Effects of Issue- and Character-Based Narrative Political Ads on Ad Evaluations

Fuyuan Shen, Guolan Yang, Jeff Conlin, Pratiti Diddi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study is to explore how narrative political ads interact with other message strategies in affecting recipients' ad responses. To accomplish that, we conducted a 2 × 2 × 2 between-subjects experiment whereby participants viewed political ads manipulated by message format (non-narrative vs. narrative), message valence (negative vs. positive), and message focus (issue vs. character). Results suggested that narrative political ads elicited favorable advertising evaluations via increased transportation and reduced counterarguing. Moreover, when political ads attacked the competing candidate's character, the narrative message led to higher levels of empathy and lower levels of counterarguing than the non-narrative message. Reduced counterarguing was the mechanism through which favorable ad evaluations were generated. These findings have both theoretical and practical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Media Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology

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