Getting a line on commercial advertising : a bio-informational approach to study pleasure and arousal reactions to ads

K. Poels, S. Dewitte

Research output: Other contributionOther research output

Abstract

The bio-informational theory of emotion contends that pleasure and arousal reactions are organized around two universal motivational systems: an appetitive and a defensive motivational system. This paper posits that the appetitive motivation, reflected by a tight linear relation between pleasure and arousal reactions, is a structural characteristic of emotional reactions to commercial advertising. Previous research already confirmed that pleasure and arousal reactions to commercial print ads consistently reflect the appetitive motivation by showing that pleasure and arousal reactions towards a diverse set of print ads, measured by means of the SAM-scale, exhibit extremely high correlations. In the current study participants were exposed to 17 print advertisements and 18 TV commercials from various products and brands. After each exposure, we measured participants' emotional reactions by means of the SAM-scale. Results reveal highly significant positive correlations between pleasure and arousal reactions for both print ads and TV commercials. This study replicates findings from earlier studies and extends it to another type of advertising, TV commercials. These convergent findings for both types of advertising strengthen the view that the appetitive motivation is a general mechanism of commercial advertising.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Place of PublicationMontreal, Canada
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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