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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

The Power of Emotions in Social Media Advertisements for Services: Investigating Service Employee’s Emotion Display and Ad Copy

Published: May 25, 2021


Lisa Schoner-Schatz, University of Innsbruck, Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism


While much research highlights the importance of service employee’s emotion display at the service encounter, this paper uses service employees as endorsers and investigates their smile in social media advertising as a concept to address services’ intangibility and to enhance customer responses. Moreover, social media ad copy in terms of abstract and concrete words is considered as additional driver for eliciting emotions in the recipient. Results of a 2 × 2 between-subjects experimental design show that customers’ emotional state mediates the joint effect of service employee’s emotion display and social media ad copy on customers’ offline and online word-of-mouth, attitude towards the ad, purchase intention and online engagement. Specifically, the positive effect of a smiling (vs. non-smiling) service employee on customers’ emotional state is strengthened given the ad contains abstract (vs. concrete) ad copy. Implications for service management and research are outlined.