Library Dissertation Showcase

Excuse Me While I Multitask: Advertising appeals and their ability to hold consumer attention in a media-multitasking student population.

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2018

In today’s society, people rely increasingly on their smartphones to work, play, communicate and avoid boredom. This has led to an increase in a phenomenon known as media-multitasking, where individuals engage in various combinations of media throughout the day. This study focuses on the simultaneous use of mobile devices whilst watching television which provides challenges for television media planners who have to increasingly accommodate distracted concurrent television behaviours. Recent research has observed the effects of media-multitasking on message recall, recognition, persuasion, effectiveness, comprehension and memory, however little existing research examines how media planners can draw attention back to the television.

This study looks at advertising appeals, which are messages designed to motivate a consumer to purchase. The research proposes that the type of advertising appeal used by media planners may have an effect on media-multitasking behaviour. In addition, the research explores whether emotional advertising appeals or rational advertising appeals are more effective at grabbing consumer attention in a media-multitasking scenario.

The experiment and focus group of heavy media-multitasking students aimed to highlight the variations in behaviour and opinions towards four low-involvement product advertisements. The findings suggest advertising appeals do effect media-multitasking behaviour, and in particular emotional advertising appeals are more effective at grabbing attention.

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