How can marketers stop speeding motorists and binge drinking? Two experiments show that the beliefs consumers have about the degree to which they define themselves in terms of their close relationships (i.e., relational-interdependent self-construal (RISC)) offer useful insights into the effectiveness of communications for two key social marketing issues—road safety (Study 1, New Zealand sample) and alcohol consumption (Study 2, English sample). Further, self-referencing is a mechanism for these effects. Specifically, people who define themselves in terms of their close relationships (high-RISCs) respond most favorably to advertisements featuring a dyadic relationship (two people), and this favorable response is mediated by self-referencing. In contrast, people who do not include close relationships in their sense of self (low-RISCs) respond most favorably to self-reference advertisements featuring solitary models.
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.