Capitalising on Consumers’ Feelings Emotionally-Moving Narrative Advertising of Commercial and Non-Profit Companies.
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Narratives are an effective strategy to employ within advertising for their ability to help people establish meaning through constructing stories. Advertisers often draw on the emotion of ‘being moved’ as it further immerses the audience into the story and can positively affect brand attitudes. Both commercial and non-profit companies utilise these benefits of emotional, narrative advertising, but it is proposed that the values of being moved are perhaps more in line with the characteristics of non-profit brands. This study uses evaluative conditioning to explore the differences in perceptions of commercial and non-profit companies when they use moving and non-moving narratives in their advertisements. The experiment (N = 128) used a 2(company type: commercial vs. non-profit) x 2(story type: moving vs. non-moving) withinparticipants design. Attitudes towards the companies were measured in attractiveness, appeal and likeability. The results showed that, overall, the non-profit companies were rated more positively than the commercial brands. It was also found that, overall, the moving stories did not produce higher attitude scores of companies than the non-moving stories. However, the effect of emotionality was significant for the commercial companies, not the non-profit companies, as they were rated more positively after being associated with moving stories than after being associated with non-moving stories. This suggests that advertisers in the commercial sphere should employ moving narratives within their marketing techniques. The findings offer guidance for marketers of commercial and non-profit companies and illustrate how businesses can benefit from scientific research to increase the effectivity of their strategies.