The Benchmark Series: Emotions and Advertising

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Elicit a strong reaction.



Attention is given to ads that elicit a strong reaction.



STAS scores for ads that elicit a strong reaction.

As part of the Benchmark survey of more than 2,600 Australians, Professor Nelson-Field’s team asked 140 consumers to view 15 TV advertisements and classify their feelings upon viewing. Viewers were asked to classify the intensity of their reactions and whether their emotional responses were positive or negative.

The Professor and her team then rated the sales impact of each ad using the well-established metrics of:

  1. Attention – how much their eyes were on the screen, measured using eye-tracking software

  2. Short-term advertising strength or STAS* (measured by how often brands were picked out by viewers in an online supermarket after they had watched a series of ads)

The attention and STAS scores for each ad were then matched against the types and levels of emotions each ad elicited.

The study found that ads which generate a strong reaction, irrespective of whether or not the reaction is positive or negative, garner 16% more attention than ads that elicit weak reactions.

Professor Nelson-Field’s findings also demonstrate the link between strong reactions to advertising and resulting sales impact. Ads that generated a high emotional response had a 30% greater sales impact than ads that elicited a low response.

Read more in the research report

Emotions in advertising