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Strategic advertising of online news articles as an intervention to influence wildlife product consumers (Open Access)
Changing human behavior is essential for biodiversity conservation, but robust approaches for large scale change are needed. Concepts like repeat message exposure and social reinforcement, as well as mechanisms like online news coverage and targeted advertisements, are currently used by private and public sectors, and could prove powerful for conservation. Thus, to explore their potential in influencing wildlife consumption, we used online advertisements through Facebook, Google, and Outbrain, to promote news articles discussing the use of a Critically Endangered antelope (the Saiga tatarica) as a traditional Chinese medicine in Singapore. Our message, tailored to middle‐aged Chinese Singaporean women, framed saiga horn products as being no longer socially endorsed. Through advert performance and in‐depth analyses of Facebook user engagement, we assessed audience response. Our message pervaded Singapore's online media (e.g., our adverts were shown almost five million times; and the story ran on seven news outlets), and resulted in widespread desirable audience responses (e.g., 63% of Facebook users' engagements included identifiably positive features like calls for public action to reduce saiga horn consumption, anger at having unknowingly used a Critically Endangered species, and self‐pledges to no longer use it; only 13% of engagements included identifiably negative features). This work shows that targeted dissemination of online news articles can have promising results, and may have wide applicability to conservation.
Doughty, H, Wright, J, Veríssimo, D, Lee, JSH, Oliver, K, Milner‐Gulland, EJ. (2020) Strategic advertising of online news articles as an intervention to influence wildlife product consumers. Conservation Science and Practice. ; 2:e272.
Published: Sep 2020 | Categories: Research Articles