Apple, Dove and Walmart Lead Top-10 List of Brands That Master “Empowered Storytelling” During Pandemic, Baylor Ad Expert Says

Tyrha Lindsey-Warren, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of marketing in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business (Robert Rogers, Baylor Marketing & Communications)
April 22, 2020

Media Contact: Eric M. Eckert, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-1964
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WACO, Texas (April 23, 2020) – A Baylor University marketing professor and advertising expert has created a list of brands and commercials she says are “stellar examples of empowered storytelling” during this time of pandemic.

“‘Empowered storytelling’ is an emotional and powerful approach for brands who want a deeper emotional connection with their consumers,” said Tyrha Lindsey-Warren, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of marketing in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. “These brands are not selling anything, but rather they’re articulating their values and showing their great support and compassion for their customers during these difficult times.”

Lindsey-Warren is recognized for her research into consumer behavior and attitudes, multicultural media, advertising, movies and entertainment. She coined the term “empowered storytelling,” a designation she applies to advertisements that are “motivational and encouraging, altruistic and communal in nature.” In creating the list, she looked for the following in the commercials:

  • Storytelling in the spot exudes the emotion of empowerment and is encouraging as well as motivational to the viewer.
  • The themes and storytelling in the commercial emphasize a communal nature and spirit.
  • The commercial incorporates the Brand’s altruism and values in the storytelling and creative execution.
  • Overall, the commercial spot was “less-commercialized,” meaning that there was no direct selling of a product or service, but rather a promotion and articulation of the brand’s values.

“Our research has shown that the emotion of empowerment can have transformational impact,” Lindsey-Warren said. “Each of these advertisements captures the type of storytelling that is encouraging and motivational.”

Top 10 List of Brands Who Are Stellar Examples of “Empowered Storytelling” During COVID-19

1. Apple: “Creativity Goes On

2. Dove: “Courage is Beautiful

3. Walmart: “Lean on Me

4. Freshpet: “Home, with Freshpet

5. State Farm: “New Normal

6. Cottonelle and United Way: “#ShareASquare

7. Amazon: “Thank You Amazon Heroes

8. Turbo Tax: “From Home

9. Progressive Insurance: “Apron Relief Program

10. Frito-Lay: “It’s About People

Honorable Mentions include Uber, AARP, Allstate and T-Mobile.

ABOUT TYRHA LINDSEY-WARREN, PH.D.

Tyrha Lindsey-Warren, Ph.D., is a marketing scholar, business executive, artist and entrepreneur. As a consumer behavior scholar, her research is rooted in narrative transportation theory (i.e., storytelling) that exudes the emotion of empowerment and its impact on consumer attitudes, behaviors, purchase intention and message recall. She also studies health edutainment, multicultural media and advertising, as well as movies and entertainment. Lindsey-Warren is an expert in effective communications strategies for leaders, multicultural communications and marketing.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 18,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT HANKAMER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

At Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, top-ranked programs combine rigorous classroom learning, hands-on experience in the real world, a solid foundation in Christian values and a global outlook. Making up approximately 25 percent of the University’s total enrollment, undergraduate students choose from 16 major areas of study. Graduate students choose from full-time, executive or online MBA or other specialized master’s programs, and Ph.D. programs in Information Systems, Entrepreneurship or Health Services Research. The Business School also has campuses located in Austin and Dallas, Texas. Visit baylor.edu/business for more information.

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