Keith Wilcox

When Your Ads Can Hurt Your Brand: Sadness and Consumers' Negative Response to Highly Energetic Positive Stimuli

Coauthor(s): Nancy Upton, Dhruv Grewal.

Download:

Adobe Acrobat PDF

Abstract:
This research examines consumers' response to positive commercials when the level of energy in the commercial conflicts with the consumers' emotional state. The results of four studies, including a field experiment conducted on Hulu, show that sad consumers find it more difficult to watch positive commercials/media content that are highly energetic compared to positive commercials/media content that are less energetic. As a result, sad consumers are less likely to watch highly energetic positive commercials, have more negative evaluations of advertisers, and show less favorable behavior intentions after watching such commercials. This difficulty is due to highly energetic positive commercials/media content conflicting with sad consumers' desired state of inactivity. When this desire for inactivity is reduced, sad consumers no longer find highly energetic content difficult.

Exact Citation:
Wilcox, Keith, Nancy Upton, and Dhruv Grewal. "When Your Ads Can Hurt Your Brand: Sadness and Consumers' Negative Response to Highly Energetic Positive Stimuli." Columbia Business School, 2013.
Date: 2013