Advertising Content and Viewer Attention: The Role of Ad Formats
35 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2020
Date Written: August 22, 2020
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: Suggested Citation