The Impact of Attentional Focus on Advertising Effectiveness: The Case of Congruity Effects
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of attentional focus on viewers' evaluation TV commercials. A positive relationship was hypothesized between a commercial's congruity with viewers' attentional focus and viewers' evaluation of the commercial. The data supported the study hypotheses. Two sets of commercials were evaluated more favorably (undercongruity vs. incongruity) between the executional style of the commercials and participants' cognitive or affective attentional focus (induced by a television program in which the ads were embedded and by specific instructions). The study helps address inconsistencies in the literature though methodological improvements over previous research, aimed at maximizing internal validity. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.