Final Thesis-

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    Presented to the Department of Journalism and the Robert D. Clark Honors College

    in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts

    June 2016

  • An Abstract of the Thesis of

    Alexandra Weresh for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the Department of Journalism to be taken June 2016

    Title: Pro-social Branding Represented in a Creative Campaign for Crosley Radio

    Approved: -+~+--"----=:a...---+-~,,_Alu-_=--..;;;;.._:----_ -_ -_ -_ -_" ---Deborah Morrison

    Brands essentially have identities. These identities have typically marketed

    themselves as heroes by involving themselves in sustainable advertising. Recently, a

    new strategy has surfaced, pro-social advertising. Pro-social brands, as they have been

    titled, take a more politically disruptive and, at times, inspirational approach to the way

    they market themselves. Rather than donating to a cause (sustainable/ hero advertising),

    brands are entering controversial conversations. These conversations push for consumer

    involvement and portray the brand identity as having a human spirit.

    I have applied the idea of pro-social branding to a hypothetical campaign for

    Crosley Radios, a company that sells primarily tum tables. Crosley will involve

    themselves in the conversation ofracial equality. Specifically, Crosley will be

    promoting the fight for equality of all races and will market this conversation through

    their products, turntables and vinyl records. The creative execution can be seen in an

    accompanying material, a fifty-page brand book and a creative pitch.


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    I would like to thank Professors Deborah Morrison, Terry Hunt, and Tom

    McDonnell, for representing me in this process. I know that for each of them time is a

    gift and I appreciate every minute they have been willing to spare. I wanted to express

    that without them, this would have been an unthinkable task. I have been privileged to

    work with such excellent professors. Because of them, this has been a less strenuous

    and even more rewarding experience.

    In addition to an excellent team of professors, I would like to acknowledge my

    colleagues, Mina Naderpoor, Ali Angle, and Salem Weresh. This project required a

    great deal of positivity and patience and these individuals ensured that I was never

    empty of either. A special thank you for the hours of idea bouncing and endless support.

    Finally, I would like to acknowledge my family. In particular I would like to

    thank my mother, Melissa Weresh. Thank you for the late night paper edits, the phone

    calls regarding professionalism and, most importantly, the support and faith. I have

    been privileged to have such an incredibly intelligent woman backing my every word.

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    Table of Contents

    Accompanying Materials v Chapter 1: Brand Identities 1 Chapter Two: Sustainable Advertising 4 Chapter Three: Pro-Social Explained 7 Chapter Four: Ethical Parameters 10 Chapter Five: A Shy Strategy 14 Chapter Six: The Rules 16 Chapter Seven: Human Over Hero 18 Bibliography 20

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    Accompanying Materials

    This is a creative thesis for the Advertising department of the University of

    Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Accompanying this supplementary

    paper is the Creative Campaign for Crosley Radios, explained through a fifty-page

    Brand Book. This paper is the supplement to the creative thesis. The paper highlights

    the topic of pro-social branding.

  • Chapter 1: Brand Identities

    Brands have an identity, whether they intend to or not. This identity is built off

    of several different outputs, conversations, and opinions. Companies have a tangible

    identity based off of the products they sell, as well as user experience and they

    have an intangible identity based off the way consumers relate emotionally to the

    brand. These intangible identities are becoming a conversation amongst advertising

    professionals. Brands are starting to understand that they need to be paying attention to

    their tangible and intangible identities, and taking action to ensure they are seen in a

    positive light by their consumers. To do so, brands are starting to involve themselves in

    political and controversial conversations to inspire their consumers to lead positive

    change, this strategy is called Pro-Social branding, and it is proving to be a successful

    tactic of differentiating one brand from its competition.

    Identities exist in two different forms. These forms include the individual ego

    and the social ego. Our individual ego represents the way we view ourselves, the

    conversations that we have within our heads and the characteristics we would label

    ourselves with. Our social ego is just the opposite. It is the way other individuals regard

    us, the feelings they have about us and the characteristics they believe we hold. These

    social egos begin to exist with just one encounter, or one conversation. These egos that

    exist within personalities, both individual and social, can also be applied to


    1 Sachs, Jonah. "2015 Will Be the Year Brands Take a Public Stand on Social Issues." The Guardian.

    Guardian News and Media, 02 Jan. 2015. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.

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    An example of intangible and social identity can be seen through the consumer

    perception of vehicle companies. Consumers see Honda vehicles as being an affordable,

    dependable option. They are cars for middle class families and their children. In 2016,

    Kelley Blue Book rated the Honda Civic as one of their Top Family Vehicles.2 On the

    opposite side, Jeep is perceived as being a company for the adventurer, far from the

    suburbs. If one looks at each companys array of commercial techniques they will see

    how these companies individual egos interact with their social egos.

    Honda has recognized their social identity and recently, January 2016, had

    hopes of changing the publics perception. The goal was to go from the affordable and

    reliable option, to the cool car on the road. They presented a new commercial. Their

    commercial stated, The car that was once everyones first, is now everyones next. 3

    On the other hand, Jeep currently has an individual identity that agrees with their social

    identity. In Jeeps Super Bowl commercial of 2016, they featured portraits of heroes,

    royalty, and thrill-seekers. The commercial stated, Ive traveled, trekked, wandered

    and roamed only to find myself right where I belong.4

    Obviously, a consumer will purchase a product by weighing the variables of

    price, quality, and access. However, many companies operate within extremely similar

    arenas. So, these social identities typically enter the game when the consumer

    approaches a fork in the road. Lets look at a hypothetical situation. Becky, an avid

    2 Editors. "16 Best Family Cars of 2016." Kelley Blue Book Co., 4 Feb. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. 3 Honda TV Commercial Introducing The All New 2016 Honda Civic The Car That Was Once Everyones First Is Now Everyones Next Start Something Special | TV Commercial Spots Its All About The Ads! Prod. Honda. Youtube. Youtube, Jan. 2016. Web. 17 May 2016. 4 Jeep Super Bowl Commercial 2016 - Portraits. Dir. Jeep. Youtube. Youtube, Jan. 2016. Web.

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    coffee consumer, is standing at a crossroads. She has to decide if she would like to

    purchase her morning cup of coffee at Moonbucks' or The Coffee Seed. She enjoys

    each cup of coffee, they are the same in price, and each is a short walk from her house.

    How does she decide between the two locations? Well, Becky would categorize herself

    an environmentally aware individual. She has read that Moonbucks uses recycled cups

    and The Coffee Seed does not. So, Becky decides to go with the Moonbucks cup of


    This hypothetic situation is an example of a consumer choosing a brand for its

    identity. Becky did not pick between the two coffee shops based off of the product, she

    picked based off the brands involvement in a bigger conversation; environmentalism.

    When brands compete in a similar arena (for example coffee) consumers are looking

    beyond the product and into the identity of the company. With this being said, new

    strategies of advertising have come into play. These strategies include pro-social

    branding and sustainable advertising. So, what is the difference between pro-social and

    sustainable brands?

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    Chapter Two: Sustainable Advertising

    Sustainable advertising is traditional. This strategy assumes a consumer will

    applaud and reward the company for being good. It is a classic and safe strategy to

    win the hearts of consumers. Companies utilizing sustainable advertising involve

    themselves in conversations that portray the brand as a hero.

    Often times this involves donating money to a charity.5 One example of this is

    the one for one program by Toms Shoe Company. The company agreed to donate a

    pair of shoes for each pair purchased. Contrary to some consumer beliefs, Toms is

    actually a for-profit company.6 This