Two Studies on Dynamic Online Marketing: Evidence Based on the Behavioral, Cognitive, and Affective Responses of Consumers

Ms Miao Xiaoyu
Dr Jiang Zhenhui, Jack, Professor, School of Computing

  10 Dec 2018 Monday, 01:00 PM to 02:30 PM

 Executive Classroom, COM2-04-02


Currently, several dynamic and rich media experiences are available on the Internet. The dynamic and acoustic media have provided website owners with tremendous opportunities to attract and engage viewers. Thus, marketers have incorporated various forms of rich media to deliver dynamic product experiences to consumers. For example, traditional static banner ads and image-based product presentations have been enriched with animations and videos. Video ads and animated product presentations have become the mainstream online marketing formats. In practice, the design and application of these marketing practices are observed to vary significantly. For example, some video ads adopt autoplay features while others employ the traditional click-to-play method. In addition, instead of static pictures, various dynamic features are used in online product presentations, including zooming, rotation, as well as animations and videos. However, few studies have compared such marketing practices rigorously; thus, user reactions are not completely understood. This thesis investigates the design and effectiveness of two common dynamic media, i.e., display video ads and animations for product presentation, used for online marketing. From the viewpoint of consumer behavior, this thesis provides evidence of the behavioral, cognitive, and affective reactions of humans to different display video ads and animation designs in online product presentations.

The thesis comprises two empirical studies. To explore the effectiveness of display video ads, Study One examines the video initiating formats and the design of ad disclosure. The initiation of video ads determines the manner in which viewers observe the ads that may have sustained effects on their effectiveness. Currently, three initiating formats, i.e., click-to-play, full autoplay, and silent autoplay, are extensively used. Therefore, Study One compares the effects of these formats on consumer reactions and advertising effectiveness. In addition, Study One also considers the visual prominence of ad disclosure in the research framework and examines its moderating effects on the effects of video initiating formats. By considering the psychological reactance theory and literature related to persuasion, human attention, and interest, Study One hypothesizes that different video initiating formats and degrees of disclosure prominence lead to differences in viewer attention to, the attitudes toward, and the memory of a video ad. A 3 ?? 2 factorial laboratory experiment using the eye-tracking technology was performed to understand consumer reactions and to verify our hypotheses. Further, the results and implications are presented and discussed in this thesis, which is followed by a discussion of potential future research.

Study Two proposes the investigation of cinemagraphs, relative to online product presentations. Based on the competition for attention theory, the attention-guiding principle, and the incongruity theories of curiosity, Study Two hypothesizes that these different image formats have different effects on human visual attention and product interest. In addition, this study examines the consumer visual processing of cinemagraphs using eye-tracking technology. Further, a laboratory experiment is proposed to verify the hypotheses. Finally, the potential theoretical and practical contributions of Study Two are also discussed.