A Spoonful of Transportation Helps the Comparison Go Down: Using Narrative Transportation to Make Comparative Advertisements More Palatable Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Prettyman, Rebecca K.
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • Drawing direct comparisons between one's brand and its competitors is widely used in advertising. Previous research has shown positive effects of comparative advertising: consumers have an improved attitude toward the brand. However, comparisons can be risky, leading consumers to develop more source derogations, perceive the advertisement as more aggressive, and have increased negative emotions and attitude toward the ad. A plausible question posed by a brand manager or advertiser would be: how can we maintain the positive effects of drawing a comparison, while mitigating the negative effects? Research into the effects of narrative transportation shows that subjects react very favorably toward advertisements that induce them to imagine themselves in the described product scenario. This thesis was designed to investigate how coupling narrative transportation with comparisons in an advertisement affects consumers' reactions, and if the use of transportation can calm the negative effects of a comparison. The results of this study suggest that a transportive comparative ad is as effective as a transportive noncomparatived--when paired with transportation, a comparison's negative effects are assuaged.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication."
  • Johnston, Anne
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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