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Faculty Research Wins Award at Qualtrics Insight Summit

April  2016

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In February, leading business professionals and academics from around the world gathered at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City for the 2016 Qualtrics Insight Summit. Prominent on the program was the “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” game show, hosted by Stephen Dubner, the author of Freakonomics.

Aaron Brough with trophy

An invited contestant on the show, Huntsman marketing professor Aaron Brough joined competitors from Duke, Stanford, and CUNY onstage in front of a 2,500-person audience. After delivering a brief summary of their research, the four contestants fielded questions from a panel of judges consisting of renowned authors Malcolm Gladwell, Tim Ferris, and Liz Wiseman.

Dr. Brough won the Audience Choice Award with a dominating 38% vote from the crowd. His award-winning pitch, based on research that is currently under review at a top marketing journal, is included below:

“You probably don’t know that in addition to littering, wasting water, or using too much electricity, you can damage the environment by making men feel feminine. In a series of experiments involving over 2,000 participants in multiple countries, my colleagues and I have found that threatening a man’s masculinity (for example, by telling him his writing style is feminine or by giving him a pink gift card with a floral design) causes him to avoid eco-friendly products. We believe this happens because of a prevalent stereotype that ‘green is girly.’ So when a man doesn’t feel macho, he tries to reassert his masculinity through environmentally-destructive choices. On the flip side, men who feel secure in their manhood are comfortable going green. In short, if you want to do something good for the environment today, make a man feel more manly!”

When asked how pro-environmental marketers can use these findings, Brough replied, “We have found two good options; first, marketers can brand green products using more masculine fonts, colors, and images so that they are less threatening to men. Second, marketers can craft messages and promotional materials designed to affirm men’s masculinity. This confidence boost helps men overcome the fear that people will judge them as feminine if they use green products.”

Dr. Brough’s win is further evidence that the charge to Dare Mighty Things is successfully inspiring achievement among Huntsman faculty members and students. Commenting on the trajectory of the Huntsman School, Brough added: “Participating in these types of events promotes the Huntsman School’s brand and helps to build our national reputation. It was great to share the stage with such prominent individuals and show that we belong in that crowd.” We are proud to have exceptional faculty members like Aaron Brough representing our school as we continue to Build Huntsman.

To connect with Dr. Brough follow this link to his bio.