As brands continue to utilize online video to promote their messages and sell their products, Jung-Kuei Hsieh et. all explore how overtness of persuasive intent, production value, and humor and emotion influence the shareability and persuasiveness of the advertisement.
The study produced eight beer commercials using various combinations of overt persuasive intent vs. non-overt persuasive intent, humorous vs. non-humorous, and high-production-value vs. low production-value. The videos were shown to 80 undergraduate students in Taiwan who were told to imagine the video was forwarded to them by a close friend and then prompted to answer questions after watching the video.
The study showed that lower awareness of persuasive intent combined with higher production value and humor made for the most positive attitudes toward the videos. It also showed that, while humor and production value contributed to positive attitudes individually, the attitudes were exponentially higher when the qualities were combined.
The authors of the journal article concluded that internet users won’t be fooled by forcefully salesy ads with little else to offer, saying, marketers should “keep in mind that an online video must be user-centric rather than product-focused Too much-selling information will be counterproductive.”
While the results are persuasive and seem to be in line with rational thinking, it should be noted the sample size is small and specific, and the commercial variations were all beer ads, which have their own specific cultural connotations.
Read the full text of the study: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10660-012-9091-y
Hsieh, J.-K., Hsieh, Y.-C., & Tang, Y.-C. (2012). Exploring the disseminating behaviors of eWOM marketing: persuasion in online video. Electronic Commerce Research, 12(2), 201–224. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10660-012-9091-y