Smokey the Bear Should Come to the Beach: Using Mascot to Promote Marine Conservation

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August 30, 2016 - 9:20am
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2015
Date published: 03/2015
Authors: D. Hayden, B. Dills
Journal title: Social Marketing Quarterly
Volume: 21
Issue: 1
Pages: 3 - 13
ISSN: 1524-5004

There is an open question among conservation practitioners regarding whether using flagship specifies to market marine conservation is less effective than using terrestrial species in the terrestrial context. A flagship species is a species selected to act as an ambassador, icon, or symbol for a defined habitat, issue, campaign, or environmental cause. A mascot species has many of the same attributes as a flagship species, but is selected for its communications value instead of its ecological value. Our research indicates that mascot species can be as effective a marketing tool for marine conservation as they have been for terrestrial conservation. Based on our study, there is no evidence that the use of marine mascot species or that confront threats based on fishing and harvesting of aquatic resources perform any differently from other social marketing campaigns that address terrestrial issues.

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