Lost in the Story: Factors That Affect Narrative Transportation and Advertising

Session Chair: Jing Wang, Northwestern University
Discussion Leader: John Deighton, Harvard University

Lost in the Story: Factors that Affect Narrative Transportation and Advertising



Narrative Transportation and Advertising Effectiveness

Jing Wang and Bobby J. Calder, Northwestern University


Advertising is commonly presented in the context of media articles or programs that are intended to engage the consumer. An important aspect of this engagement can be conceptualized theoretically as transportation. Transportation is a type of information processing in which a person not only attends to information but also is absorbed into the narrative flow of a story in a pleasurable and active way. This research examines the effects of the degree of consumer transportation produced by the media context on the impact of ads that appear in that context.



Narrative Self-Referencing

Jennifer Edson Escalas, Vanderbilt University


This paper contrasts narrative self-referencing with non-narrative (analytical) self-referencing. We propose that narrative self-referencing persuades through transportation, where people become absorbed in their story-like thoughts (Green and Brock 2000). When ad viewers are transported, persuasion is not negatively affected by weak ad arguments. On the other hand, analytical self-referencing persuades via more traditional processing models, wherein cognitive elaboration is enhanced by relating incoming information to one’s self, resulting in a differential persuasive effect for strong versus weak arguments. We also propose that ad skepticism moderates the effect of narrative transportation. These assertions are tested in three experiments.



The Impact of Prior Thinking on the Enjoyment of Experiences

Daniel Lieb and Joel Huber, Duke University


Many consumption experiences take place after one has thought about an event. The purpose of our research is to determine contexts in which thinking in advance about an event increases its value and to develop a theory parallel to both transportation theory and mental simulation that accounts for this increase in preference. We report two experiments in which participants watch films of both short and feature length. We find significant increases in preference measures for participants who were encouraged to write about a film’s abstract prior to viewing the film.
[ to cite ]:
Session Chair: Jing Wang and Discussion Leader: John Deighton (2006) ,"Lost in the Story: Factors That Affect Narrative Transportation and Advertising", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 406-408.