Highly energetic ads can turn off TV viewers

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New York, April 8 (IANS) People watching a sad movie or TV show respond 50 percent more favourably to a moderately energetic commercial than to a peppy one, new research has found.

The swing in content and emotion puzzle such viewers who are in a state of what the study calls “deactivating” emotion so much that these potential consumers may ignore the ad altogether and will be unlikely to recall the advertiser, the researchers noted.

“When you feel low or sad, ads that are high energy are difficult to watch. So you spend less time watching, and the ad is less effective,” explained Keith Wilcox, professor of marketing at the Columbia Business School.

“If you are going to place an ad during a sad movie or TV show, you should not go with an ad that is highly energetic,” Wilcox said.

“If you can not tell or do not know what media your ad will be placed in, you should go with a moderately energetic ad,” he advised.

The findings suggest that marketers and ad buyers might want to opt for ads that are only moderately energetic as opposed to ads with boundless energy and pep.

In the study, 142 people watched one of two short videos: a clip from the 1979 movie “The Champ,” in which a young boy cries over the death of someone close to him; or a clip from a documentary about Albert Einstein.

Next, the participants watched one of two 30-second commercials — one rated highly energetic, or one rated moderately energetic.

The study found that viewers who had watched the clip from “The Champ”, and were, therefore, experiencing a deactivating emotion, spent less time watching the highly energetic commercial, compared with viewers who watched the moderately energetic commercial.

The study also showed that viewers who had watched the Einstein clip, and were, therefore, in a neutral state, spent just as much time watching the highly energetic commercial as they spent watching the moderately energetic commercial.

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