Storytelling in Advertising: Does the Beginning matter?
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In the present study we investigated whether the beginning of dramatic stories could change the liking of neutral stimuli in an evaluative conditioning paradigm. We conducted an experiment to examine two hypotheses, namely whether the story endings affect the neutral stimuli towards their valence and whether the story beginnings affect the neutral stimuli towards the opposite valence. The experiment (N = 132) used a 2 x 2 between and within participants (mixed) design. Unknown brands of mineral water were associated with stories that could begin either positively or negatively and could also end either positively or negatively. The brands were always presented after the ending of the stories. The results indicated that the beginnings in contrast to the endings do not have an effect on neutral stimuli. Both the theoretical and the practical implications of the findings are discussed.