In web-based health campaigns, co-creation is a new persuasive strategy, enabling audience members to become active contributors to the campaign. Consider a recent campaign by the Dutch Cancer Foundation, which aimed to persuade its audience that non-smoking should be the social norm. It did so by asking audience members through social media to complete the slogan “Smoking is sóóó…” with something old-fashioned. While many audience members followed the campaign’s directive, some deviated and wrote a positive message about smoking (e.g., …nice) or a negative reflection on the campaign (e.g., …the ‘smoking is sóóó campaign’).
Such ambivalent responses are found for many co-creation campaigns, leading to the question when and how co-creation campaigns are successful (or not). Our project takes on this question and breaks new ground in two important ways. First, we take an interdisciplinary perspective and explore the role of both cues of the online environment (social sciences)
and linguistic cues (linguistics) in establishing the ways in which audience members co-create campaign slogans. Second, many co-creation studies are observations of cases of failed or successful co-creation. We propose to supplement such studies with a production experiment in which audience members co-create slogans in a controlled research environment.
Specifically, participants will be randomly exposed to one of several (fictitious) co-creation campaigns that differ in cues offered by the online environment and in linguistic cues used to trigger co-creation. This enables us to establish how these cues work (together) in generating audience responses, and help us to further entangle which elements constitute successful web-based co-creation campaigns.