Avoid plastic consumption: The impact of different types of explanations on the perceived persuasiveness of pro-environmental ads.

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The environment globally, especially marine ecology, is suffering from the severe consequences of excessive plastic consumption. Pro-environmental advertising is one of the key strategies that have been extensively implemented to persuade the public to cease plastic usage, and how to optimize the influence of these ads should be investigated. This study tackles the potential impact of how- and why- explanations, a conventional appeal tactic on the persuasiveness of ads promoting the reduction of plastic consumption, which is assessed through the attitude towards the ad, the attitude, and intention towards the targeted behaviour. In the form of a questionnaire, an experiment was conducted with the voluntary participation of 137 respondents, who were randomly exposed to one of the three conditioned ads corresponding to the types of explanations used (why- explanation, how- explanation, and no explanation). No significant effect of the different explanation types was identified on the attitude towards the ads, the attitude and behavioural intention towards avoiding plastic consumption, and the persuasiveness of the ad. The results suggest that the persuasive impact of advertisements against plastic consumption is not influenced by the explanatory information illustrated, irrespective of the types of explanations.
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