Research Publication Title

The Effects of Repeated versus Traditional Commercial Breaks on Attitudes toward the TV Show and Commercials: An Eye-tracking Investigation

Major

Mass Communication

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jennifer Green

Keywords

Media Effects, Experiment, Advertising, Eye-tracking, Commercials

Abstract

Digital streaming has become a popular way to view TV programs, especially among younger generations. Many streaming platforms, such as Hulu, are known for airing a single commercial repeatedly throughout a program. Meanwhile, TV programs that are viewed on a traditional television outlet still implement a variety of commercials during advertising breaks. One pressing empirical question that advertising researchers want to know is whether and how viewing a single, repeated commercial during a TV program influences the viewing experience, relative to the traditional commercial break format. Through the theoretical lenses of advertising irritation and excitation transfer, we examined the effects of repeated versus traditional commercial breaks on attitudes and memory for commercial and TV program content, with personal phone access as a moderating variable. In addition, we examined changes in visual gaze patterns (eye-tracking) for the repeated commercial across commercial exposure types. Results indicate that having personal phone access during the viewing experience can buffer attitudes toward the TV program, but does not affect advertising attitudes; and memory for advertising content was strongest for participants in the repeated commercial conditions and moderate across all other conditions. The visual gaze patterns (eye-tracking data) are being analyzed and will be complete in time for conference presentation.

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The Effects of Repeated versus Traditional Commercial Breaks on Attitudes toward the TV Show and Commercials: An Eye-tracking Investigation

Digital streaming has become a popular way to view TV programs, especially among younger generations. Many streaming platforms, such as Hulu, are known for airing a single commercial repeatedly throughout a program. Meanwhile, TV programs that are viewed on a traditional television outlet still implement a variety of commercials during advertising breaks. One pressing empirical question that advertising researchers want to know is whether and how viewing a single, repeated commercial during a TV program influences the viewing experience, relative to the traditional commercial break format. Through the theoretical lenses of advertising irritation and excitation transfer, we examined the effects of repeated versus traditional commercial breaks on attitudes and memory for commercial and TV program content, with personal phone access as a moderating variable. In addition, we examined changes in visual gaze patterns (eye-tracking) for the repeated commercial across commercial exposure types. Results indicate that having personal phone access during the viewing experience can buffer attitudes toward the TV program, but does not affect advertising attitudes; and memory for advertising content was strongest for participants in the repeated commercial conditions and moderate across all other conditions. The visual gaze patterns (eye-tracking data) are being analyzed and will be complete in time for conference presentation.