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A critical review of Brett A. S. Martin, Christina Kwai-Choi Le, Clinton Weeks and Maria Kaya, 2013 ‘How to stop binge drinking and speeding motorist: Effects of relational-interdependent self-construal and self referencing on attitudes toward social marketing’ Journal of Consumer Behaviour, vol 12, Pg no. 81-90.

The article focuses on consumer behaviour especially advertising in relation to binge drinking and speeding motorist. It mainly reviews the best way marketers can prevent speeding motorist and binge drinking. The text faces these social topics, road safety and alcohol consumption by conducting a research on how marketers can utilise consumer behaviour to effectively pass information in a bid to benefit the society. In this text, emphasis is majorly on investigating strategies to increase the effectiveness of social marketing. It introduces RISC (Relational-interdependent self- construal) into the social marketing theme and explores the role of RISC and self-referencing in terms of social marketing communication efficiency.

In review, the text begins by noting that social marketing has had limited success especially when dealing with road safety and alcohol consumption. Through the article, they introduce RISC which brings in the fact that an individual’s self-concept is defined in terms of close relations. This interprets that persons with high RISC tend to have a high regard for close relations while low RISC individuals have a lower regard towards the wishes of close others or rather care less about personal relationships. These relationships termed as close include spouses and close friends. In addition, high RISCs attend to the desires and yearning of the significant others in decision making more than the low-RISCs who tend to have a meagre cognitive network of relationship links. Thus, according to Cornelissen, Pandelaere, Warlop &DeWitte (2008), high-RISCs can be more inclined to being keen to relational spurs and information about others’ relationships. Further, the text through its research states that high RISCs the use of a companion to remind them on the negative consequences of their actions is more effective as they have a high regard for the other.

However, to low- RISCs the consequences are different as in social market the information conveyed should be based on the negative consequences of thier actions to themselves. In addition, the authors introduce the theme of self referencing in social marketing. In this point of view, the consumers relate the conveyed information to themselves. Thus, the study suggests that high RISCs understand better self referencing in advertisement strategies with two models while low-RISCs understand better in solitary models.


In the article we note that social marketing has a major role in addressing social issues such as alcohol consumption and speeding. However, the article angles out that its effectiveness is what counts. This concurs with Andreasen (2002), who states that there is need to improve the role of social marketing in the marketplace since it is best manifested when its effectiveness is optimum. This angle makes the text relevant in the sector as it addresses negative and consistent social problems. Basically, this is achieved by the use of data achieved through experiments. The results of the analysis of these results point out that if one acknowledges RISCs and self referencing as a perceptive in social marketing, then its effectiveness is improved. In this, the authors are able to obtain the main goal of the study.

Throughout the article, it can be noted that the authors highly rely on experimental data. Experimental data is highly regarded as accurate as the researcher has control over the variables thus increasing the reliability of the results. However, when dealing with human experiments, it is difficult to measure human response and results that apply to one situation may be difficult to replicate to the other situations. Therefore in a broader spectrum, instead of using experiments in study 1 and study 2, other methodologies could be rendered necessary so as to create comparison in data collection techniques. Despite that, the method used is effective and reliable as it creates a contrast by applying different variables of model strategy in study 1 and 2.

Basically, when reviewing the article one clearly understands that the RISCs perspective if well implemented can make social marketing effective. Majorly this is because of the structure of the article which introduces the reader to RISCs, gives the reader a preview of its effectiveness and finally shows the reader through an experiment that it can be effective. In this manner, the writers gain a mile by making the reader understand their point of view even though it is new in the field. Through this understanding, the reader gains knowledge on key theories in social marketing that affect its effectiveness. Generally, the writers succeed in creating strategies that will positively affect the effectiveness of social marketing.


In summing up, it is clear that even though RISCs perception is new to the field, it directly affects the effectiveness of social marketing. This article fulfils its purpose by providing information on how to improve the effectiveness of social marketing by introducing perspectives such as RISCs and themes such as self-referencing, and then explaining them through social issues such as alcoholism and road safety. It is concise as it offers individual information based on its mandate only. Thus, it is essential in the field of social marketing especially on predominant social issues. Fundamentally, its importance is summed up by the fact that each society has a social marketing sector; however what counts is its effectiveness.


Andreasen A. R. (2002). Marketing social marketing in the social change marketplace. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 21(1), Pg no 3–13.

Brett A. S. Martin, Christina Kwai-Choi Le, Clinton Weeks & Maria Kaya, (2013). How to stop binge drinking and speeding motorist: Effects of relational-interdependent self-construal and self referencing on attitudes toward social marketing, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, vol 12, Pg no. 81-90. John Wiley & Sons.

Cornelissen G, Pandelaere M, Warlop L, DeWitte S, 2008. Positive cueing: promoting sustainable consumer behaviour by cueing common environmental behaviours as environmental. International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol 25, pg no. 46–55.