Scientists unravel the complex role of marketing in understanding political activities

As 2020 began, many experts predicted a politically charged year, but few predicted that it would include a global pandemic of overloaded health resources, strained U.S. racing relations that resulted in mass demonstrations around the world, devastating fires that affected massive parts of the United States and a catastrophic global economic downturn. This month’s special issue of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing recognizes the role that marketing has and can play in addressing political activities with articles exploring key topics such as election, voting, corporate political advocacy, and consumer political identity. Two comments from an industry veteran and a respected magazine editor offer applied and scientific pathways for future marketing strategies and research. Although the articles were not intended to respond directly to specific events, they still provide theories that explain the behavior of businesses, consumers, agencies, and other stakeholders, along with strategic implications.

“The Voice of Competence: How Similar Upbringing of Political Candidates Affects Choice in Voting,” Matthew D. Meng and Alexander Davidson

The authors explore the usual political strategy: showing how similar political candidates are to voters and voters. The authors confirm this relationship, but a broader understanding as it relates to the candidate’s competence, along with the particular audience for which the strategy is most effective.

“Citizen Participation in Political Markets: Extending the Logic Dominating Service to Public Policy,” Mark Peterson and Robert W. Godby

The results of this study suggest that the decisions offered by citizens in the research environment reflect the competence of citizens to inform elected representatives and policy makers about the budget. When voters can effectively manage the ongoing governance process, which does not require an expensive referendum or elections, the distortions of democracy will be reduced.

“To change the law, defy the law: kidnapping the cause and co-opting its advocate,” Bernard Cova

This research examines how goal advocates respond to corporate approaches that integrate marketing and policy activities for a purpose. The findings reveal that such marketing activities resemble the co-optation of the initial proponent of the cause and the abduction of the cause they advocate.

“Brands that stand for attitude: authentic brand activism or wake-up washing?” Jessica Vredenburg, Sommer Captain, Amanda Spry and Joya A. Kemper

The authors rely on theory to determine how and when a brand dealing with a socio-political goal can be considered authentic, finding that a moderate, optimal mismatch between brand and cause acts as a boundary condition. They explore important policy and practice implications for current and ambitious brand activists, from brand-specific standards in marketing efforts to third-party certifications and public sector partnerships.

“Activist Company: Examining a Company’s Quest for Social Change through Corporate Activism Using Institutional Theoretical Lenses,” Meike Eilert and Abigail Nappier Cherup

Using institutional theory, the authors create a framework that shows how corporate activism can solve these social problems through the impact and changes of strategies that can target the institutional environment “top-down” or “bottom-up”. This framework further explores how corporate identity orientation facilitates corporate activism.

“Political Ideology in Consumer Resistance: An Analysis of Far-Right Opposition to Multicultural Marketing,” by Sofia Ulver and Christofer Laurell

The authors explore discursive efforts in far-right consumer resistance to advance the political agenda through protests aimed at multicultural brand advertising and analyze how these consumers conceptualize their opponents in the marketplace. Unlike previous framing of opponents identified in consumer research, where resistance is typically anti-capitalist and directed toward unethical company behavior or exploitation by the global market economy, the authors find that the following extreme topics stand out in the far right consumer resistance: emphasis on the state as the main antagonist , indifference to capitalism as a potential adversary and openly challenging liberal ethics.

“Shopping Center Politics: The Moral Foundations of a Boycott,” by Daniel Fernandes

This article shows that, although both liberals and conservatives participate in consumer policy actions, they do so for a variety of reasons affected by their unique moral concerns: Liberals engage in boycotts and purchased beds that are associated with protecting harm and fairness of moral values. values), while conservatives engage in boycotts and purchases related to the protection of authority, loyalty and purity of moral values ​​(binding moral values). In addition, individualizing moral values ​​lead to a generally more positive attitude toward the boycott, which explains why liberals are more likely to boycott and buy.

“Comment: Brand Activism in the Political World,” Christine Moorman

The editor-in-chief of the honorable magazine Marketing and author of “The CMO Survey” analyzes the CMO’s changing opinions about solid activism.

“Commentary: Patagonia and the Work of Activism,” Vincent Stanley

The director of philosophy of Patagonia discusses the brand’s decision to take a public stand on critical issues such as climate change.

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About the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing

The Journal of Public Policy and Marketing Forum is for understanding the connection between marketing and public policy, and each issue contains a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, ecology, ethics and social responsibility, nutrition and health, regulation and deregulation, security and privacy .

About the American Marketing Association (AMA)

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