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Home | Events Archive | Explaining negative responses to brand activism: Authenticity and Emotional Arousal
Research Master Defense

Explaining negative responses to brand activism: Authenticity and Emotional Arousal


  • Speaker
    Hyejin Kim
  • Location
    Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam, Sydney room
    Amsterdam
  • Date and time

    August 31, 2022
    12:00 - 13:00

Negative responses to brand activism pose severe threats to companies. Extant marketing literature has established theoretical constructs on why this backlash may happen; however, there are few empirical studies. Furthermore, electronicWord-of-Mouth (eWOM) literature indicates that, while most brand activism social media posts focus on the authenticity of messages, negative responses can arise due to the emotion conveyed by the companies’ messages on social media. The author integrates two drivers of negative responses to brand activism (i.e. perceived authenticity and emotional arousal) to combine fragmented streams of literature. A text-mining study of negative responses to brand activism demonstrates that both inferred perceived authenticity and emotional arousal influence the readers’ reactions. This study is based on hierarchical data (level 1: brand, level 2: tweet) and thus uses multilevel analysis. We use random intercept models. The results show that both authenticity and emotional arousal influence the negative responses to brand activism posts. In order to avoid unwanted negative responses from the public, brands are recommended to differentiate their messages from others to show their authenticity and to refrain from high-arousal emotional words.