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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Impact of Previews on the Enjoyment of Multicomponent Multimedia Experiences

Published: May 28, 2019


Jayson Jia, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Hong Kong; Baba Shiv, Stanford University


Previews; Experiences; Structure


Previews, ranging from movie trailers to program brochures, commonly preface the consumption of multimedia experiences such as movies, television shows, and art. Six studies investigate how previews can have unintended downstream consequences for the enjoyment of multimedia consumer experiences, which are often comprised of multiple components that unfold over time (e.g., scenes constitute a movie). We find that narrowly highlighting a focal component of the experience (e.g., the show’s best part) during the preview can backfire and reduce subsequent experiential enjoyment. This occurs because narrowly focalized previews can reduce experiences’ perceived structural coherence, which then reduces enjoyment. However, the effect is attenuated when the preview is ‘broad’ (e.g., including both good and mediocre parts) and avoids reducing structural coherence; furthermore, previews that improve structural coherence (e.g., by providing narrative context) can actually enhance enjoyment.