Date of Award

May 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies

Committee Member

Andrew Pyle

Committee Member

Erin Ash

Committee Member

Jordan Morehouse


Video commercials, or television advertisements, have gained a lot of attention in scholarship since the first television advertisement aired in 1941. In recent years, scholars have examined advertisements using the lens of narrative persuasion and as entertainment features on their own. This study builds on previous literature by identifying types of advertisements – non-narrative and narrative – and further describes narrative advertisements in terms of structural aspects and appeal types using exemplars. A set of nearly 200 unique award-winning and otherwise popular advertisements are categorized by Advertisement Type based on prior works in advertising as well as Primary and Secondary Appeal Types that emerged during analysis. Ads that had poor responses are categorized by Ad Type and in terms of their Missteps. The Narrative Advertisement Continuum, which positions non-narrative and narrative advertisements on a sliding scale, is proposed. This study is further consolidated into an easy-to-navigate Narrative Advertising Guide with the intent to serve as a resource grounded in scholarship for marketing and advertising practitioners.



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