Spreading the virus : emotional tone of viral advertising and its effect on forwarding intentions and attitudes

Eckler, Petya and Bolls, Paul (2011) Spreading the virus : emotional tone of viral advertising and its effect on forwarding intentions and attitudes. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 11 (2). pp. 1-11. ISSN 1525-2019

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    Abstract

    iral advertising has attracted advertisers in recent years, yet little is known about how exactly it works from an information processing perspective. This study extends knowledge by exploring how the emotional tone (pleasant, unpleasant, coactive) of viral video ads affects attitude toward the ad, attitude toward the brand, and forwarding intentions. Results indicate that pleasant emotional tone elicits the strongest attitude toward the ad, attitude toward the brand, and intention to forward. The effects were weaker for coactive tone and weakest for negative emotional tone. These results challenge the common approach of shocking or scaring online users to motivate them to forward a viral video.