Be woke, be powerful

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Over the years, there has been a shift in advertising due to characteristics of the newest generations, who demand transparency and authenticity from brands. This shift has resulted in an importance for brands to have a purpose by being aware of social injustices, an approach named woke advertising. Although many brands participate with this newest form of advertising, little is known about whether woke advertising influences brand role preference. Current research investigates the psychological effects of exposure to woke advertising, by examining what the role of sense of power is in understanding how woke advertisements affect consumers’ brand preferences. On top of that, it is the first research that measures brand role preference through woke advertising, construal level theory and sense of power. An experiment evinced that woke advertising induces abstract thinking when controlled for gender. In particular, men seem to think more abstractly after exposure to a woke advertisement compared with women. Abstract thinking also has been found to be an important mediator in the relationship between woke advertising and sense of power, hence exposure to woke advertising resulting in a higher sense of power. This provides valuable insights for brands to make their consumers aware of injustices, as sense of power has been found to be an important determinant of behaviour. Moreover, it appears that woke advertising leads to a preference for partner brands over servant brands. Public policy makers may benefit from this effect by adjusting the tone of their policy as a partner to make a change globally. Key words: woke advertising, construal level theory, abstract thinking, sense of power, brand role preference, servant brand, partner brand
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen