Affective emotional conditioning
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Affective/Emotional Conditioning. Advertisement (US) --> change in feeling state (UR) Watson & Raynor (1920) Taste aversion Emotional state “automatic” Lack of conscious control. Affect. Little agreement in literature on terminology Bower & Forgas (2000)

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Affective emotional conditioning
Affective/Emotional Conditioning

  • Advertisement (US) --> change in feeling state (UR)

  • Watson & Raynor (1920)

  • Taste aversion

    • Emotional state “automatic”

    • Lack of conscious control


  • Little agreement in literature on terminology

  • Bower & Forgas (2000)

    • Emotion: intense, short-lived, has identifiable cause

    • Mood: subtle/diffuse, long-lasting, non-specific causation

    • “Affect” encompasses both emotion and mood


  • To influence consumers’ brand opinions

  • Use affect to change brand evaluation

  • Performance content

    • Content to convince consumers that the brand is best

  • Performance void

    • Visual and/or audio to induce positive feelings

Classical conditioning framework
Classical Conditioning Framework

  • CS = brand

  • US = something that produces affective state (i.e., the UR)

  • CR = induced affective state; influences operant decision to purchase

  • Affective Classical Conditioning (ACC)

Example visuals as us
Example: Visuals as US

  • Generate positive feelings

    • e.g., kitten

  • For some brands, may also imply brand benefits or quality

    • e.g., for tissues, kitten may also indicate softness

    • e.g., for water filter, mountain stream may indicate purity

  • See: Mitchel & Olson (1981)

Methodology issue
Methodology Issue

  • To control for visuals, use US that produces affect with no potential brand meaning

  • But, CS and US need to have shared relevance/relatedness in advertising

    • Hard to generate artificial neutral stimuli

Ad framing
Ad Framing

  • Presenting positive or negative consequences

  • Aims to alter affect in consumer

  • Positive ad framing

    • Make purchase and receive positive affect

  • Negative ad framing

    • Don’t purchase and receive negative affect

Which is better
Which is Better?

  • Kahneman & Tversky (1979): Prospect Theory

    • Argue in favour of negative ad framing

    • People should react more strongly to potential loss than to potential gains

    • Displeasure of losing perceived as more consequential than pleasure of gaining

  • However, majority of research generally shows positively framed messages to be more effective

Affect priming
Affect Priming

  • Ad framing presents information producing affect-congruent associations

  • Affect priming is subsequent activation of affect paired with brand

  • Associationist’s principle of “similarity”

    • Similar affect-related associations more easily linked

Effects of affect
Effects of Affect

  • Schwarz & Bless (1991)

  • If individuals feel positive, they believe the environment is safe

  • Safe subjects are less likely to engage in message elaboration

  • More likely to rely on “peripheral cues” for judgments, less message elaboration.

Affective emotional conditioning

  • Martin, Ward, Achee & Wyer (1993)

    • Happy people engaged in a task

      • Believe task is enjoyable, produces the affect itself, continue task longer

    • Sad people engaged in the same task

      • Attribute negative affect to task and quit sooner

  • Mathur & Chattopadhyay (1991)

    • Happy TV program contexts lead to more attention to ad and message elaboration than sad program context

    • Transfer to advertisements?

Affect source
Affect Source?

  • From advertisement?

  • From brand?

  • From context in which advertisement is embedded?

    • For TV commercial, the TV program

    • For print advertisement, the magazine, newspaper, etc.

  • All could be producing ACC effects

Emotional perspectives
Emotional Perspectives

  • Affective conditioning hypothesis

    • “Subconscious”

  • Mood judgment interpretation

    • Cognitively “active”

Emotional arousal
Emotional Arousal

  • From advertisement?

  • From brand?

  • From context in which advertisement is embedded?

    • For TV commercial, the TV program

    • For print advertisement, the magazine, newspaper, etc.

Effects of arousal
Effects of Arousal

  • Yerkes-Dodson effect

    • Inverted U

    • Aids memory retention/recall to some point



Excitation transfer of arousal paradigm
Excitation Transfer of Arousal Paradigm

  • Study effect of arousal on behaviour

  • Emotion produced by interaction of:

    • Physiological arousal

    • Cognitive processing of situation

  • Emotional effects can be delayed and can linger

    • Underlying physiology (neurotransmitters, hormones)

  • Associate arousal with brand/product

Importance of timing
Importance of Timing

  • Park & McClung (1985)

    • Highly arousing TV program may interfere with commercial’s effectiveness

  • View arousing TV program, view commercial

  • No delay: arousal attributed to program

  • Short delay: mistakenly attribute arousal to commercial

  • Implication

    • Be careful when/where you place embedded advertisements

In the pod
In the “Pod”

  • First few may not benefit from residual arousal

  • Later commercials will

  • Control over ad placement in pod?

Product evaluation
Product Evaluation

  • Hedonic criteria

    • Product enhances positive affect via self-esteem, social validation, reputation, immediate gratification, etc.

  • Utilitarian criteria

    • Product solves a problem

  • Evaluation parallels “transformational products” and “informational products”

Product type affect effects
Product Type, Affect Effects

  • Adaval (2001)

  • Affect effects re: purchasing appear when product evaluation for hedonic criteria

  • Less relevant for utilitarian criteria; product performance more significant

Chang 2008
Chang (2008)

  • Sneakers with fictitious brand name in artificial ad

  • Positively and negatively framed ad messages (re: self-esteem, social recognition)

  • Folder with sneaker ad and other distracter ads given to subjects

  • Questionnaire on affect and thoughts on ads and products

  • Positively framed ads elicit higher levels of positive affect than negatively framed ads

Gresham shimp 1985
Gresham & Shimp (1985)

  • Attitude to ads (AAd)

  • Attitude to brands (AB)

  • What mediates processes for AAd to influence consumer’s AB?

    • Central issue for advertisement theory

  • Four possibilities

Four possibilities

Classical conditioning

Brand paired with affectively-valenced ad

Cognitive Response

AAd influences AB indirectly via impact on brand cognitions

Effects of arousal

Reciprocal Causation

AAd & AB are mutually causative

Positive/negative attitude held to both product and ad

Causative strength varies with consumer and situation

No relationship

AAd & AB influence choice independently

Four Possibilities

Requirements for classical conditioning
Requirements for Classical Conditioning

  • Affective reaction to ad changes buyers’ AB without altering their cognitive structure (CSB)

Hypothesis 1
Hypothesis 1

  • Positive/negative affective ads --> significant influence on AB

  • But, could AB affect AAd?

Hypothesis 2
Hypothesis 2

  • Experimental group (positive/negative affective ad) will have more/less positive AB than control group

  • But, also must show AB affected by AAd, not by changes in CSB

Hypothesis 3
Hypothesis 3

  • No significant difference in experimental and control subjects’ CSBs


  • Rated 15 TV commercials (supermarket products) on affective scale

    • Positive, neutral, negative

  • 5 experimental groups

    • One ad from each group

    • Questionnaires for AAd, AB, and CSB

  • 1 control group

    • Questionnaires for AB and CSB


  • Statistically speaking, inconclusive

  • More generally, trends offer support for classical conditioning interpretation

Design problems
Design Problems

  • Used “mature” brands

    • e.g., Zest, Schlitz, Dr. Pepper

    • Consumers familiar with product

    • Drives AB --> AAd

  • Recommendation

    • Develop new TV ads for fictional products

    • Tricky and expensive