Social marketing, shock advertising and risky consumption behavior

Ibrahim Mukattash, Ala' Omar Dandis , Robert Thomas, Mohammad Nusair , Tareq Mukattash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The overall objective of this research is to “explore whether shock advertising has a long-lasting positive effect on the smoking cessation among smoking Jordanians in a country where smoking is a deep-rooted social norm.”

This research is an exploratory qualitative research. A purposeful sampling technique was used to select participants from a mall intercept and randomly divided into groups of seven. Each group was interviewed in two different focus group sessions (four weeks apart). All focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis.

A total of 41 participants took part in the focus group session. Most participants were smokers or second-hand smokers. “Three overarching themes were generated from the focus groups: previous anti-smoking campaign experience, shock advertising (SA) impact and drawbacks of SA. All participants reported that they have never been exposed to shocking adverts, and the shock appeal has never been applied in any of the anti-smoking or health awareness campaigns in Jordan. This research revealed that incorporating images of children with a mixture of emotional and fear appeals is effective in targeting Jordanian parents' negative consumptive behaviors, which may harm other individuals, especially children. Moreover, most participants commented that the effects of shock adverts would be very short term and would not likely change behaviors”.

This research contributes both “theoretically and practically to the value and effectiveness of shock advertising. This research area is overlooked in MENA countries, particularly Jordan”.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Markets
Early online date12 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Emerald Publishing. This AAM is deposited under the CC BY-NC 4.0 licence. Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence. To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting

Funding: The first author is grateful to the Applied Science Private University, Amman, Jordan for the financial support granted to this research project.


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