New Oxford research - Energetic TV adverts can turn off viewers

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Saïd Business School Professor Nancy Puccinelli shows that the consumer may find it hard to process energetic TV adverts

Professor Nancy Puccinelli

These findings could be ground breaking in the way that advertisers and companies place TV adverts and even the way they produce them...

New research shows that TV commercials with a high energy feel (e.g. featuring upbeat, enthusiastic spokespeople) can have less of an impact when placed in serious TV dramas, which are increasingly becoming more popular and now make up 40 percent of programming.

The research was based on six studies with a total of 900 people who were shown a range of TV commercials and their responses carefully monitored. The findings showed that consumers find it hard to process upbeat TV commercials that reach a certain energy level when they appear during a serious TV drama, leading to shorter viewing times and lower brand recall.

The report ‘Consumers Response to Commercials: When the energy level in the Commercial conflicts with the Media Context’ was authored by Nancy Puccinelli, Associate Professor of Marketing, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Keith Wilcox, Associate Professor of Marketing, Columbia Business School, Columbia University and Dhruv Grewal, Toyota Chair in E-Commerce and Electronic Business, Babson College.

High energy commercials that are active, exciting and arousing for the viewer to experience have become the norm in advertising. Oxford’s analysis of commercials on Hulu (hulu.com), as part of the study, show that over eighty-percent of the commercials embedded were rated to be relatively energetic.

However, the research suggests that when advertisers run commercials in media that induces a deactivating emotion (e.g. sadness, relaxed, contentment) they should avoid running highly energetic commercials (e.g. with upbeat music). Additionally, this research recommends that advertisers need to consider how the media induced emotion interacts with the energy level of their commercial. In cases where advertisers are buying bulk time and have less information about programming, a safer strategy would be to run moderately energetic commercials.

‘These findings could be ground breaking in the way that advertisers and companies place TV adverts and even the way they produce them,’ said Nancy Puccinelli ‘With the huge investment and expectations that companies seek through TV and online advertising, a slightly different approach could radically change the impact on a consumer.’

For further information or to arrange an interview with Nancy Puccinelli, please contact the press office:

Jonaid Jilani, Press Officer, Saïd Business School
Tel: +44 (0)1865 614678 M: +44 (0)7860 259996
Email: jonaid(dot)jilani(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Josie Powell, Press Officer, Saïd Business School
T +44 (0)1865 288403 M +44 (0)7711 387215
Email: josie(dot)powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Notes to Editors

The report ‘Consumers Response to Commercials: When the energy level in the Commercial conflicts with the Media Context’ can be found here:
http://journals.ama.org/doi/abs/10.1509/jm.13.0026

About Nancy Puccinelli
http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/community/people/nancy-puccinelli

About Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2014) Saïd is ranked 10th. It is ranked 14th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2014) and 22nd in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2015). The MBA is ranked 7th in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2014) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 21st worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2014). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 7th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2014). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (Jun 2014) and has ranked first in ten of the last eleven years in The Times (Sept 2014). For more information, see http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/

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