Dr Sommer Kapitan

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Senior Lecturer

Email: sommer.kapitan@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4069-9111

Links to relevant web pages:


  • PhD, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Master's, Texas A&M University
  • Bachelor's of Science (journalism), Texas A&M University


As a marketing scholar, Dr. Sommer Kapitan gets to ask how we can use the amoral tools of marketing to move people. What makes marketing effective? How can we better protect consumers against the onslaught of a new marketing message every 2.7 seconds? And… how can we use marketing to build social good?

As an engaged business academic, Sommer teaches students, trains student researchers, collects data and analyzes studies, publishes meaningful research, works with media to translate the science of what we do, and works with industry to maximize their power to move people. The short take: This job keeps evolving, and it's a job Sommer loves sinking her teeth into.

Sommer is a member of:
-- Science Media Centre NZ
-- Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy
-- American Council on Consumer Interests
-- Association of Consumer Research
-- Society for Consumer Psychology
-- American Marketing Association

She works closely with partners at:
--University of Massachusetts Lowell
--The University of Texas at San Antonio
--Texas State University
--University of Canterbury
--Virginia Tech University
--Commercial Communications Council
--iMedia Brand Summit

Research interests:

-- Sustainable consumption and prosocial consumer behavior
-- Social marketing and marketing for the social good
-- Advertising effectiveness, marcomms and the rise of social influencers

Teaching summary:

-- Consumer Behaviour
-- Marketing Strategy
-- Media Psychology & Planning
-- Attitudes, Behaviours, & Cognitions
-- Markets & Segments

Professional activities:

    Research outputs:

    Journal articles

    • Vredenburg, J., Kapitan, S., Spry, A., & Kemper, J. (2020). Brands taking a stand: Authentic brand activism or woke washing?. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 39(4), 444-460. doi:10.1177/0743915620947359

    • Kapitan, S., Kennedy, A. M., & Berth, N. (2019). Sustainably superior versus greenwasher: A scale measure of B2B sustainability positioning. Industrial Marketing Management, 76, 84-97. doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2018.08.003

    • Mittal, S., Kapitan, S., & Silvera, D. H. (2019). Go big or go home: Risk seeking for experiential choices. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 18(2), 97-108. doi:10.1002/cb.1750

    • Kapitan, S., Ross, S. M., & Silvera, D. H. (2019). Small‐dollar credit lending: The effect of financial burden on personal asset misvaluation. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 53(3), 946-974. doi:10.1111/joca.12209

    • Ross, S. M., & Kapitan, S. (2018). Balancing self/collective-interest: equity theory for prosocial consumption. European Journal of Marketing, 52(3-4). doi:10.1108/EJM-01-2017-0002

    • Kennedy, A. -M., Kapitan, S., Bejaj, N., Bakonyi, A., & Sands, S. (2017). Uncovering wicked problem's system structure: Seeing the forest for the trees. Journal of Social Marketing, 7(1). doi:10.1108/JSOCM-05-2016-0029

    • Yap, C., & Kapitan, S. (2017). Consumption coping and life transitions: An integrative review. Australasian Marketing Journal, 25(3). doi:10.1016/j.ausmj.2017.04.003

    • Kapitan, S., & Silvera, D. H. (2016). From digital media influencers to celebrity endorsers: Attributions drive endorser effectiveness. Marketing Letters, 27(3). doi:10.1007/s11002-015-9363-0

    • Kennedy, A. -M., Kapitan, S., & Soo, S. (2016). Eco-warriors: Shifting sustainable retail strategy via authentic retail brand image. Australasian Marketing Journal, 24(2). doi:10.1016/j.ausmj.2016.03.001

    • Kapitan, S., & Bhargave, R. (2013). Navigating residue sensitivity in the used goods marketplace. Psychology and Marketing, 30(4). doi:10.1002/mar.20607

    • Phipps, M., Ozanne, L. K., Luchs, M. G., Subrahmanyan, S., Kapitan, S., Catlin, J. R., . . . Weaver, T. (2013). Understanding the inherent complexity of sustainable consumption: A social cognitive framework. Journal of Business Research, 66(8). doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2012.08.016

    • Luchs, M., Walker Naylor, R., Rose, R. L., Catlin, J., Gau, R., Kapitan, S., . . . Weaver, S. T. (2011). Toward a sustainable marketplace: Expanding options and benefits for consumers. Journal of Research for Consumers, 19.

    Book chapters

    • Kapitan, S. (2020). Macro-social marketing as a tool to increase the share of renewable energy in developing island nations. In A. M. Kennedy (Ed.), Macro-social marketing insights: Systems thinking for wicked problems (pp. 27-53). London: Routledge.

    • Kapitan, S. (2018). Case study 2.1: Inspired marketing. In D. Grewal, M. Levy, & S. Matthews (Eds.), Marketing (pp. 43-44). Sydney, Australia: McGraw-Hill.

    • Kapitan, S. (2018). Case study 7.1: Fresh Research. In D. Grewal, M. Levy, S. Matthews, P. Harrigan, & T. Bucic (Eds.), Marketing (pp. 223-224). Sydney, Australia: McGraw-Hill.

    • Kennedy, A. M., Kapitan, S., Bajaj, N., Bakonyi, A., & Sands, S. (2017). Fast fashion: a wicked problem for macro-social marketing. In G. Hastings, & C. Domegan (Eds.), Social Marketing: Rebels with a Cause (pp. 502-508). Oxon, UK and New York, USA: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315648590

    • Kapitan, S., & Kennedy, A. -M. (2015). Achieve sustainable superiority by communicating green practices and ideals. In S. Arenstein (Ed.), The book of CSR and green PR: Strategies and tactics (pp. 146-149). Rockville, MD, USA: PR News Press. Retrieved from http://www.prnewsonline.com/csr-green-pr-guidebook-vol-7

    • Kapitan, S., Bhargave, R.., Trask, K., Sundie, J. M., & Silvera, D. H. (2014). Product end-of-life decisions. In L. R. Khale, & E. Gurel-Atay (Eds.), Communicating sustainability for the green economy (pp. 56-71). London, England: Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.routledge.com/

    Conference contributions

    • Vredenburg, J., Kapitan, S., Spry, A., & Kemper, J. (2020). Brands taking a stand: Authentic brand activism or woke washing?. In 2020 AMA Marketing and Public Policy Conference. Virtual: AMA. Retrieved from https://www.ama.org/

    • Vredenburg, J., Kapitan, S., Spry, A., & Kemper, J. (2019). A brand’s involvement in socio-political issues: Seeking positive social change or jumping on the bandwagon?. In Proceedings Macromarketing Conference 2019 (pp. 406-408). Cleveland Ohio. Retrieved from http://society.macromarketing.org/conference/

    Other outputs

    • Vredenburg, J., Spry, A., Kemper, J., & Kapitan, S. (2020). Athlete activism or corporate woke washing? Getting it right in the age of Black Lives Matter is a tough game. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/

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