Save the Amazon Rainforest!: Message Strategies of Charity Advertising in Social Media


  • Jee Young Chung University of Arkansas
  • Rachel Braun



A common advertising message strategy used in gaining donations is utilizing images provoking emotion, statistics that support the need, and anecdotal wording to appeal to empathy. Utilizing the Elaboration Likelihood Model, this research examines the impacts of advertising message strategies on donation intention towards an environmental issue, by using a 2 (anecdotal versus logical appeal) × 2 (visual versus no visual) experiment. In addition, this study seeks to find relationships among other important factors such as the feeling of guilt, prior donation history, message comprehension, involvement, and gender. A result from 591 respondents using AmazonTurk showed that logical appeal influences respondents’ intention to recommend the cause to others and donation intention. Females were prone to feel higher amounts of guilt than males, females were more likely to recommend donating to others than males, and previous donors had higher intentions to donate and recommend donating to others. Further theoretical and practical implications are discussed.