'My Vote for My Mailman': Appeals to Reciprocity in Communication Campaigns

Schmalenbach Business Review, Vol. 65, July 2013, pp. 248-269

22 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2013

See all articles by Carmen Horn

Carmen Horn

Independent

Anne Fries

University of Hamburg

Karen Gedenk

University of Hamburg - Institute for Marketing and Media

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

We study the influence of an explicit appeal to reciprocity as a design element in communication campaigns. We conduct an experiment based on a real campaign run by Deutsche Post, the German postal service, in which German citizens could participate in a sweepstakes and vote for their mail carrier as “Mailman of the Year”, in return for good service. We also study a second reciprocity-based sweepstakes by a private company. We find that using an appeal to reciprocity as a communication tool neither increases participation in the sweepstakes nor improves brand image per se. Rather, its effectiveness depends on the fit between the campaign and the brand, and on customers’ satisfaction with the service provided.

Keywords: Communication Appeals, Reciprocity, Sweepstakes

JEL Classification: M10, M31, M37, M39

Suggested Citation

Horn, Carmen and Fries, Anne and Gedenk, Karen, 'My Vote for My Mailman': Appeals to Reciprocity in Communication Campaigns (2013). Schmalenbach Business Review, Vol. 65, July 2013, pp. 248-269, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2339902

Carmen Horn

Independent ( email )

Anne Fries (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg ( email )

Allende-Platz 1
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

Karen Gedenk

University of Hamburg - Institute for Marketing and Media ( email )

Welckerstrasse 8
Hamburg, 20354
Germany

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