Communicating the crisis through advertising. An analysis on the influence of proactive and defensive framings on product’s evaluation

Renata Metastasio, Ambra Brizi, Alessandro Biraglia, Lucia Mannetti


In times of recession and economic crisis consumers tend to drop their purchases, especially in relation to durable goods. Both companies and academic research have tried to shed light on the processes that may influence consumers’ purchasing decisions in times of economic uncertainty. Furthermore, they tried to understand whether increasing or decreasing the investments in advertising could impact on these processes. The present research has the main objective of tracking the evolution of advertising communication in Italy and empirically testing if different approaches can be more or less effective to communicate the crisis. In particular, we test whether presenting a more “proactive” approach to crisis (using a claim like “OVERRUN THE CRISIS”) could be more beneficial than a “defensive” slogan (such “RUN AWAY FROM THE CRISIS”). The results confirm how consumers give higher evaluations of the product advertised through the proactive (rather than the defensive) slogan. In the concluding remarks, the authors provide suggestion to implement these findings as well as direction for potential future research.


advertising communication; economic crisis; message framing; product evaluation

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