This post is out of analytics context. It doesn’t tell anything about my experience in analytic. This is a special topic that I put from my final exam in the University of Indonesia for Bachelor degree. Relax and please enjoy this post!
When you read the title above, maybe you are thinking about “are mortality salience and intention of buying local products can be related each other? If the answer is – yes, they are – but how?” That type of question was made sense. Since, it is difficult to find the relation of both. But, nothing is impossible! Actually, both of them are related each other. Their relationship happened beyond our consciousness (Pyszczynski, Greenberg, & Solomon, 1999).
From this relationship, we think about, whether mortality salience can be the strategy to extend the market of local product or not. To dig deeper about this issue, I took Fastron Oil TVC as an example of local product in this study case.
Fastron Oil TVC (2007):
At a car service station, there was a customer waiting for his car that under the service. While he was waiting, he read a newspaper that have a headline “The Rise of Indonesia”. At that time, both on radio and television also talked about the rise of Indonesia. Then, the customer said “how could Indonesia stand up and rise?” The owner of car service station replied “the way to make Indonesia stand up is use Fastron Oil from Pertamina, with world quality. The profit is for our country, for us. Country got the profit, and also did us.” Immediately, the customer said to the officer to change his oil car with Fastron oil from Pertamina. We can also hear nation heroic song “Maju Tak Gentar” and see our flag from this TVC (Square Box Cinetech, 2007).
PT Pertamina took the country things to promote their product, with nation heroic song and Indonesian flag at the end of TVC. This made the TVC become patriotic TVC, and built spirit of nationalism for people who saw the TVC. Because this patriotic TVC, the product also become patriotic, means that the product has a positive value for Indonesian customer. Buying Fastron oil is same with making a profit for our country. The question is, if we related this case with mortality salience, how mortality salience and this patriotic TVC related each other?
Talking about death, on July 17th 2009 there was a bomb explosion at JW Marriot and Ritz Carlton Hotel, Indonesia. This explosion has a big effect for Indonesia. One of example effect is the cancellation visit from Manchester United team as their Asian tour to Jakarta. The management cancelled the visit because they didn’t want put their team in danger situation. The other effect is the rise of death anxiety in Indonesian, especially people that lived in Jakarta. Because the policemen didn’t success in catching the irresponsible people, situation at that time become more risk to everyone. Bomb terror can happen wherever and whenever, and everyone can be the victim. This terror made mortality salience spread. Is this type of condition that appropriate to promote Fastron Oil?
Further explanation about mortality salience and customer behavior towards local product can be found on Terror Management Theory (TMT). This theory said that people who has death anxiety is trying to reduce it (Pyszczynski, 2004).They reduce their anxiety with two ways. First, obey the rule in their culture. They do what they culture see as good behavior. Second, they try to increase their self esteem (Rosenblatt, Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski, & Lyon, 1989). Both of it make they feel better and confidence, so the anxiety is reduced (Pyszczynski, 2004).
An experiment with 108 students from 43 Senior High School in Jakarta, Indonesia, proved that mortality salience has an effect towards intention buying of local products (Saraswati, 2009). Participant in high anxiety level has an intention to buy local product higher than participant in low anxiety level. Product that related to their group got more positive responds when participant being in death anxiety condition (Greenberg, Pyszczynski, Solomon, Rosenblatt, Veeder, & Kirkland, 1990).
Local product that represents as original thing from their group was seen in more positive when people have mortality salience. This statement was proved by the higher intention of buying T-shirt made in Indonesia in high anxiety group than in low anxiety or control group. The higher intention of buying local product is their reflection to do what their culture see as good behavior. They were trying to do the good things. Object that related to their culture, they saw as thing that support their culture value.
Result from Saraswati (2009) study appropriated with TMT hypothesis. Mortality salience drive people to reduce it, one of the ways are via do a good thing in their culture (Rosenblatt, et al. 1989). This result showed that patriotic TVC, like Fastron Oil TVC, is effective when played between television session about natural damages, accidents, or terrorist attacks that resulted in death. Remember about terrorist attack towards JW Marriot and Ritz Carlton Hotel, Fastron Oil TVC is effective when played between the news that reported the victim of bomb explosion. This kind of session made customer have a death anxiety and then seeking a way to reduce it.
After read this article, maybe you got more understanding about how mortality salience and intention to buy local product related each other. At the end of the article, I give you some sources that I used as article reference. You can read some of them if you want to dig deeper about this topic. Hope this marketing strategy can be applied in Indonesia, and make local product industries increased.
Ferraro, R., Shiv, B., & Bettman, J. R. (2005). Let Us Eat and Drink, for Tomorrow We Shall Die: Effects of Mortality Salience and Self-Esteem on Self-Regulation in Consumer Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, 32, 65 – 75.
Greenberg, J., Pyszczynski, T., Solomon, S., Rosenblatt, A., Veeder, M., & Kirkland, S. (1990). Evidence for Terror Management Theory II: The Effects of Mortality Saliance on Reactions to Those Who Threaten or Bolster the Cultural Worldview. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(2), 308-318.
Pyszczynski, Tom. (2004). What Are We So Afraid Of? A Terror Management Theory Perspective on the Politics of Fear. Social Research, 71(4), 827-848.
Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (1999). A Dual-Process Model of Defense Against Conscious and Unconscious Death-Related Thoughts: An Extension of Terror Management Theory. Psychological Review, 106(4), 835-845.
Rosenblatt, A., Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., Pyszczynski, T., & Lyon, D. (1989). Evidence For Terror Management Theory: I The Effects of Mortality Salience on Reactions to Those Who Violate or Uphold Cultural Values. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(4), 681-690.
Saraswati, Mega Puji. (2009). Buying “Fastron Oil” After Watched Death News: The Influence of Mortality Salience and Identification as Indonesian on the Intention to Purchase Local Products. Depok: Bachelor Degree Program. Psychology, University of Indonesia.
Square Box Cinetech. (January 3rd 2007). Nasionalisme. PT. Pertamina, Indonesia.