How game difficulty and ad framing influence memory of in-game advertisements

Francis Erin Dardis, Michael Grant Schmierbach, Brett Sherrick, Britani Luckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: In-game advertising continues to increase in importance for both industry and academia. However, game difficulty – an important, real-world factor – has received little attention as a specific game-related factor that might impact the effectiveness of in-game advertisements. This study aims to investigate the influence of game difficulty on players’ affective response and subsequent memory of in-game ads, which were presented as either gain- or loss-framed messages. Design/methodology/approach: Three experiments were conducted. Study 1 and Study 3 implemented a 2 (difficulty: easy/difficult) × 2 (ad framing: gain/loss) design. Study 2 implemented a 2 (background music: calm/stressful) × 2 (ad framing: gain/loss) design. All experiments took place in a research laboratory in which participants consented to the study, completed a pre-test questionnaire, played a video game, completed a post-test questionnaire and were debriefed. Findings: More difficult game play led to greater negative affective response. A different game-based attribute – background music – did not influence affective response. A significant interaction in Study 1 revealed that brand recognition increased as players in a more negative affective state were exposed to the loss-framed message. The results were explained to occur via the congruency effects that game difficulty exerts on players’ affective and cognitive states. Originality/value: The studies are the first to incorporate both videogame difficulty and ad framing into one study, which two real-world factors that can influence advertising’s effectiveness. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 14 2019

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Factors
Music
Video games
Questionnaire
Experiment
Design methodology
Congruency
Interaction
Pre-test
Industry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

Cite this

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How game difficulty and ad framing influence memory of in-game advertisements. / Dardis, Francis Erin; Schmierbach, Michael Grant; Sherrick, Brett; Luckman, Britani.

In: Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 36, No. 1, 14.01.2019, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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