Conservationists already use flagship species to promote conservation actions (e.g. Krauss 2005; Smith and Sutton 2008; Veríssimo et al. 2009; Barua et al. 2010; Barua et al. 2011; Veríssimo et al. 2011; Root-Bernstein and Armesto 2013), and though anthropomorphic traits such as forward facing eyes are often key in flagship selection (Smith et al. 2012), little attention has been given to the role of anthropomorphized flagships. Commercial marketers have long established that anthropomorphism can be an effective way to connect people to products and services. This has led to the use of anthropomorphism in campaigns dealing
with products ranging from flavored fruit drinks to condoms to car parts (Spears et al. 1996; Waytz et al. 2010). Nonetheless, marketers have Belnacasan realized anthropomorphism is not universal, with its impact influenced by the social, economic and cultural profile of the target audience. As such, anthropomorphism has been used largely in a strategic way for particular product and service categories and linked to specific animal groups (Epley et al. 2008; Waytz et al. 2010). For example, representations of animals are mainly associated with the selling of food and drink (nondurables), pet foods, and services, with wild animals more frequently shown in an anthropomorphic state than domesticated animals (Spears et al. 1996). Social marketers
have also used anthropomorphism to improve the impact of conservation messages. For example, in the United States, Smokey the Bear, a black bear shown AZD6738 in a Forest Ranger’s uniform, is one of the most buy MCC950 popular conservation icons, branded with his message “only you can prevent wildfires.” As would be expected, anthropomorphism is common in Tyrosine-protein kinase BLK marketing campaigns that associate animals to the brands they are promoting as a
means to influence their target audience (Spears et al. 1996). This influence occurs both through the symbolic meanings that have been culturally assigned to particular animal species as well as the species physical attractiveness and likability (Lancendorfer et al. 2008). In this context, anthropomorphism gives marketers ample flexibility to move away from or reinforce the symbolic meanings associated with a species and in this way construct brand personalities that more effectively resonate with their target audience (Kotler and Armstrong 2012). Nevertheless, we still do not understand many of the dimensions of this use such as what aspects of animals (e.g. behavior, physical) are most often anthropomorphized and how these different aspects impact different socio-economic groups. Anthropomorphism is thus likely to motivate conservation support by highlighting commonalities between the human and non-human conditions. Anthropomorphism is based on at least three primary engagements with other species, including egomorphism, charisma and empathy, but it can develop through different experiences and take many forms.