Religious individuals have traditionally responded negatively to controversial advertising; however, little has been examined in their response to brand activism in the form of social justice issues. Interestingly, brands may find support from more religious individuals when promoting certain social issues. Across three studies using two social networks (Twitter and Instagram), this research demonstrates that individuals who identify as more religious (compared to those who identify as less religious) consistently display higher attitudes, intentions, and perceptions of authenticity for brands supporting social justice issues (precisely racial inequality, or “Black Lives Matter”). These findings are explained through social identity theory, in which the desire for belongingness increases the efficacy of the influence of religious affiliation. This work provides novel findings of religiosity's impact on brand support of social justice issues.
Rast, Rebecca; Coleman, Josh; and Simmers, Christina S.
"Keeping the Faith: The Impact of Religiosity on Controversial Social Justice Advertising,"
Atlantic Marketing Journal: Vol. 11:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/amj/vol11/iss1/3