Consumers' negative reactions and avoidance of online video advertising is a serious problem. In order to address this problem and understand the underlying psychological mechanisms, this study had two objectives. In particular, this study (1) examined the effects of key online video ad strategy factors on consumers' ad avoidance and subsequent advertiser-intended outcomes (i.e., attitudes and brand memory) and (2) proposed and tested psychological mechanisms explaining the effects of ad strategy factors on consumer responses. To achieve these two objectives, this study focuses on three ad strategy factors: (1) ad-video similarity, (2) ad location within the online video, and (3) user control option in terms of providing skip options. This study examined the effects of ad-video similarity and ad location on ad avoidance, attitudes toward the ad and toward the brand, and brand memory. Those effects were expected to operate through different psychological mechanisms, namely, perceived ad relevance, perceived manipulativeness, and psychological reactance. Particularly, this study posed alternative hypotheses predicting the effects of ad-video similarity. On the one hand, an online video ad similar (vs. dissimilar) to the online video could be perceived as more relevant to consumers, resulting in lower ad avoidance and in turn higher brand memory and more positive attitudinal outcomes. On the other hand, an online video ad similar (vs. dissimilar) to the online video could be perceived as more manipulative due to the likelihood of the ad misleading consumers, resulting in higher ad avoidance and in turn lower brand memory and more negative attitudinal outcomes. In addition, this study predicted that a mid-roll (vs. pre-roll) online video ad would generate a higher level of psychological reactance, resulting in higher ad avoidance and more negative attitudinal outcomes. Moreover, this study examined the moderating role of user control option in the effects of ad-video similarity and ad location on ad avoidance and attitudinal outcomes based on a psychological reactance perspective. In order to test hypotheses, two phases of lab experiments were conducted: Experimental Phase 1 with non-skippable online video ad only and Phase 2 with skippable online video ad only. In both non-skippable and skippable ad conditions, a 2 (ad-video similarity: similar vs. dissimilar) × 2 (ad location: pre-roll vs. mid-roll) between-subject factorial-design experiment was conducted, which incorporated data from an eye-tracking device, observation of behavioral reactions, and self-reported measures. The results demonstrated that the similar online video ad, compared to the dissimilar online video ad, was perceived to be more relevant, instead of more manipulative, and generated more positive attitudinal outcomes and lower ad avoidance. Perceived relevance was found to be the underlying mechanism by which the similar online video ad generated more positive attitudinal responses. The similar online video ad, however, had direct positive impacts on ad avoidance not mediated through perceived relevance. Furthermore, greater ad avoidance in response to the dissimilar online video ad caused lower brand recognition. The ad location factor did not influence psychological reactance, ad avoidance, and other ad outcomes. In addition, the finding suggested no significant effects of interaction between ad-video similarity and ad location on attitudes toward the ad and the brand and ad avoidance. Lastly, user control option in terms of skipping the ad did not moderate the effects of ad-video similarity and ad location factors on attitudinal responses. This study contributes to advancing the ad avoidance research by measuring ad avoidance in multiple ways and expanding the context of ad avoidance to online video advertising. This study also offers useful practical implications for advertisers as they devise ad message and location strategies for digital and interactive ad campaigns while dealing with the serious issue of ad avoidance in the interactive media environment.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2015. Major: Mass Communication. Advisor: Jisu Huh. 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 215 pages.
Effects of Ad-Video Similarity, Ad Location, and User Control Option on Ad Avoidance and Advertiser-Intended Outcomes of Online Video Ads.
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