Advertising Content and Viewer Attention: The Role of Ad Formats

35 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2020

See all articles by Anthony J. Dukes

Anthony J. Dukes

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Qihong Liu

University of Oklahoma - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 22, 2020

Abstract

Ad content and viewer attention are strategically intertwined. Consumers watch an ad only if they expect sufficient benefit to doing so and advertisers structure ad content (information and entertainment) to make it attractive for consumer attention. We conceptualize these strategic interactions as a game and then derive viewer attention and ad content choices as an equilibrium. Equilibrium outcomes are moderated by the ad format – either skippable or non-skippable. Our analysis indicates that (i) relative to non-skippable ads, costly entertainment has lower return under the skippable format; (ii) an advertiser can structure content to induce curiosity for continued viewing; (iii) inducing curiosity is most effective for ambitious advertising goals; and (iv) the skippable format is better suited for less ambitious advertising goals, such as brand awareness, when attention-spans are shorter. Finally, we connect our findings to outcomes observed in practice.

Keywords: Advertising Content, Attention, Skippable Ads

JEL Classification: M30, M37

Suggested Citation

Dukes, Anthony J. and Liu, Qihong, Advertising Content and Viewer Attention: The Role of Ad Formats (August 22, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3679335 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3679335

Anthony J. Dukes (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States
213-740-3846 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.usc.edu/anthonydukes/

Qihong Liu

University of Oklahoma - Department of Economics ( email )

Norman, OK 73019-2103
United States
405-325-5846 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://qliu.oucreate.com

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