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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Impact of Visual Advertising Complexity on Consumer’s Attention, Implicit and Explicit Attitudes

Published: May 28, 2019


Jesus Garcia-Madariaga, Complutense University; Maria-Francisca Blasco Lopez, Complutense University; Ingrit Moya Burgos, Complutense University; Nuria Recuero Virto, Complutense University


neuromarketing; advertising; visual_metaphors


Visual metaphors generate higher levels of attention, more positive attitudes and even greater purchase intention. The purpose of this research is to analyse the effect of visual complexity on consumer’s explicit attitudes and also to provide new insights about the impact of this variable on consumer’s attention and implicit attitudes. This research measures consumers’ attitudes and attention toward different print ads that included visual metaphors with different level of complexity. 28 advertisements were tested, that means 7 products in 4 experimental conditions (without metaphor, juxtaposition, fusion and replacement) using Implicit Association Test, Electroencephalography, eye-tracking and a declarative questionnaire. Results show how relevant is the comprehension in consumers’ attitude elaboration and highlight the importance of evaluating the perceived complexity of ads in order to find the optimal level of complexity to enhance the advertising effectiveness.


The authors would like to thank Bit-Brain for the technological assistance. This work was funded by grant RTC-2016-4718-7 from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.