caring member of society" persona. A study could be

done to see whether an increased use of advertising by corporations to promote

social issues, changes the public perception of advertisers as persuaders.














APPENDIX A
ALTERNATIVE TERMS FOR ALIGNMENT ADVERTISING

Rau (1984) provided the following list previously used to refer to the
practice of promoting and issue through paid advertisements:


Adversary Advertising

Advocacy Advertising

Cause-and-Issue Advertising

Controversy Advertising

Issue-Oriented Advertising

Opinion Advertising

Propaganda Advertising

Public Affairs Advertising

Public Issue Advertising

Strategic Advertising

Viewpoint Advertising















APPENDIX B
HEIDER'S BALANCE DIAGRAMS


P

/
/~


p

/
0 __ x


P
/\
0 ---X


Balanced states


p
/\


P p


Unbalanced states


Figure 4 Examples of balanced and unbalanced states according to Heider's
definition of balance. Solid lines represent positive, and broken lines
negative relations (Zajonc, 1960).


0---- X


0----
















APPENDIX C
CONGRUENCY THEORY DIAGRAMS


PERSON


OBJECT


PERSON



CONGRUITY


PERSON

/\0



PERSON

S/.-,\O


PERSON





PERSON

ZN\


PERSON





PERSON

s.- o


INCONGRUITY


Figure 5 The figures demonstrate examples of congruity and incongruity. Heavy
lines represent assertions, light lines attitudes. Solid heavy lines
represent assertions which imply a positive attitude on the part of the
source, and broken heavy lines negative attitudes. Solid light lines
represent positive, and broken light lines negative attitudes (Zajonc,
1960).
















APPENDIX D
SAMPLE TEST PACKET

Informed Consent Agreement

Purpose of study:

The purpose of this questionnaire is to assess audience perceptions of organization sponsor and
issue advertising.

What you will be asked to do in the study:

If you choose to participate in the study, you will be asked to provide feedback regarding your
opinions about an advertising message. All responses will be recorded on the questionnaire
provided and should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

Risks:

There are no personal discomfort, stress, or personal risks associated with participating in this
study.

Benefits:

By participating in this research, more information can be learned about how audiences perceive
advertising messages.

Confidentiality:

The results of your participation will be anonymous. As such, the researcher will have no way of
associating your responses directly to you. Responses will be kept confidential to the extent
provided, by law.

Your participation is completely voluntary and you may withdraw your consent at any time during
the experiment without penalty. In the event that you do withdraw consent, the results of your
participation, to the extent that they can be identified as yours, will be returned to you, removed
from the research records, or destroyed.

Whom to contact if you have questions about the study:

If you would like to learn more about the study, you may contact Kendra Ferguson, a graduate
student in the College of Journalism and Communication's Department of Advertising by e-mail at
kendrauf@ufl.edu.

You may also contact Dr. Cynthia Morton, of the College of Journalism and Communication's
Department of Advertising. She is the faculty supervisor for this project, and can be reached at
(352) 392-8841 or via e-mail at cmorton@jou.ufl.edu.






47


Whom to contact about your right as a research participant in the study:

UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; ph 392-0433



I have read the above consent disclosure agreement. I have been made
aware that there are no personal discomforts, stresses or personal risks
associated with participating in this study. I agree to complete the
questionnaire and participate fully in the study.

X Date













Instructions:





Unbelievable

Untrustworthy

Not convincing

Unreasonable

Dishonest

Questionable

Inconclusive

Not authentic

Unlikely


Beltramini's TV Believability Scale (1982)

After viewing the advertisement on the previous page, please circle the
number between each pair of words or phrases that best represents how
you feel about the advertising message.


Believable

Trustworthy

Convincing

Reasonable

Honest

Unquestionable

Conclusive

Authentic

Likely










Gaziano and McGrath's TV News Credibility Scale (1986)

After viewing the advertisement on the previous page,
please circle the number between each pair of words or
phrases that best represents how you feel about the ad
Instructions: sponsor.


Is unfair

Is unbiased

Doesn't tell the
whole story

Is inaccurate

Respects people's
privacy

Does not watch after
readers' interests

Is not concerned about
the community's well-being

Does not separate
Fact and opinion

Cannot be trusted

Is concerned about
making profits

Is opinionated


1 2 3

1 2 3

1 2 3


Is fair

Is biased

Tells the whole story


2 3 4 5 Is accurate

2 3 4 5 Invades people's
Privacy

2 3 4 5 Does watch after
readers' interests

2 3 4 5 Is concerned about
community's well-being

2 3 4 5 Does separate
fact and opinion

2 3 4 5 Can be trusted


Is concerned about
the public interest


2 3 4 5 Is factual


On the next two pages you will find the two ad versions used in the

experiment. Each subject saw one of the two versions.








Playing sports will change my life.


I will like myself more
I will have more self-confidence
I will suffer less depression
I will be 60% less likely to get breast cancer
I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me
I will be less likely to get pregnant before I want to
I will learn what it means to be strong
All because I was involved in sports


Rrabok









Playing sports will change my life.


I will like myself more
I will have more self-confidence
I will suffer less depression
I will be 60% less likely to get breast cancer
I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me
I will be less likely to get pregnant before I want to
I will learn what it means to be strong
All because I was involved in sports


YWCA
Young
Women's
Christian
Association














APPENDIX E
ATTITUDE SCALES

Attitude Toward the Brand

Not-for-Profit Condition

The purpose of this study is to measure your attitude toward four not-for-profit
organizations. Below are four brand names followed by a series of scales.
Please evaluate the brands by circling the number that best reflects your attitude
toward each.


Big Brothers/Big
Sisters


Bad
Dislike quite a lot
Unpleasant
Poor quality



Boys & Girls Club
Bad
Dislike quite a lot
Unpleasant
Poor quality


Good
Like quite a lot
Pleasant
Good quality




Good
Like quite a lot
Pleasant
Good quality


NCAA
Bad
Dislike quite a lot
Unpleasant
Poor quality


YWCA
Bad
Dislike quite a lot
Unpleasant
Poor quality


Good
Like quite a lot
Pleasant
Good quality


Good
Like quite a lot
Pleasant
Good quality









For-Profit Condition

The purpose of this study is to measure your attitude toward four for-profit
organizations. Below are four brand names followed by a series of scales.
Please evaluate the brands by circling the number that best reflects your attitude
toward each.


Adidas
Bad
Dislike quite a lot
Unpleasant
Poor quality



New Balance
Bad
Dislike quite a lot
Unpleasant
Poor quality



Nike
Bad
Dislike quite a lot
Unpleasant
Poor quality



Reebok
Bad
Dislike quite a lot
Unpleasant
Poor quality


Good
Like quite a lot
Pleasant
Good quality




Good
Like quite a lot
Pleasant
Good quality




Good
Like quite a lot
Pleasant
Good quality




Good
Like quite a lot
Pleasant
Good quality









Attitude Toward the Ad

The purpose of this study is to measure your attitude toward the creative design
of an advertising layout. On the following page is an advertisement, after
reviewing it please evaluate the ad by circling the number that best reflects your
attitude.








Good 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bad

Like 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dislike

Interesting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Boring

Creative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Uncreative

Informative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Uninformative


The two versions of the creative pretest designs are provided on the next pages.














Playing sports will change my life.












I will be 60% less likely to get breast cancer

I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me I


I will like myself more


I will learn what it means to be strong


/S
,,,,










Playing sports will change my life.


I will like myself more
I will have more self-confidence
I will suffer less depression
I will be 60% less likely to get breast cancer
I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me
I will be less likely to get pregnant before I want to
I will learn what it means to be strong
All because I was involved in sports















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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

I am extremely excited to be ending my formal education. I know that

learning is a life-long process, and I will continue to acquire knowledge for the

rest of my years. Now it is time to enter the work force, and apply all the lessons

that my professors have impressed upon me. I am eager and ready!

I entered the world on August 14, 1979, in Queens, New York. I was

welcomed into a loving family of three, by my mother, father, and brother Bryan.

Shortly thereafter, my family moved upstate to Fairport, a suburb of Rochester,

New York.

I completed all of my elementary and secondary schooling in the Fairport

School District, which is not common as Rochester is a transient area. The move

exposed my brother and me to many opportunities to become more well-rounded

people. Growing up I participated in dance, piano and clarinet lessons; I was a

Pop Warner cheerleader, a Brownie, and eventually a Girl Scout; and I was a

member of my school's basketball and track teams. I graduated from Fairport

High School in June of 1997.

I spent the next four years in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While there, I

studied communication at Wake Forest University. Again, I was exposed to

many opportunities to better myself. I mentored children, tutored adults who

were returning to school, and listened to many amazing speakers. I graduated in

May of 2001, with a Bachelor of Arts.






63


Immediately following graduation, I moved to Florida. After a summer of

interning for the National Basketball Association's Orlando franchise, I headed to

Gainesville to begin school. While studying advertising in the Master of Arts in

Mass Communication program, I worked for the University Athletic Association. I

hope to use my education to continue working in athletics, as both fields are

challenging, competitive, and entertaining. I will be graduating from the

University of Florida in May of 2003.