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Why are communal advertisements more effective than agentic ones? The role of the self-congruity effect

Published Online:pp 38-61

The article expands the knowledge on marketing effectiveness of advertisements containing agentic and communal content with recipient's characteristics. Three studies were carried out (N = 398, N = 339, N = 512) where two advertising conditions were manipulated. One contained agentic content and the second communal. The research focused on the relation recipient's agency and communion with a series of measurements of the advertising effectiveness (self-congruity, purchase intention, the attitude toward the product, advertisement and brand). Results were summarised with a meta-analysis which showed that the increase in the effectiveness containing communal content significantly depended on the increase in the recipient's communion (the self-congruity effect) while the increase in the recipient's agency was related to the weaker and equal increase in the effectiveness containing both agentic and communal content (the lack of the self-congruity effect). The collected data indicates that the higher effectiveness of communal advertising depends on the recipient's communion.


communion, agency, advertising effectiveness, self-congruity, meta-analysis