May eye-track your sustainability?” - How does a nature-appeal in the visual design of an advertisement influence consumers’ visual attention, engagement, purchase- and WOM intentions, and clicking behaviour in the sustainable clothing industry?

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Purpose - Contribute to the research field of social media advertising effectiveness in sustainable (start-up) contexts. Design / Methods / Approach – Two studies were conducted. An experimental study with between-subjects design was conducted with the use of eye-tracking software to capture participants’ visual attention. Two advertisements were designed for a non-fictional sustainable clothing brand: one with a natural background, one with an urban background. Additional analyses were included as the background was only one of three areas of interest being measured. For analysis, partial least square structural equation modelling was used. Study two was a field study, in which the same advertisements were launched as an Instagram advertising campaign, and the behavioural outcomes provided by Instagram were analysed with a logistic regression model. Results - This study indicated that the type of appeal in the background of an advertisement for a sustainable brand influences consumers’ behavioural outcomes. A natural background could work more effectively for gaining more likes and clicks on profile. An urban background could work more effectively to gain a higher click-through rate, and for encouraging customer engagement. Theoretical implications – The findings contribute to existing literature that the use of a natural background is associated with positive behavioural outcomes, but that the urban background worked better for other outcomes. Managerial implications – By experimenting with different visual advertising elements, sustainable start-ups should aim to optimally engage their target audience.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen