The swing in content and emotion puzzle such viewers who are in a state of what the study calls "deactivating" emotion so much that these potential consumers may ignore the ad altogether and will be unlikely to recall the advertiser, the researchers noted.

"When you feel low or sad, ads that are high energy are difficult to watch. So you spend less time watching, and the ad is less effective," explained Keith Wilcox, professor of marketing at the Columbia Business School.

"If you are going to place an ad during a sad movie or TV show, you should not go with an ad that is highly energetic," Wilcox said.

"If you can not tell or do not know what media your ad will be placed in, you should go with a moderately energetic ad," he advised.

The findings suggest that marketers and ad buyers might want to opt for ads that are only moderately energetic as opposed to ads with boundless energy and pep.

The study showed that viewers who had watched the Einstein clip, and were, therefore, in a neutral state, spent just as much time watching the highly energetic commercial as they spent watching the moderately energetic commercial.


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