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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The purpose of this study is to define conscious branding and examine the visual features used by conscious versus traditional brands on Instagram that may enhance interactivity, engagement and persuasion with key audiences. Because no study known to the researcher has defined conscious branding the following paper defines the term by drawing on relevant literature. Qualitative comparative analysis is used to analyze brand messaging on Instagram posts. For this qualitative comparative analysis, the sample consisted of the past 100 posts (starting at the date of collection) from six brands' Instagram pages selected from both conscious brands (n = 3) and traditional brands (n = 3). In current society, consumers are savvy to recognize many advertising persuasion tactics. Thus the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM) by Friestad and Wright (1994) was applied throughout the following research.
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