Sample Business Paper on Storytelling in Advertising Critique

The role of storytelling in advertising: Consumer emotion, narrative engagement level, and word-of-mouth intention by Kang, Hong, & Hubbard (2019)


The role of storytelling in advertising: Consumer emotion, narrative engagement level, and word-of-mouth intention by Kang, Hong, & Hubbard (2019) is a research paper that seeks to investigate the influence of storytelling in audio advertisements. The authors argue that storytelling increases the emotional aspects of radio advertisements. Consumers tend to absorb and store information they can relate to in terms of stories. Consumers react differently when exposed to ads with stories against those without. However, the effectiveness of these stories depends on certain factors like the CEO image, consumer involvement, and product brand. Besides, the narrator od the ad story also influences the emotional engagement of the consumer towards the specific product. This is a positive research evaluation that identifies the positive response towards storytelling in audio advertisements.


The article by Kang, Hong, & Hubbard (2019) explores the role of storytelling in the audio advertisement. Specifically, the research looks at the effect of storytelling on the consumers’ emotions towards sharing information about the product. the authors argue that storytelling ads increase customers’ engagement level in a way that increases the probability to share the same information with others. The research uses a national sample of 300 online customers who are exposed to an ad with three different versions of a fictitious product. The first version is a commercial where the company founder is the storyteller, the second is a version a customer is a narrator, while the third commercial is the control with the only the information about the product. results show that narrative preference influences customer engagement and the emotional response towards sharing the product information through the word of mouth.


The article provides important information on the effects of storytelling ads on customers’ probability to pass the same message to other people by word of mouth. It is an academic paper with a research methodology that is easy to follow. The strength of the research paper lies in the methodology used in acquiring the data for analysis. On the same note, the sampling and analysis of the data make the research authentic to the readers (Gilliam, & Zablah, 2013). Analysis tools also provide the correct information on variance and covariance to approve or disapprove the hypothesis of the research. On the other hand, the research has a weakness in the type of product used. The type of product used could have affected the response from the sample. Therefore, the results may produce different results with other products.

The role of storytelling in advertising: Consumer emotion, narrative engagement level, and word-of-mouth intention by Kang, Hong, & Hubbard (2019) have strengths that produce positive observation of the project. Getting a sample from various online customers helped in balancing the geographical boundaries. People from given geographical areas may tend to behave in a particular way; therefore, sampling from one area may lead to a particular result. The online platform allowed the researchers to obtain a balanced sample for better data. The authors used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to acquire the participants with an approval rate of more than 97%. It meant that these people had been loyal customers with proven purchasing power. Therefore, the sampling method is a strength to the whole research work.

The type of ads used during the research also adds to the authenticity of the work. The authors device three storytelling commercials that are accurate for the customers. The research sought to understand the type of storytelling that influences consumers emotionally. The first advert had a CEO’s story, the second one had a customer’s story while the third was simply an informative ad. Such clarity ensures that participants avoid emotional ambiguity towards the products on sale. Out of this, the authors record accurate data for analysis. Participants were to respond to eight positive aspects of the advertisements. The responses were (a) interesting, (b) creative, (c) impressive, (d) different, (e) touching, (f) meaningful, (g) believable and (h) convincing. Out of these, participants were to respond whether they strongly disagreed (1) or strongly agreed (5). The panel of experts conducted the random exposure of the adverts to participants at different times. The methodology and clarity if the ads and collection of the response is a positive strength of the article.

The analysis method utilizes tools that present various aspects of the research. The research had up to five hypotheses that needed approval or disapproval. Academic research may require more than one tool to analyze the best results. On the same note, each hypothesis may require a different tool (Dale, 2005). This research utilizes Hierarchical Regression Analysis for the first and second hypotheses. The first hypothesis sought to prove whether narration could increase positive emotional response towards the ad content (H1: β = .336, p < .001) (46). Hypothesis 2 investigated the effect of narrative preference on the ability of the customer to share the ad information though the word of mouth (H2: β = .274, p < .001). All the first two hypotheses were proven. For hypothesis 3, the researchers use analysis of variance (ANOVA), multivariate analysis of covariance came in handy for the fourth and fifth hypothesis (48). Hypothesis 3 sought to prove whether different types of storytelling would enhance the positive emotional response of the consumers and their intention to spread the message by word of mouth.

The research proves the hypothesis at the beginning of the article. The authors sought to find out the effect of storytelling in different types of audio advertising on customer emotions, engagement levels, and the ease to pass the information to others through word of mouth. Out of the respondents, the research finds out that women were positively affected than the male respondents. Results prove that storytelling is important, especially when it comes to the CEO. Therefore, the articles are an added resource in the field and can be used for further research. It can be used by advertisers to design ads that improve sales through word of mouth.

The weakness of the research comes from the fact that the authors only used one item to collect from the participants. There was a possibility that different products would have yielded different results depending on their preferences. Therefore, similar research should be conducted using different products to collect balanced data.


The article presents excellent academic research on consumer behavior. Advertising is a huge market that requires constant research to ensure success. Consumer tastes and preferences also change with changes in lifestyles. Therefore, to ensure a competitive edge, companies have no option but to come up with advertisement strategies for the products with positive emotional influence on the customers (Dale, 2005). The author has clear hypotheses that have helped them design appropriate sampling and methodology. Analysis tools have also helped make focuses conclusion of the research. The outcome of this research can be confidently used for academic and research purposes. Evaluation helps in determining the authenticity and professionalism of research before adopting its outcome.




Dale, C. J. (2005). Critiquing research for use in practice. Journal of Pediatric Health Care 19:


Gilliam, D. A., & Zablah, A. R. (2013). Storytelling during retail sales encounters. Journal of

Retailing and Consumer Services pp. 150-173.

Kang, J. A., Hong, S., & Hubbard, G. T. (2019). The role of storytelling in advertising:

Consumer emotion, narrative engagement level, and word-of-mouth intention. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 19(1), 47-56.