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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference


Published: May 27, 2020


Manuel Berkmann , University of Cologne ; Maren Becker , Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ; Werner Reinartz, University of Cologne


advertising avoidance; advertising content; logit models


Advertising avoidance (“zapping”) represents a major problem for both advertisers and broadcasters. The current study investigates how marketers can use executional content cues in their TV advertisings (e.g., informativeness, creativity, or branding) to mitigate zapping behavior. The authors develop a framework linking multiple content factors to psychological responses which in turn affect zapping behavior. They test the content-zapping relationship by drawing on a unique multi-source dataset of individual zapping behavior of more than 2,500 TV viewers combined with advertising data and content information for 1,315 spots representing 308 brands from 96 categories, thus representing the first large scale field study in this domain. The results show that ad content indeed influences real-world zapping behavior. For example, creativity is associated with less zapping, whereas informativeness and a strong brand presence are associated with more zapping. Moreover, the authors find that the influence of content differs for different types of brands and categories.