High-Energy Ad Content: A Large-Scale Investigation of TV Commercials

108 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2021 Last revised: 29 Nov 2021

See all articles by Joonhyuk Yang

Joonhyuk Yang

University of Notre Dame - Mendoza College of Business

Yingkang Xie

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

Lakshman Krishnamurthi

Northwestern University

Purushottam Papatla

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Date Written: November 29, 2021

Abstract

A trend reported by both academics and practitioners is that advertising on TV has become increasingly energetic. This study investigates the association between the energy level in ad content and consumers’ tendency of ad-tuning. Using a data set of over 27,000 TV commercials delivered to U.S. homes during the period between 2015 and 2018, the authors first present a framework to algorithmically measure the energy level in ad content from the video of ads. This algorithm-based measure is then compared to human-perceived energy levels, which shows that the measure is related to the level of arousal stimulated by ad content. By relating the energy levels in ad content with the tendency of ad-tuning using two empirical procedures, the authors document the following. Overall, more energetic commercials are likely to be tuned in more or avoided less by viewers. The positive association between energy levels in ad content and ad-tuning is statistically significant after controlling for placement and other aspects of commercials. However, the association varies across product categories and program genres. The main implication of this study is that advertisers should pay attention to components of ad content other than loudness, which has been regulated by law.

Keywords: Advertising; ad-tuning; ad-avoidance; multimedia Data; audio information retrieval

Suggested Citation

Yang, Joonhyuk and Xie, Yingkang and Krishnamurthi, Lakshman and Papatla, Purushottam and Papatla, Purushottam, High-Energy Ad Content: A Large-Scale Investigation of TV Commercials (November 29, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3724010 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3724010

Joonhyuk Yang (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame - Mendoza College of Business ( email )

Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

Yingkang Xie

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Lakshman Krishnamurthi

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Purushottam Papatla

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Lubar Hall 481
3202 N. Maryland Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
United States

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 742
3202 N. Maryland Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0742
United States

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