Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Social Cause Versus Profit Oriented Advertisements: Designing A Unique Message Strategy

Dr. Lisa Sciulli.

Social cause marketing research has fostered the position that if social cause messages are to be effective and encourage behavioral change they must be perceived as different from other advertising messages. This article evaluated over 500 magazine print advertisements via content analysis to reveal cause related, nonprofit, and profit oriented advertisements. Upon identification of these three advertisement types, further analysis explored information content and emotional appeal message strategies. The results significantly indicate that cause related and nonprofit advertisements elicited more emotional appeals than profit oriented advertisements, while profit oriented advertisements conveyed more information content. Specifically, profit oriented advertisements contained more information regarding price, quality, performance, contents, availability, offers, packaging, and new ideas than cause related and nonprofit advertisements. In comparison, only independent research was revealed more frequently with both cause related and nonprofit than profit oriented advertisements. Nonprofit advertisements provided the most safety and nutrition cues of the three advertisement types, while cause related revealed the most independent research, company research, and taste cues. Nonprofit advertisements evoked more fear, anger, interest, sadness, disgust, and surprise than cause related and profit oriented advertisements. Profit oriented advertisements were deemed most pleasant.


Dr. Lisa Sciulli  (United States)
marketing professor
Marketing Department Eberly College of Business & Information Technology
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Professor Sciulli is a faculty member of the marketing department at Indiana University of PA, USA. She currently instructs in the areas of advertising, retailing, and sales.

  • Social Cause Advertising
  • Nonprofit Advertising
  • Cause Related Advertising

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)