This research examines how media-induced consumer activation level affects consumer response to highly energetic commercials. Over six studies, including a Hulu field experiment, the authors report that consumers who are experiencing a deactivating emotion (e.g., sadness induced by a movie) find it more difficult to watch highly energetic commercials compared with consumers who are not experiencing a deactivating emotion. As a result, consumers experiencing a deactivating emotion are less likely to watch highly energetic commercials and recall the advertiser compared with consumers who are not experiencing a deactivating emotion. The authors do not observe these effects when consumers experiencing a deactivating emotion watch commercials that are moderately energetic or when consumers do not experience a deactivating emotion. These findings suggest that when advertisers run commercials in a media context that induces a deactivating emotion (e.g., sadness, relaxation, contentment), they should avoid running highly energetic commercials (e.g., with upbeat, enthusiastic spokespeople). In addition, this research recommends that when advertisers are unable to determine the emotions induced by the media context, they should run commercials that are moderate in energy. The results of a metaanalysis across the present studies show that consumers experiencing a deactivating emotion will respond as much as 50% more favorably to moderately energetic commercials compared with highly energetic commercials.
- Digital/internet/interactive marketing