2020 Volume 20 Issue 1 Pages 41-54
Attracting people's attention and encouraging them to take voluntary actions is not an easy task for every nonprofit organization. Given the abundance of information that people live with today, nonprofits must be strategic in how they approach potential supporters. Many organizations apply marketing techniques and seek for positive responses from the target audience. To expand our knowledge on effective and efficient communication strategies, this study goes beyond conventional framing analyses and examines elements of charity advertisements that viewers pay attention to. Do people turn their eyes to photos, and if so, what do they find attractive? Do they find words and phrases more appealing, or numbers? Multiple online advertisements of a well-known nonprofit were shown to 895 university students in Japan, who were asked to pick one that they found most striking, and self-analyze why they made that choice. Series of text analyses using these open-ended answers found that viewers pay attention to: who appears in the photo, whether the character is looking into the camera, detailed and specific numbers, and whether those numbers represent problematic situations.