Video Ads Can Distract Even In Midst Of Multitasking
You may not paying attention to the video ads running in the corner your computer screen, but it still could have an impact on you more than you realize, says a new study.
Washington: You may not paying attention to the video ads running in the corner your computer screen, but it still could have an impact on you more than you realize, says a new study.
According to Professor Brittany Duff at University of Illinois, who led two different studies on multitasking and ad recognition, each with a different group of undergraduates at a different Midwestern university, it depends on how one perceives and processes media content, and may also depend on the mood.
Duff and co-author Sela Sar, also an Illinois advertising professor, found in both studies that analytic processors did better than holistic processors on ad retention when their only task was to watch a series of video ads on a computer screen. When asked to split their time with a second simple task on the same computer, however, the results were dramatically different.
Analytic processors "just fall right off as soon as you make them do something else," Duff said. They were half as effective at remembering ads.
"For holistic processors, however, it was like you did nothing to them," Duff said. They were just as effective in remembering aspects of the ads.
The first study had 56 participants and was considered more preliminary.
In the second and larger study, with 186 participants, the researchers found that even adding a third task had little effect on holistic processors. They also induced various participants into good and bad moods, and found that a negative mood leads to more analytic processing and a positive mood to more holistic processing.
The finding suggested that those who wanted to multi-process effectively should do so in a good mood, Duff said.
The effect of processing styles has gotten little attention in research on either multitasking or advertising, Duff said, and she finds that surprising.
Instead, almost all multitasking research has come from a cognitive resource perspective, which claims that our ability to truly multitask is determined by limits on executive processing, or what our brains can handle in dealing with simultaneous tasks, Duff said. Yet most of that research has looked only at cognitive load tasks, such as texting and driving, and not more perception-oriented tasks, such as consuming media, she said.
The results are published online in the Journal of Advertising.
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