Publication Details

Algie, J. (2005). A comparison of viewers' cognitive and psychophysiological responses to threat-appeal TV advertisements. In K. U_ Ghallach_ir (Eds.), Academy of Marketing: Marketing: Building Business, Shaping Society Conference. Dublin, Ireland: Academy of Marketing.


This study examines the emotional reactions experienced by viewers during threat appeal anti-speeding TV advertisements using both a cognitive continuous response measure of fear and a psychophysiological response measure of arousal. Static, postonly, self-report methods are typically used to obtain ad responses, however this study uses dynamic continuous response measures to gain a better picture of how viewers are responding throughout the entire ad. A comparison of the two different types of continuous response measures is made to determine if both measures produce similar or different results. Participants for the study watched one of four anti-speeding ads, with 20 participants per ad group (total n=80). Using responses from each type of measure, two graphs (patterns) were formed for each ad group. These graphs show divergence for three of the four ads tested, with only one of the ads evoking similar cognitive-fear and arousal responses. Road safety advertisers need to consider the measurement issues of each continuous response method when attempting to identify fear patterns in threat appeal TV advertisements ads as arousal can be caused by physiological reactions to fear-evoking stimuli and also other stimuli, such as exciting music and positive images.

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Academy of Marketing Conference