Study: Positive and Negative Conversations Can Help or Hinder the Outcome of Femvertising Digital Campaigns
A new study has found that different types of conversations can either facilitate or hinder the formation of public opinion on a controversial topic in a digital platform. The findings by Huan Chen, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) Advertising associate professor and department chair, and UFCJC Advertising Associate Professor Yang Feng are featured in “Friend or Foe: A Mixed Method Analysis of YouTube Users’ Replies to Top Comments on Femvertising” published in Qualitative Market Research on Nov. 24.
Chen and Fang investigated replies to the top 10 comments under the Always “Like a Girl” YouTube femvertising video to gauge consumers’ responses regarding femvertising as well as relationships among commenters.
Femvertising is a social ideology that uses digital communication channels and social media to convey pro-female messages and values and take an opposite position to advertisements full of cliches, stereotypes or that discriminate or sexualize the female body.
The study’s findings suggest that flame-based replies, characterized by strong emotions and often negative in nature, are more prevalent than positive replies in user-to-user conversations surrounding femvertising campaigns.
According to the authors, “By examining YouTube comments and replies regarding femvertising, researchers can delve into whether brands’ stances on these issues are perceived as authentic and whether they are successful in generating high levels of engagement. Understanding these dynamics within the YouTube comment section can offer valuable contributions to the public sphere theory in the contemporary digital media context.”
They add, “Therefore, marketers and advertisers can strategically design messages that evoke strong emotions to prompt affective responses from commenters and strategically shift the sentiment from negative to positive. In addition to targeting supporters and endorsers to promote positivity, marketers and advertisers should identify and engage with mind changers and mediators. Persuading them to advocate for the campaign’s ideology can help mitigate the overall negative sentiment of the conversation.”