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Evidence of mortality salience and psychological defenses in bottled water campaigns
- Cote, Stephanie, Wolfe, S. E.
- Applied environmental education and communication 2018 v.17 no.4 pp. 281-298
- advertising, bottled water, death, environmental education, longevity, mortality, self-esteem
- Environmental campaigns provide information to encourage people to alter their behaviors but with mixed success. Terror Management Theory (TMT)—and the influence of mortality reminders—offers a useful framework for understanding environmentally significant behaviors, and provides critical insights for developing more effective environmental communications. TMT indicators guided our analysis of Canadian corporate, pro-bottled water advertising, and public, anti-bottled water campaigns. We found that pro-bottled water advertisements had a greater capacity to manage death anxieties because they better support the audiences' self-esteem, provide the audience with opportunities to engage in worldview defense, and symbolically extend the consumers' perceived lifespan.