Getting more likes: the impact of narrative person and brand image on customer–brand interactions

  • Yaping Chang
  • You LiEmail author
  • Jun Yan
  • V. Kumar
Original Empirical Research


Although in-feed social ads on social media are rapidly growing worldwide, scarce attention is paid to the content strategy of brands presenting in a human way. The present research examines if and how choosing narrative person (first-person vs. third-person) in the ads to match brand image (warmth vs. competence) can gain more user “likes” in the context of WeChat Moment Ads. Through five studies, we find that first-person narration alongside warm images gain more likes because it boosts the user’s motivation of social belonging, while third-person narration accompanied by competent images earns more likes by stimulating the motivation of self-enhancement. We also confirm predictions that a relevant individual variable (self-monitoring) moderates the effects of different matches on liking intention. This study offers theoretical contributions to research on advertising content strategy and advertising language on social media, and it holds practical implications for marketers launching in-feed social ads on social media.


In-feed social ads Brand image Narrative person User likes 



We are grateful for the constructive comments and helpful suggestion provided by guest editors and three anonymous reviewers. In addition, we would like to thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71720107004, 71372132) for its support.

Supplementary material

11747_2019_632_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.9 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 3953 kb)


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.Center for Excellence in Brand & Customer Management, J. Mack Robinson College of BusinessGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Hagler Institute for Advanced StudyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  4. 4.India School of BusinessHyderabadIndia

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