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The Influence of Brand Anthropomorphization in Negative Publicity
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Most of prior literatures indicated that the using of anthropomorphization creates more favorable consumer reactions and thus enhances brand performance; however, a research yet noticed that priming anthropomorphization would put brands at risk. Hence, the present research follows the research of Puzakova, Kwak, and Rocereto (2013b) to examine the negative repercussion. The objective of this research is to gain insight into the influence of brand anthropomorphization in negative publicity through manipulating the type of negative publicity and the attribution of crisis responsibility.
This research conducts two experiments. Study 1 investigates a fictitious brand of a smart phone and Study 2 investigates an existing brand of a household cleaning product. Results of two studies suggest that: (1) When negative publicity happened, an anthropomorphized brand generated more negative brand attitude change; (2) Brand trust played a mediating role between brand anthropomorphization and brand attitude; (3) Performance-related negative publicity resulted in more negative brand attitude change toward an anthropomorphized brand; however, when values-related negative publicity happened, there were no significant differences in brand attitude change toward either an anthropomorphized or a nonanthropomorphized brand ; (4) When a brand was in a victim attribution, there were no significant difference between negative publicity type and brand anthropomorphization; however, when a brand was in an intentional attribution, there were an interaction between negative publicity type and brand anthropomorphization: performance-related negative publicity resulted in more negative brand attitude change toward an anthropomorphized brand ; values-related negative publicity resulted in more negative brand attitude change toward a nonanthropomoiphized brand.
The current research has some contribution to the brand management literature. Although Puzakova et al. (2013b) indicated that the negative consequences of brand anthropomorphization, the present research points out two moderators to show that the negative consequences would not exist in certain circumstances. This research explain the influence of negative publicity on brand anthropomorphization by means of clarifying negative publicity more precisely. Furthermore, this research enhances the understanding of consumers' processing of negative publicity: brand trust is the psychological mechanism between brand anthropomorphization and brand attitude. These findings share both theoretical and managerial implications.
過去品牌與廣告領域之文獻多證實了擬人化能帶來較高的產品喜好度與品牌態度，進而增加品牌績效；儘管如此，仍有研究發現觸發擬人的知覺可能造成的風險，並探討了品牌擬人化之負面效果，本研究遵循Puzakova、Kwak與Rocereto (2013b) 的腳步，從品牌擬人化的角度出發，藉由操弄負面事件類型與危機責任歸因，探討發生負面事件後，品牌擬人化之有無，是否會因為負面事件類型與危機責任歸因之差異，而影響消費者對有無品牌擬人化之品牌信任與態度的評估。
本研究以實驗設計法進行兩個實驗，分別以虛擬品牌的智慧型手機以及真實品牌橘子工坊的清潔劑作為實驗產品，探討大學生以及一般消費者在面對品牌發生負面事件後的評估。研究結果發現：(1) 在發生負面事件後，有品牌擬人化會對消費者品牌態度之改變產生更負面的影響； (2) 在發生負面事件後，品牌信任為品牌擬人化與品牌態度間的中介變數； (3) 當負面事件類型為表現面，有品牌擬人化對品牌態度改變會產生更負面的影響；當負面事件類型為價值面，品牌擬人化對品牌態度改變無顯著影響； (4) 當危機責任為受害型時，品牌擬人化與負面事件類型無交互效果；當危機責任為故意型時，有無品牌擬人化與負面事件類型便會產生交互效果：當負面事件為表現面，有品牌擬人化對品牌態度的改變會產生更負面的影響；當負面事件為價值面，無品牌擬人化對品牌態度的改變會產生更負面的影響。
本研究之貢獻在於，儘管Puzakova et al. (2013b) 證實了發生負面事件後品牌擬人化帶來的負面影響，但是透過本研究提出的兩個干擾變數，證明了此負面效果其實在某些情境是不存在的，藉由使負面事件輪廓更加清晰來進一步說明負面事件對品牌擬人化效果的影響，此為過去尚未探討的研究缺口。此外，本研究找出負面事件發生後，品牌擬人化對品牌態度的影響路徑是透過品牌信任，此一關鍵心理機制的發現無論是對過去研究或是實務上之品牌管理者皆有相當大的貢獻。
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