What’s in There for Me? Impact of User-Centric Advertisement Appeals on Consumers’ Emotional Responses and Sustainable Apparel Purchase Intentions
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Consumer and Design Sciences
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Despite urgency to protect the environment, unsustainable apparel consumption continues to damage it. Although a high environmental knowledge, awareness, or concern encourages sustainable consumption, it does not guarantee sustainable apparel consumption. The present research identified some of the most important consumer concerns (e.g., affordability, social desirability, environment protection) from the extant literature that influence sustainable apparel consumption. This research tested the efficacy of user centric advertisements (UCAs) to positively influence purchase intention for sustainable apparel by conveying the ability of sustainable apparel to satisfy consumer concerns. By conducting two independent between-subject experimental studies with millennials in the U.S., the present research tested two conceptual models grounded in the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion and multilayered model of product emotions, information-processing stage model of aesthetic experience, and appraisal theory of emotions. This research evinced (i) irrespective of involvement with environmental issues, sustainable apparel can be centrally processed when consumers’ concerns for affordability, social desirability, and environment protection are incorporated into the UCAs; (ii) central processing of UCAs mediates the relationships between modalities (textual and textual with visual) and affective response toward sustainable apparel; (iii) processing of sustainable apparel through the UCAs evokes a favorable affective response and minimizes unfavorable affective responses toward sustainable apparel; (iv) favorable affective responses positively influence and unfavorable affective responses negatively influence purchase intention for sustainable apparel; (v) individual concerns in UCAs are appraised in specific ways (e.g., motive compliant, intrinsically pleasant, legitimate), evoking specific classes of emotional responses (e.g., instrumental, aesthetic, social) toward sustainable apparel; (vi) all classes of emotional responses positively influence purchase intentions for sustainable apparel; (vii) appraisal of sustainable apparel in certain ways mediate the relationships between the concerns presented in the UCAs and specific classes of emotional responses; and (viii) appraisal of sustainable apparel in specific ways has an indirect, positive influence on purchase intention, through specific classes of emotional responses. The data were analyzed through a series of ANCOVA, MANCOVA, and structural equation modelling. Theoretical, managerial, and societal implications of the study are discussed.