ArticlePDF Available

Forced Exposure and Psychological Reactance: Antecedents and Consequences of the Perceived Intrusiveness of Pop-Up Ads


Abstract and Figures

This paper explores forced viewing of “pop-up ads” on the Internet to understand better how viewers come to define ads as irritating and decide to avoid them. Perceived intrusiveness was suggested as the underlying mechanism by which the process occurs. Antecedents of intrusiveness were identified that affect perceptions of ads as interruptions, including congruence of the advertisement content with the current task and intensity of cognition at the moment the ad pops up. The consequences of intrusiveness were shown to be caused by feelings of irritation and ad avoidance. The results provide an understanding of how consumers experience forced exposure situations in interactive environments and highlight implications for advertisers seeking to increase the effectiveness of on-line advertising.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Forced Exposure and Psychological Reactance:
Antecedents and Consequences of the Perceived
Intrusiveness of Pop-Up Ads
Edwards, Hairong
and Joo-Hyun
This paper explores forced viewing of 'bop-up ads" on the Internet to understand better how viewers come to
define ads as irritating
and decide to avoid them. Perceived intrusiveness was suggested as the underlying
which the process occurs. Antecedents of intrusiveness wwe identified that affect perceptions of
ads as interruptions, including congruence of the advertisement content with the current task
and intensity of
cognition at the
moment the ad pops up. The consequences of intrusiveness were shown to be caused by feel-
ings of irritation and
avoidance. The results provide an understandir~g of how consumers experience forced
exposure situations in interactive environments and highlight implications for
udvertisers seeking to increase
the effectiveness of on-line advertising.
University of Texas at Austin)
assistant professor, Department
Advertising, Michigan State
Hairong Li
(Ph.D., Michigan State
University) is an associate professor,
Departn~ent of' Advertising, Ivlichigari
State Cniversity.
is a doctoral
candidate in the Department
Advertising, Michigan State
This research was
funded by a grant
from the American Academy of
The idea that, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction has
been termed reactance in psychology literature. Reactance theory is a social
psychological theory that explains human behavior in response to the per-
ceived loss of
freedorn in an environment (Brehm
Reactance is postu-
lated to be experienced
in response to the environment and used to help
persons reestablish freedom and control of a situation. When there is
threat to a person's freedom, that person will attempt to restore the freedom
exhibiting opposition or resisting pressures to conform (Brehm and Brehm
Similarly, consumers have becm shown to interpret cominercial mes-
sages actively and react against threats of persuasion to further their own
goals. This paper explores Web surfers' reactions when they are forced to view
advertising. Reactance may be especially important in light of new advertising
delivery techniques developed for the Internet, such as pop-up ads.
The purpose of this research is
twofbld: First, we investigate what charac-
teristics of pop-up ads are perceived as intrusive. Specifically, the study inves-
tigates four aspects of ads themselves that may moderate perceptions of pop-up
advertisements as intrusive: timing of the display, duration of the ad, congru-
ence with editorial content, and perceived informational and entertainment
value. Second, we hope to understand better the relationship between the
antecedents and consequences of ads being perceived as intrusive by examin-
ing reactions such as irritation and ad avoidance. We believe that, if the point
at which advertising becomes intrusive can be identified, strategies for reduc-
ing irritation and the avoidance of advertising can be formulated
Forcing Exposure to Internet Advertising
The declining click-through rates of conventional banner ads and rising
doubts about Web sites7 advertising business models are driving concerned
advertisers beyond banner ads. As advertisers scramble to find alternatives,
rich media are quickly becoming the standard by which the sophistication of
Internet advertising is being judged. Rich media ads contain content created
with new technologies
(e.g., Java, JavaScript, Macromedia Flash, Macromedia
(D)HTML, VRML) and are used to deliver high aural and visual
The Journal of Advertising
impact. Use of rich media is growing at an annual
rate of 53% and is forecasted to reach $34 billion by
(Bowen 2001). With the increase in the popular-
ity of rich media ads, new delivery techniques have
been developed to solve bandwidth problems associ-
ated with larger rich media file sizes.
Pop-ups are one of the popular techniques to de-
liver rich media ads that are able to contain more
sophisticated messages on the Web
(Milward Brown
1999a). According to Interactive Adver-
tising Bureau's
(2001) guidelines, pop-ups (formally
termed interstitials) refer to a form of rich media ads
that "automatically launch in a new browser window
when a Web page is loaded." Pop-unders are another
form of interstitials that load behind the users' Web
browser so that they may be seen after users close the
browser window (Taylor 2001). Although different
forms of interstitials can be programmed, they are
distinct from conventional banner ads in the manner
in which they are displayed. Banner ads appear when
viewing Web pages, usually at the top or along the
sides of the page. Because banner ads are generally
displayed on the periphery, they do not interrupt the
activity of Web viewers. However, interstitials can be
programmed to appear when entering or exiting a
Web page, after a certain amount of time on a Web
page, or when a link is selected. The window then can
be programmed to remain for a predetermined length
of time or until the user chooses to close the window.
When faced with interstitials, Web users are inter-
rupted and forced to react to unrequested commercial
messages. In some cases, viewers have the option to
"zap" the advertisement by closing the pop-up win-
dow, but newer interstitial ad formats expand within
a Web page and do not offer such an opportunity.
Web surfers are forced to view a short commercial
message if they wish to see the Web site. In either
case, interruptions force users to respond cognitively,
affectively, or behaviorally, possibly resulting in ei-
ther positive or negative outcomes for the advertiser.
This type of forced exposure may elicit a viewer's
involuntary attention, as described by Kahneman
(19731, which would result in positive effects such as
greater processing and increased memory for the ad
message. Industry studies have shown increases in
ad recall, awareness, and purchase intention for
interstitials compared with conventional banner ads
(Milward Brown Interactive 1999b). However, forced
exposure often interrupts a viewer's normal viewing
process, and rich media content may cause a delay in
downloading due to large file sizes. Both situations
could lead to a negative perception of the advertising
as intrusive. Although intrusive advertisements may
enhance recall, they also may result in negative atti-
tude formation (Ha 1996) or avoidance of the ads
altogether (Abernethy 1991). Thus, an important theo-
retical and practical issue for pop-up ads on-line is
how to minimize the negative perceptions while tak-
ing advantage of the potential effective benefits.
In a survey of U.S. consumers, Bauer and Greyser
(1968) identify as the main reasons people criticize
advertising the annoyance or irritation it causes,
which is believed to lead to a general reduction in
advertising effectiveness (Aaker and Bruzzone
However, research also indicates that consumers' criti-
cisms of advertising are generally directed at the tac-
tics advertisers employ that make the experience of
processing advertising negative, rather than at the
institution of advertising itself (Bauer and Greyser
1968; Ducoffe 1996;
Sandage and Leckenby 1980).
Therefore, developing a better understanding of these
"annoying" or "irritating" tactics should allow for the
creation of more effective advertisements.
A few studies have identified aspects of advertising
that lead to negative feelings. For example, some be-
lieve that
irr~tation occurs as a function of the adver-
tising content and level of stimulation. Content that
talks down to consumers, is overly exaggerated, or
makes confusing statements has been identified as
irritating to consumers (Bauer and Greyser
Advertisemerlts that excessively stimulate consum-
ers' senses can also elicit feelings of irritation. Con-
sumers can become overwhelmed if the ads are too
long, too loud, or too big (Aaker and Bruzzone 1985;
Bauer and Greyser
1968). Consumers may also feel
overstimulated when viewing many ads in a short
time or seeing a single ad too frequently (Bauer and
Greyser 1968). The likely result is a retreat away from
the source of irritation, or ad avoidance (Kennedy 1971;
Krugman 1983; Park and McClung 1986; Soldow and
Principe 1981). Abernethy (1991) finds that consumers
often leave the room or change channels to avoid adver-
tising. Others have shown that television viewers sim-
ply ignore ads (Clancey 1994; Krugman and Johnson
1991). However, what is not clear is why the same
advertising is annoying to some but not all consumers.
A possible explanation for why consumers view only
some advertising as irritating is the concept of intru-
siveness. Ha (1996) defines intrusiveness as the in-
terruption of editorial content. Because the first
objective of advertising is to get noticed, by defini-
tion, advertisements seek to interrupt editorial con-
tent. By interfering with the goals of consumers,
advertising effectively limits the number of actions
that consumers can take to attain their goals. Consum-
ers must reevaluate their goals to include advertising
(acquiesce), or negative reactions are likely to result in
the avoidance of advertising in some way.
Aaker and
(1985) suggest that negative reactions to ad-
vertisements occur to the degree that they cause impa-
tience. To the extent that advertisements are recognized
as disturbing, negative outcomes such as irritation and
avoidance may result (Kennedy 1971;
Krugrnan 1983;
Park and
McClung 1986; Soldow and Principe 1981).
Therefore, though irritation is a possible emotional re-
action and avoidance is a potential behavioral outcome
in response to intrusive advertising, the perception of
an ad as intrusive is something different.
The perception of an advertisement as intrusive
should be considered a cognitive evaluation of the
degree to which the advertisement interrupts a
person's goals. If we define what is intrusive accord-
ing to the person, advertising itself is not intrusive.
Rather, intrusiveness is defined by the degree to which
a person deems the presentation of information as
contrary to his or her goals (either functional or
donic). As such, intrusiveness should be considered
distinct from the emotional or behavioral outcomes
that may result. Therefore, it becomes important to
understand the means by which perceptions of intru-
siveness can be limited to reduce the negative out-
comes that are likely to result.
Pasadeos (1990) finds that, when ads are perceived
as valuable (containing useful information), they elicit
less irritation and avoidance. According to Ducoffe
(1995), advertising value is best understood as an
overall representation of the worth of advertising to
consumers. Ducoffe's (1995, 1996) studies indicate
that ad value is positively correlated with the infor-
mativeness and entertainment value of an ad and
that both information and entertainment value are
essential for communication exchanges between ad-
vertisers and consumers. Therefore, the perception of
intrusiveness may be affected when an ad offers the
viewer either utilitarian or aesthetic value or both.
To the degree that advertising does not provide value,
it may be perceived as coercive and unwelcome. It is
this feeling of intrusiveness that may drive negative
reactions toward ads that are recognized as trying to
Brehm and Brehm (1981) describe attempts to
change behavior as involving both persuasion and
coercion and believe that the degree to which these
attempts intrude on a person's freedom determine
that consumer's response. Brehm
(1966) terms this
feeling reactance and proposes that it occurs to the
degree that
the behavior threatened is important,
the severity of the threat to the behavior increases,
the threat affects other freedoms, and
the per-
son ever actually enjoyed the freedom. Clee and
(1980) describe reactance as a boomerang
effect in which the perception of coercion is met with
an equal but opposite influence, which is used by
consumers to restore their freedom of choice. This
effect can foster a desire to engage in the threatened
behavior even more strongly (rebellion) or can be mani-
fested as an attitude change in the person's belief
that the activity is important (acquiescence).
Several studies demonstrate that hard-sell tactics
are less persuasive than soft-sell tactics (Clee and
Wicklund 1980; Reizenstine
1971), and Brehm and
(1981) point out that hard-sell messages re-
veal the intent of the persuader and therefore should
be met with grrater resistance. Robertson and Rossiter
(1974) find that perceptions of persuasion correlated
with less favorable attitudes toward the product be-
ing sold. To the degree that advertisements are rec-
ognized as simply attempts at persuasion, they could
evoke a mild form of reactance.
Although perhaps not as strong as other forms of
direct coercion, advertisements may be perceived as
an interruption and elicit a similar feeling. To the
degree that radio listeners are enjoying music, the
threat of advertising may result in channel surfing to
regain the freedom to listen to music. To the degree
that the option of changing stations is taken away or
all stations are playing ads at the same time, in-
creased psychological reactance should be manifest
against the interruption (advertising) and perhaps
radio stations themselves. Multiple theories of media
interactions indicate that consumers are wary of per-
suasion. Consumers actively interpret the techniques
that ads use to persuade
(Friestad and Wright 1994)
and form counterarguments against ad claims when
they are highly involved (Petty and Cacioppo
all in an effort to defend themselves or react against
persuasive messages.
If consumers' reactions to advertising are defen-
sive, it may not be an effective strategy to force them
to view advertisements. Reactance theory would dic-
tate that forced exposure will result in negative con-
sequences for advertisers; however, not all forced
may be unwelcome. Discovery of the
means by which reactance can be minimized may
increase the efficacy of advertising that has the po-
tential to threaten viewers' perceptions of freedom.
The Journal
As has been argued, intrusiveness can be thought
of as a psychological consequence that occurs when
an audience member's cognitive processes are inter-
rupted and that may result in the avoidance of adver-
tising. However, advertising may not always be
perceived as equally intrusive. Perceived intrusive-
ness may be moderated by the intensity or focus of a
cognitive process. By the intensity of a cognitive pro-
cess, we mean the degree to which an audience is
mentally engaged in an activity, not cognition itself.
For example, a television commercial would be more
intrusive when inserted in the middle of a highly
involving show than at the end of a less arousing
program. Similarly, the timing of exposure to rich
media ads during normal surfing sessions on the Web
may differentially affect perceptions of intrusiveness.
For example, viewers' cognitive intensity is likely to
be higher when they are viewing a content page than
when taking a cognitive pause to switch pages. Simi-
larly, cognitive intensity should be higher when tak-
ing a cognitive pause to switch pages than when
finished surfing and closing the browser. Therefore,
an ad displayed under different cognitive loads may
be perceived as different in terms of intrusiveness.
We hypothesize that
Hla: Ads that interrupt content pages
more intrusive than
displayed between breaks
content pages.
Hlb: Ads displayed between breaks in con-
tent pages will be perceived as more
intrusive than will ads displayed upon
closing the browser.
Similarly, the duration of the interruption may af-
fect the perceived level of intrusiveness. The longer
an interruption, the more intrusive it may be per-
ceived to be. Theoretically, extended interruptions
should be perceived as greater threats to freedom
than should shorter interruptions, which should re-
sult in greater psychological discomfort and greater
reactance. Therefore,
Longer ads will be perceived as more
intrusive than will shorter ads in forced
exposure situations.
Holding the intensity of cognition constant, there
may be other aspects of advertisements that moder-
ate the perception of intrusiveness. Persuasion at-
tempts are not always perceived as intrusive and met
with skepticism, counterarguments, or source dero-
gations; they can be met with support arguments
(Petty and Cacioppo 1979). Advertisements often pro-
vide relevant information
and/or consumer gratifica-
tions, such as escapism, diversion, esthetic enjoyment,
or emotional release
(McQuail 1983). This psycho-
logical force, in opposition to reactance, has been
termed positive social influence. Clee and Wicklund
(1980) posit that persuasive communications elicit
both reactance and positive social change and that
the net result of any persuasive communication must
take into account both forces. Given the existence of a
positive social interpretation of persuasive communi-
cation, the degree to which viewers perceive benefits
or gratifications from persuasion attempts should
counter the perception of intrusiveness.
One possible positive social influence that may affect
the perception of intrusiveness is the perceived value of
an advertisement. More specifically, perceived intru-
siveness may be lessened for ads that are deemed of
high value. When faced with advertising on-line, users
may regard the degree of congruity between the adver-
tising content and the editorial content as valuable.
For example, exposure to advertising for Chevrolet
surfing the Internet for information about a new car
purchase would probably be perceived as less intrusive
than would an ad for Microsoft in the same situation.
Ads that are congruent with expectations
and/or cur-
rent cognitive activities could be perceived as positive
social influences and thus not be considered threats to
the consumer's freedom. In contrast, ads not congruent
with expectations activate divergent knowledge struc-
tures and create added mental processing demands.
These added demands threaten the freedom to con-
tinue with current processing activities and may result
in considerable reactance. Therefore,
that are congruent with the editorial
content will be perceived as less intru-
sive than ads that are not congruent.
H4: Ads that are congruent with the editorial
content will
perceived as more infor-
mative than ads that are not congruent.
Ads that
more informative
less intrusive than ads that
less informative.
second positive social influence identified by Bauer
and Greyser (1968) and Ducoffe
(19951 is entertain-
ment. To the degree that advertisements are per-
ceived as entertaining, they should provide value to
the viewer. To the degree that the entertainment is
welcome, it should not be perceived as interrupting the
cognitive goals of the viewer, and, therefore, it should
garner less psychological reactance than advertising
judged less entertaining. Thus, it is expected that
Ads that are perceived as more entertain-
ing will be rated as less intrusive than ads
that are perceived as less entertaining.
As reviewed previously, theories of psychological
reactance suggest that, in response to a loss of free-
dom, viewers will feel uncomfortable and attempt to
regain control of their experience. When advertising
interrupts the goals of consumers, consumers are
likely to seek their freedom either passively, by ig-
noring the interruption (Clancey 1994;
Krugman and
1991), or actively, by dispensing with it
(Abernethy 1991; Speck and Elliott 1997). The degree
to which viewers seek freedom will be directly pro-
portional to the perception of the ad as an intrusive
threat to that freedom. The perception of the intru-
siveness of an ad will likely result in feelings of irrita-
tion and ultimately the avoidance of that ad, if
possible. Therefore, perceived intrusiveness, level of
irritation experienced, and avoidance behaviors should
all be related. On the basis of the reviewed literature,
we believe that
The perceptiori of intrusiveness will be
positively related to feelings of irrit a t' ion.
The perception of intrusiveness
tively related
advertising avoidance.
Feelings of irritation will be positively
related to advertising avoidance.
A total of 379 participants was recruited from un-
dergraduate courses at a Midwestern
to participate in the experiment. The courses were
campuswide electives, so the participants represented
a variety of majors and backgrounds. Women consti-
of the sample, men
Experimental Design
The experiment used a
3 factorial design in
which participants were asked to find out as much
information as they could about either financial aid
or current movies using a Web site provided. The
three independent variables manipulated were edito-
rial-ad congruence, duration of interruption, and in-
tensity of cognition when faced with a pop-up ad. Two
conditions of editorial-ad congruence were created by
placing a pop-up ad for a movie on either a site that
featured movie reviews or a site that featured finan-
cial aid information. When an interstitial was incon-
gruent, it was assumed to be more intrusive than
when the advertisement was congruent with the site
content. Duration of interruption of the interstitial
was manipulated by providing content that lasted
either 10 or 20 seconds. Although participants could
close the interstitial at will, it was assumed that a
longer interstitial would be more intrusive than a
shorter one if watched entirely.
Cognitive intensity of the viewer when seeing the
interstitial on
Web site was the third independent
variable. In the first condition, an interstitial was
programmed to pop up 20 seconds after the experi-
mental page was opened. The experimental pages for
either movie reviews or financial aid were pretested
and took more than two minutes to read. This condi-
tion was designed to be the most intrusive, as it inter-
rupted participants at a time they were actively
processing information that was needed to complete
the assigned task. In the second condition, the same
content as appeared in the first condition was posi-
tioned on two Web pages with the interstitial placed
between them. The ad opened only when the partici-
pants chose to move from the first
the second page.
Providing participants the opportunity to take a "cog-
nitive pause" from their reading was designed to re-
duce the level of intrusiveness felt in response to the
advertisement Participants had to request the sec-
ond page of information, thereby giving them more
control over the situation. The third condition was
similar to the first condition, but the interstitial was
shown only when the participants finished reading
the articles
and exited the experimental page. By
placing the advertisement at the end of the task,
participants were
no longer actively processing the
information at the Web site and therefore should not
have experienced reactance.
Experimental Stimuli
Two Web sites were created for the experiment:
one site contained movie reviews and the other finan-
cial aid information. The site themes were selected
from a pretest in which 16 topics were rated for stu-
dent interest.
The selected topics were rated as mod-
erately interesting by a sample of both male and
female students
(n=35) who did not participate in the
main experiment. The content was adapted from ex-
isting Web sites. All experimental conditions were
identical in structure, font size, color, and the num-
ber and length of the articles. The movie review site
reviewed the movies
and the financial aid site contained articles about
"Stafford Loans" and "Loan Consolidation."
Two interstitials (created using Macromedia Flash)
advertised a fictitious movie titled
l'he Good Days.
Both interstitials had identical format and content
and varied only in length. The 20-second interstitial
The Journal of Advertising
Scale Reliabilities
Variable Indicators Alpha
When the ad popped-up,
thought it was..
Perceived intrusiveness
distracting, disturbing, forced, interfering, intrusive,
invasive, and obtrusive
Perceived irritation irritating, phony, ridiculous, stupid, and terrible
.87 373
The movie ad I saw was..
Informativeness helpful, unimportant, uninformative, and useless
.82 370
Entertainment attractive, enjoyable, entertaining, and fun to watch
used blank filler frames to maintain the same amount
of information as the 10-second interstitial. Both
interstitials were sized 350
350 pixels and set to
pop up in the center of the computer screen. Specifi-
cally, the ads contained four still pictures represent-
ing the movie scenes, a soft piano as background
music, and a listing of a fictitious title, director, and
cast of the movie.
Participants were randomly assigned to
of the 12
conditions (2 levels of editorial-ad congruence,
els of duration, and 3 levels of cognitive intensity)
and asked to read an instruction page about the ex-
periment. To stimulate interest in the Web content,
participants were told they would be tested about the
site content at the end of the viewing session and that
the person who answered the most questions cor-
rectly would win a cash prize. Participants viewed
the Web pages individually and were fitted with ear-
phones to hear the music used in the ad. The ads
were programmed to remain for either 10 or 20 sec-
onds, but participants were able to close the
interstitials at will and continue with their assigned
task. After the 10-minute viewing session was over,
each participant was asked to quit the Web browser
and fill out a questionnaire and then was debriefed.
A questionnaire was used to assess perceived intru-
siveness, irritation, perceived informativeness and
entertainment value of the movie ad, and the demo-
graphics of the participants. All items were answered
using seven-point scales with response categories from
strongly agree to strongly disagree. The intrusive-
ness measure consisted of seven items: distracting,
disturbing, forced, interfering, intrusive, invasive, and
Edwards, and Lee 2001). Irritation was
measured using five items: irritating, phony, ridicu-
lous, stupid, and terrible (Wells, Leavitt, and
McConville 1971). The perceived informativeness and
entertainment value of the interstitial were measured
using modified scales based on the work of Ducoffe
(1996). Both informativeness (helpful, unimportant,
uninformative, and useless) and entertainment value
(attractive, enjoyable, entertaining, and fun to watch)
were measured using four items. Finally, ad avoid-
ance was measured using observational data. Partici-
pants' actual time spent viewing the ad
m7as assessed
screen capture software and later coded for
analysis. Although each of the measures had been
used in previous studies, a confirmatory factor analy-
sis of the
items was conducted to investigate their
validity in this context. Specifically, the measured
constructs (intrusiveness, irritation, advertising en-
tertainment, and advertising informativeness) were
tested using first-order confirmatory factor models in
which every item was confined to load on its specified
factor. In all the models, the item-loading estimates
on their
prespecified factors were highly significant
(p<.001), and goodness-of-fit indices demonstrated the
quality of the measurement models (intrusiveness:
goodness-of-fit index
[GFIl=.984, adjusted goodness-
of-fit index
[AGFI]=.965; irritation: GFI=.997,
AGFI= .960; advertising entertainment: GFI=.998,
AGFI=.990; advertising informativeness: GFI=.993,
AGFI=.963). The questions asked and response items
that make up each measure, along with reliability
coefficients, are presented in Table
Manipulatiort Checks
To assess the validity of our manipulations, a third
sample of
undergraduate students was randomly
assigned to
of the 12 conditions in the main experi-
ment and asked to assess the perceived congruence of
the ad with the task, the perceived length of the ad, and
the intensity of
cognition at the moment the ad ap-
peared. To check the manipulations of our independent
variables, we first examined the degree to which par-
ticipants recognized the editorial congruence of the ad.
Participants were asked to agree or disagree with state-
ments regarding the degree to which the ad helped
them fulfill their task, provided useful information,
and was relevant to their task on a seven-point scale.
Those who saw a congruent ad reported significantly
greater relevance
G=3.16) than did those who saw a
noncongruent ad
(%=2.31), t
=2.49, p<.05.
To assess if the length of the ads was recognized,
participants were asked to agree or disagree with
statements such as the ad was short, seemed to play
for a long time, and was over before
knew it. There
was no significant difference between those who saw
a 10-second ad
=2.86) and those who saw a 20-
second ad
(T=2.68),~>.05. Therefore, participants per-
ceived the ads to be of similar length, which indicates
the failure of our manipulation.
Finally, participants' levels of cognitive intensity at
the moment the ads popped up were assessed. Par-
ticipants reported that they were more involved with
the article, more actively reading the information pre-
sented, and more focused on the article when an ad
popped up while they were reading the text
than if it appeared between pages
=3.97) or upon
exiting the browser
=3.87), F,,,
=4.71, p<.05. Post
hoc analyses revealed significant differences in cogni-
tive intensity when participants were reading the
text compared with when they were between pages or
exiting the browser. There was no significant differ-
ence reported for between pages and exiting the browser.
The manipulation resulted in only high and low levels
of cognitive intensity, and, therefore, no further dis-
tinction was made between the manipulations that re-
sulted in similar levels of cognitive intensity.
To conduct an overall assessment of the degree to
which these variables may have elicited reactance,
we measured perceptions of the ad as
freedom. The 60 participants were asked to rate the
degree to which they felt their freedom was threat-
ened, that the ad infringed on their freedom, and that
the ad forced them to respond. In contrast to expecta-
tions, those who saw a task-relevant ad reported a
greater threat to freedom
(:=3.07) than did those who
saw a nonrelevant ad
,,,=3.73, p<.05.
However, similar to the findings pertaining to the
perceived duration of the ad, participants viewing a
10-second ad experienced a similar amount of reac-
(x=2.64) as did those viewing the 20-second ad
(%=2.90),p>.05. Participants who saw an ad within a
page reported greater reactance
(T=3.32) than did
those who saw an ad between pages
(%=2.83), who
reported greater reactance than did those who saw
an ad when exiting the browser,
=4.78,p<.05. In
summary, though the manipulations of editorial-ad
congruence and cognitive intensity adequately dis-
tinguished between conditions, the strength of the
reactance was only mild. That is, advertising may not
warrant strong feelings about the loss of control. Edi-
torial-ad congruence was recognized as congruent or
not congruent to the assigned task, as anticipated,
but ratings of the threat to freedom were opposite
expectations. This finding may indicate that, when
ads are relevant, they elicit greater attention and are
perceived as greater threats to freedom than when
not relevant. If true, the value that ads provide by
being relevant must overcome the perceived threat to
freedom to be perceived as unintrusive. Finally, the
manipulation to change the perception of the dura-
tion of the interruption was unsuccessful and not
expected to explain variance in the proposed model.
We tested the 10 hypotheses using structural equa-
tion analysis with
-Amos 4.0. The promise of such an
approach lies in that, when tested simultaneously,
existing relationships between constructs may change
and additional relationships may emerge. Structural
equation modeling
(SEM) captures these changes and
thus provides
better description of the relationships
among variables
(Bollen 1989).
All constructs described in the hypotheses and
shown in Figure
were specified in the initial model.
Exogenous variables included cognitive intensity, du-
ration of the interruption, and editorial congruence.
Each was a manipulated variable and therefore cat-
egorical in nature. Although not ideal for SEM analy-
sis, categorical variables can be successfully
incorporated into such analysis (Joreskog and
1989). The variables were coded so that higher values
reflect greater cognitive intensity, longer duration,
and greater congruence. Five endogenous variables
included ad informativeness, ad entertainment, ad
intrusiveness. ad irritation, and ad avoidance. These
are each observed, continuous measures. The maxi-
mum likelihood method was used in model estima-
tion. The initial analysis indicated a poor fitting model,
x2=668.09 (d.f
244), a GFI of .87, AGFI of .84, com-
parative fit index
(CFI) of .92, and root mean squared
error of approximation (RMSEA) of
A Conceptual Model of the Perceived Intrusiveness of Pop-Up Ads
Antecedents Consequences
Antecedents and Consequences of Perceived Intrusiveness: The Final Model
Antecedents Consequences
Ad irritation
To improve the model, the significance of the re-
gression weights was first examined for all variables.
As expected on the basis of the nonsignificant find-
ings of the manipulation check, the perceived dura-
tion of the interruption caused by the ad was not
significantly related to perceived
Unexpectedly, irritation did not significantly predict
ad avoidance,
p>.05. Instead, avoidance was driven
by the perceived intrusiveness of the ad. Therefore,
duration of the interruption was removed from the
model, as was the link between irritation and ad avoid-
ance. The revised model was further tested, and modi-
fication indices were used to identify any missed
relationships in the original model. The degree to
which an ad was rated as entertaining was shown to
be related to the level of irritation experienced
Unstandardized Standard
Errors Parameters
Cognitive intensity
Duration of interruption
Editorial-ad congruence
Editorial-ad congruence
Ad informativeness
Ad entertainment
Ad entertainment
Ad intrusiveness
Ad intrusiveness
Ad irritation
Ad intrusiveness
Ad intrusiveness
Ad intrusiveness
Ad informativeness
Ad intrusiveness
Ad intrusiveness
Ad irritation
Ad irritation
Ad avoidance
Ad avoidance
Goodness-of-Fit Indices
Joreskog-Sorbom goodness-of-fit index
Adjusted goodness-of-fit index (AGFI) .89
Comparative fit index
Root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA)
*Dropped in the final model.
and therefore was added to the model. Although we
expected this relationship to be moderated by intru-
siveness, much of the literature on irritation points
out that irritation occurs when ads contain untruth-
ful or confusing content or are executed poorly (Aaker
and Bruzzone 1985; Bauer and Greyser 1968). The
model with the addition of the new causal path be-
tween entertainment and irritation was tested, and
one item (irritation) from the irritation scale with
excessive covariance was removed. The resulting
model, presented in Figure 2, was found to fit the
data well,
x2=433.64 (d.f.=202), GFI=.91, AGFI=.89,
CFI=.95, and RMSEA=.06. The significance of regres-
sion weights was examined for all remaining con-
structs, and their associated measures and all
relationships were found to be significant
atp<.Ol. A
final model summary is presented in Table 2.
The final model provides support for seven of the
ten hypotheses. In addition, a new causal relation-
ship (ad entertainment
ad irritation) emerged and
was added to the model. This addition is conceptually
sound, in that previous studies have shown that en-
tertaining ads are perceived as valuable by audiences
(Alwitt and Prabhaker 1992; Biel and Bridgwater
1990; Ducoffe 1996). To the degree that viewers are
entertained by ads, they are less likely to be irritated.
All relationships in the final model seem reasonable
and are in accordance with the literature reviewed.
Specifically, two manipulated variables-cognitive
intensity and editorial-ad congruence-had a signifi-
cant impact on perceived intrusiveness,
whereas du-
ration of the ad did not. That is, ads were found to be
more intrusive by participants highly immersed in
the content
(2~4.42, S=1.41) than by those who were
less cognitively engaged
(Z=3.70, S=1.41),
p<.001. The manipulation of cognitive intensity speci-
fied in Hlb did not work and therefore could not be
tested. However, evidence for Hla was found. Unfor-
tunately, H2 could not be supported. The duration of
both 10- and 20-second ads was perceived similarly,
and, thus, duration is not related to perceptions of
p>.05. Perhaps the existence of the
interstitial itself triggered feelings of intrusiveness,
and once a participant decided to watch the ad, the
length might have not mattered. Editorial congru-
ence was found to have a negative relationship with
perceptions of intrusiveness, and, therefore, H3 was
supported. Ads were perceived as less intrusive when
related to the participant's task
(2=3.64, S=1.42) than
when not related to the task
(%=4.24, S=1.43),
t,,,,!=4.04, p<.001. Editorial congruence also had a
positive impact on the perception of the ad as infor-
mative, in support of H4. Those who saw the congru-
ent ad reported it to be more informative
S=1.32) than did those who saw the noncongruent ad
(T=3.77, S=1.15), ti3711=3.14, p<.01.
The Journal
were related to the degree to
which ads that are perceived as informative and en-
tertaining reduce perceptions of the ad as intrusive.
Both variables were negatively related to perceptions
of intrusiveness, indicating that the more value (in-
formation or entertainment) perceived in an ad, the
less intrusive it is perceived. Both hypotheses are
thus supported. Hypothesis
proposed a connection
between perceptions of intrusiveness and feelings of
irritation. A strong positive relationship was found in
support of the relationship. However, the added rela-
tionship between the perception of an ad as enter-
taining and feelings of irritation now means that
entertainment has both a direct and an indirect effect
on irritation. Hypothesis 8 specified that perceptions
of intrusiveness would be positively related to the
avoidance of the ad. The model shows that avoidance
is caused by the degree to which an ad is judged to be
intrusive. Finally, the lack of support for
H9 is interest-
ing because feelings of irritation were not significantly
related to ad avoidance. Similar to the findings of Cronin
and Menelly
(19921, this suggests that ad avoidance
may take place upon recognition of the ad as intrusive,
even though the viewer is not yet irritated.
The current study provides evidence that, when
ads are perceived as intrusive, feelings of irritation
are elicited and advertisements are avoided. Appar-
ently, perceptions of interstitials as intrusive are re-
lated to the level of cognitive intensity with which
viewers pursue their goals. When viewers are focused,
they perceive interruptions as more severe than when
they are not focused. However, through creative ad-
vertisement placement strategies, perceptions of in-
trusiveness may be moderated. When ads are
requested or provide value, either in the form of in-
formation or entertainment, they are perceived as
less of an interruption, are less irritating, and may be
less likely to be dismissed as nuisances.
The variables found to limit perceptions of intru-
siveness involve
targeting viewers when their cog-
nitive effort is low,
increasing the relevancy of the
advertising, and
providing value to viewers. First,
strategies that seek to minimize the interruption of
viewers' current activities are likely to meet with less
resistance. Therefore, viewers should be exposed to
pop-up ads only at breaks in content. In the current
study, switching between pages offered such a break.
However, Web pages could be designed with pictures
or large banner ads separating sections of content,
thereby providing the breaks needed to launch pop-
up ads. Recent practices in the on-line advertising
industry to use pop-unders or interstitials (ads that
appear in the main Web browser when users attempt
to move from one page to another) would be justified
by the findings from the current study.
Second, another means of limiting perceptions of
intrusiveness involves increasing the relevancy of pop-
up advertisements by using content placement strat-
egies. Although increasing relevance was found to
increase reactance, participants actually reported feel-
ing less intrusiveness. A possible explanation for this
finding is that relevant ads could not be as easily
discounted as meaningless. So, though they raised
significantly greater reactance than nonrelevant ads,
meaningful information tempered feelings of intru-
siveness and irritation. This finding highlights the
importance of content placement strategies, which
have been used in print media
(Janiszewski 1990; Yi
1990) and television (Murry, Lastovicka, and Singh
1992; Park and
McClung 1986; Singh and Churchill
Soldow and Principe 1981). The same rationale
is being used on-line (Sherman and Deighton
If consumers are surfing "" and an automo-
bile ad is seen, it is likely to be more relevant than an
ad for Budweiser and thus less likely to elicit feelings
of intrusiveness and irritation.
Third, the final strategy
reduce intrusiveness is
increase the value viewers receive from ads. Information
deemed important or interesting or an ad that is enter-
taining rewards the viewer, who is thereby less likely
feel irritated by the interruption. Through strategic use
and placement of commercial messages, resistance of con-
sumers can
lessened, which is likely
irritation and greater message effectiveness.
However, there are several limitations to the cur-
rent study that should be addressed. First, the ma-
nipulation of ad length was not perceived to differ
among participants. Therefore, we cannot comment
on previous claims that longer ads are more intrusive
or irritating than shorter ads. Subjects had a modi-
cum of control during the experiment, in that they
could close the pop-up ad at will. Although partici-
pants exposed to the 20-second ad left the ad open
significantly longer than did those exposed to the 10-
second ad, there was no perceived difference in the
length of the ads. Perhaps the participants were not in
a hurry to complete the task and therefore did not
deem the length of the pop-up ad important. Alterna-
tive procedures could include providing an incentive
for timely completion of the task or choosing very short
and very long ads to maximize perceptions of ad length.
Second, the degree to which participants felt in
control of the timing of the appearance of the ad may
be a limitation. Participants in the "timed" cognitive
intensity condition had no control over when the ad
popped up, whereas participants in the second and
third conditions were required to click a link (either
to go to the next page or close the browser) before the
ad popped up. Because of the importance of control in
assessing perceived interactivity, teasing out the ef-
fects of control from cognitive intensity seems like an
important next step in this line of research.
Third, the use of categorical exogenous variables in
the tested
is unorthodox. Although acceptable
analytically, cognitive intensity, duration of the inter-
ruption, and editorial congruence were manipulated to
create experimental conditions and therefore limited
the variation and explanatory power of the model. Fu-
ture research should note this limitation and measure
perception& of such manipulations to facilitate greater
explanation with continuous exogenous variables.
We have provided a framework for understanding
negative responses to Internet advertising, such as
feelings of irritation and ad avoidance. The proposed
model is an initial step in understanding the rela-
tionships among intrusiveness, irritation, and ad
avoidance in forced exposure situations. The proposed
model offers several unique characteristics, in that it
conceptualizes the role and nature of intrusiveness in
understanding responses to advertising and demon-
strates that perceptions of intrusiveness may be mod-
erated by other factors. None of these issues has
received explicit attention in previous literature. By
bringing them together in a framework, we aim to
guide future empirical research and theoretical work.
It must be noted that our findings cannot be gener-
alized to all Web site viewing behaviors. This study
examines the impact of perceived intrusiveness in
the context of task-oriented, extrinsically motivated
behavior. Participants were assigned to learn as much
as possible about their given tasks, and thus, the
motivation underlying the Web surfing task may limit
the generalizability of the results. Intrinsically moti-
vated, task-oriented surfing behaviors could be ex-
amined by providing participants with a range of
topics from which to select. Intrinsically motivated
behavior could result in more or less reactance, de-
pending on the strength of the motivation. Therefore,
it would be interesting to examine the relationship
among motivation, cognitive intensity, and the per-
ception of intrusiveness.
It should also be noted that not all Web site viewing
behavior is task- or goal-oriented. Hoffman and Novak
distinguish goal-directed behavior from expe-
riential or ritual behavior on the Web. Whereas the
former refers to activities such as information seek-
ing and on-line shopping, the latter is less directed.
Because intrusiveness has been defined as the inter-
ruption of cognitive processing, it would be worth-
while to investigate the effects of intrusiveness during
experiential behavior. For example, when users are
mindlessly surfing through various Web sites without
any specific purposes, an interstitial may cause less
intrusiveness than it does in a goal-directed context.
Unlike many Web sites with interstitials, only one
interstitial popped up at the experimental Web site.
Future studies may wish to examine multiple
interstitials and vary the frequency with which ads
pop up; their cumulative effects may exacerbate per-
ceptions of intrusiveness. The type of message dis-
played in a pop-up ad may also interact with the act
of popping up itself. Static banners may not provide
the entertainment that rich media can offer. Alterna-
tively, some consumers may be irritated by having to
wait for rich media and prefer a simpler message.
In a similar vein, the method of placing ads in Web
sites should be investigated in more depth. The cur-
rent study manipulates cognitive intensity by placing
the ad at different locations within the Web page: at
the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. How-
ever, technological advances provide many more op-
tions for specifying ad placement. These different
placements vary in the degree of forced exposure. For
example, pop-unders can be loaded under the browser
and be seen upon closing the browser. Ads can also be
made to float on the browser window without disap-
pearing, be full-screen ads that prevent people from
viewing other content, or have the appearance of tra-
ditional banner ads but expand without leaving the
current Web site. Other ads are programmed to ap-
pear only when users wait for the Web pages to load.
These diverse tactics and new technologies are allow-
ing for greater control over advertising placement,
and it will be necessary to test how people perceive
those new ad formats.
third area that needs to be addressed in future
research is the trade-off between good and bad expo-
sure. The old saying that "any publicity is good pub-
licity'' illustrates this point. Even if viewers respond
negatively to forced exposure advertisements, they
are still exposed to the message. This exposure is
likely to elicit increased levels of attention and should
facilitate memory for the advertisement. Therefore,
it becomes important to consider the goal of the cam-
paign when studying about the effects of intrusive-
ness. For example, advertisers seeking positive
The Journal
attitude formation as a campaign objective may wish
to avoid intrusive ads, which are likely to result in
irritation. However, if recall or recognition is a goal,
intrusive ads could be more effective than nonintrusive
ads. Exploration of the relationship between intru-
siveness and memory is needed to understand the
benefits and drawbacks of using forced exposure ads.
Overall, the current research shows that judgments
about ad interruptions may be changed by manipu-
lating the antecedents of intrusiveness. These find-
ings add to our understanding of how viewers come to
define when an ad is intrusive. Furthermore, the re-
search seeks to distinguish the intrusiveness of an
advertisement from the consequences of the inter-
ruption itself. By demonstrating that intrusiveness is
a precursor to feelings of irritation and avoidance
behaviors, we have added to the understanding of the
underlying mechanism by which negative reactions
to advertising occur. By providing this evidence in a
single model, we begin to understand how both the
antecedents and consequences of forced exposure ad-
vertising are best understood by examining the con-
struct of intrusiveness.
Aaker, David S. and Donald
Bruzzone (1985
"Causes of Irrita-
tion in Advertising," Journal of
Mariietillg, 49 (21, 47-57.
Abernethy, Avery
(19911, "Physical and Mechanical Avoidance
of Television Commercials: An Exploratory Study of Zipping,
Zapping and Leaving," in
Proceedirlgs of the An~erzcan Acad-
erny of Aduertising, Rebecca Holman, ed., New York: The
American Academy of Advertising,
Alwitt, Linda
and Paul
Prabhaker (19921, "Functional and
Belief Dimensions of Attitudes to Television,"
Jourr~al of Ad-
uertising Research, 32 (51, 30-42.
Bauer, Raymond
and Stephen
Greyser (19681, Advertising in
Consunler View, Boston,
Harvard University.
Biel, Alexander L. and Carol A. Bridgwater
(1990!, "Attributes of
Likable Television
Cominercials," Journal of Advertiszng Re-
search, 30
i3), 38-44.
Bollen, Kenneth A. (1989), Structural Equations with Latent Vari-
ables, New York: John
Bowen, John (2001), "Analyst View: The Emergence of Rich Media,"
Red Herring, (January
24). [
Brehm, Jack W. (1966),
Theory of Psychological Reactance, New
York: Academic Press.
Brehm, Sharon S. and Jack W. Brehm
(1981), Psycholog2cal Reactance:
Theory of Freedorn
Control, New York: Academic Press.
Clancey, Maura
(19941, 'The Television Audience Examined." Jour-
ofAduertising Research, 39 (51, 27-37.
Clee, Mona A. and Robert
Wicklund (19801, "Consumer Behav-
ior and Psychological Reactance," Journal of
Consurner Re-
search, 6
Cronin, John
and Nancy
Menelly (19921, "Discrimination vs.
Avoidance: 'Zipping' of Television Commercials," Journal of
Aduertising, 21 (Summer),
Ducoffe, Robert
(1995), "How Consumers Assess the Value of
Advertising." Journal of Current Issues and Research in Ad-
17 (I), 1-18.
(1996), "Advertising Value and Advertising on the
Jourrlal of Aduertising Research, 36 (5), 21-35.
Friestad, Marian and Peter Wright
(19941, 'The Persuasion Knowl-
edge Model. How People Cope with Persuasion Attempts,"
Jourr~al of (:onsurner Research, 21 (I), 1-31.
Ha, Louisa
(199(i), "Advertising Clutter in Consumer Magazines:
Dimensions and Effects,"
Jourrzal ofAduertisir~g Research, 36
(July!Auyst), 76-83.
Hoffman, Donna L. and Thomas P. Novak (19961, "Marketing in
Hypermedia Computer-Mediated Environments: Conceptual
Joz~rlzal of Marketing, 60 (31, 50-68.
Interactive Advertising Bureau (2001!, Rich Medla Ad Unit Guide-
lines, Interactive Advertising Bureau, (August
6), [http:I!].
Janiszewslu, Chris (19901, "The Influence of Nonattended hlate-
rial on the l'rocessing of Advertising Clainls," ,Journal of Mar-
Resenrch, 27 (34 263-278.
Joreskog, Karl
and Dag Sorbom (19891, LISREL
Gurde to
Progrartl and Applications, 2d ed., Chicago: SPSS Inc.
Kahneman, Daniel
(19731, Atter~tiorl
Effort, Englewood Cliffs,
NJ: Prentice Hall.
Kennedy, John
(1971), "How Program Environment Affects
Commercials," Journal ofddvertising Research,
(I), 33-38.
Krugman, Dean
and Keith F. Johnson (1991), ''Differences in the
Consumption of Traditional Broadcast and VCR Movie Rental,"
Jour~lcll ofBrDadcastit~g &Electronic Media, 35 (Spring), 213-232.
Krugman, Herbert E. (1983), 'Television Program Interest and Com-
Interruption: Are Commercials on Interesting Programs
Less Effective?" Journal of Advertising Research, 23
1, 21-23.
Li, Hairong, Steven M. Edwards, and
Joo-Hwn Lee (20011, "Mea-
suring the Intrusiveness of Internet Advertising: Scale Devel-
and Validation," in Proceedings of the
the Arnerican Acaclerr~j ofAd~ler-tising, Charles
Taylor, ed.,
American Academy of Advertising, 25-26.
McQuail, Dennis (1983), Mass Conz~rzurzication Theoiy: An It~tro-
ductaon, Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage.
Milward Brown Interactive (1999a1, The Wired Digital Rich Media
Stud.v, San Francisco, CA:
Brown Interactive, http:!:I
(1999b), Evaluating the Effectiveness of the
Superstitzuls, Millward Brown Interactive, (October,, [http:';
Murry, John P.. Jr., John L. Lastovicka, and Suiendra
"Feeling and Liking Responses to Television Programs:
An Examination of Two Explanations for Media Context Ef-
fects," Journal of
Consurner Research, 18 (March), 441-451.
\Vhan and Gordon W. McClung (1985), 'The Effect of
Program Involvement on Involvement with Commercials," in
ceedings ~f~bsociation of Consu~rler Research, Richard
Las Vegas,
Association of Consumer Research, 544-547.
Pasadeos, Yorgo (19901, "Perceived Informativeness of and Irritation
with Local Advertising," Journalism Quarterly, 67
Petty, Richard
and John T. Cacioppo (19791, "Issue Involvement
Can Increase or Decrease Persuasion by Enhancing
Relevant Cognitive Responses," Journal of Person,ality and
Psyc~hology, 37 (lo), 1915-1926.
Reizenstine, Richard
(19711, "A Dissonance Approach to Mea-
suring the Effectiveness of Two Personal Selling Techniques
1)ecision Reversal," Proceedings of the Conference of
thehzerican Marketing Association, Chicago: American Mar-
keting Association, 176-180.
Robertson, Thomas S. and John R. Rossiter (19741, "Children and
Commercial Persuasion:
Attribution Theory Analysis,"
Journal of Consumer Research,
(11, 13.
Sandage, Charles
and John Leckenby (1980), "Student Attitude
toward Advertising: Institution vs. Instrument,"
Journal of
(21, 29-33.
Sherman, Lee and John Deighton (20011, "Banner Advertising:
Measuring Effectiveness and Optimizing Placement,"
nal of Interactive Marketing,
15 (2), 60-64.
Singh, Surendra
and Gilbert
Churchill Jr. (19871, "Arousal and
Advertising Effectiveness,"
Journal ofAduertising,
16 (1),4-10.
Soldow, Gary
and Victor Principe (19811, "Response to Commer-
cials as a Function of Program Context,"
Journal ofddvertis-
ing Research,
21 (21, 59-65.
Speck, Paul
Surg and Michael T. Elliott (19971, "Predictors of
Advertising Avoidance in Print and Broadcast Media,"
nal of Advertising,
26 (31, 61-76.
Taylor, Catharine P. (20011, "The Crackle Over 'Pop Unders,"'
72 (July 161, 36.
Wells, William D., Clark Leavitt, and Maureen
McConville (19711,
Reaction Profile for
Journal of Aduertis-
ing Research,
(December), 11-17.
Yi, Youjae
(19901, "Cognitive and Affective Primmg Effects of the Con-
for Print Advertising,"
Joud ofAduerfising,
19 (2),40-48.
... These articles accounted for the large majority (83%) of all citations of all articles in the dataset. The article with the most citations was Edwards et al. (2002), with 1320 citations, followed by Cho and Cheon (2004), with 1119 citations. These two articles can be considered seminal works on digital ad avoidance as they were the first articles on ad avoidance conducted solely in the context of the Internet and empirically expounded why people avoid advertising on the Internet (antecedents). ...
... A recent meta-analytic review claimed that mobile advertising could irritate consumers, leading to negative attitudes and a decreased desire to receive mobile advertising . Moreover, previous studies have shown that ad irritation has increased digital ad avoidance (Cho & Cheon, 2004;Edwards et al., 2002;Niu et al., 2021). ...
... It assumes that people will avoid ads when they perceive ads as threatening their freedom or autonomy to consume digital media content (Youn & Kim, 2019b). Prior literature suggested that several phenomena such as ad intrusiveness, ad irritation, and goal impediment threat to freedom can lead to psychological reactance as digital ad avoidance (Baek & Morimoto, 2012;Edwards et al., 2002;Nyheim et al., 2015;Shin & Lin, 2016;Youn & Kim, 2019b). ...
Full-text available
The recent growth in digital marketing investments and revenues has attracted the attention of both marketing practitioners and scholars. However, this growth has dramatically increased users' exposure to ad messages, encouraging consumers to avoid them. Therefore, ad avoidance has become a major problem for marketing practitioners. Although researchers have become much more interested in this subject over the past two decades, the body of knowledge on ad avoidance in the digital environment remains fragmented due to the lack of a comprehensive review. Therefore, a holistic overview study is needed that focuses on the big picture and can help researchers to understand the literature comprehensively. This study aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the topic using a systematic literature review approach on digital ad avoidance. To this end, we provide an in-depth content analysis of 56 relevant articles published in 31 peer-reviewed scientific journals up to December 31, 2021. Based on a theories, contexts, characteristics, and methods (TCCM) framework, the study results shed light on “what do we know, how do we know, and where should research about digital ad avoidance research be heading?” Additionally, drawing on the content analysis, we have presented an integrative framework that considers antecedents, outcomes, mediators, and moderators, which can help develop the field systematically and guide future research. By doing so, we think this review meets the need to give an overview of the state-of-the-art scientific body of knowledge on digital ad avoidance and makes important and solid contributions to the literature, practical implications, and future research directions based on the findings.
... H4: Perceived value plays a mediating role between smart home service innovation and willingness to use, that is, smart home service innovation enhances perceived value, which in turn increases consumers' willingness to use. Edwards et al. (2002) believed that perceived intrusiveness refers to the sense of intrusion and threat that consumers generate when using smart products or services. Taking the intelligent service system as an example, the research of Bieke et al. (2020) pointed out that with the higher the degree of intelligence, smart homes will increasingly collect, share, and use personal data, thereby enhancing consumers' perceived intrusiveness. ...
Full-text available
In order to explore the influence mechanism of smart home service innovation on consumers' willingness to use, this paper constructs a chain mediation model of smart home service innovation on consumers' willingness to use through perceived intrusiveness and perceived value, and explores the moderating role of privacy concerns in the model. The results show that :(1) Smart home service innovation has a significant positive impact on consumers' willingness to use; (2) Perceived value and perceived intrusiveness played a partially mediating role in the positive impact of smart home service innovation on consumers' willingness to use, respectively; (3) Perceived intrusiveness and perceived value play a chain-mediated role in the positive impact of smart home service innovation on consumers' willingness to use; (4) Privacy concerns moderated the two partial mediating pathways, that is, the stronger the privacy concerns, the weaker the positive mediating effect of perceived value, and the stronger the negative mediating effect of perceived intrusive. This paper explores the mechanism of the impact of smart home service innovation on consumers' willingness to use from the perspective of privacy concerns, which is a supplement and enrichment to previous studies, and also provides valuable ideas for the physical retail industry to properly handle consumers' privacy and improve consumers' willingness to use.
... Our research also offers novel insight into donor deception in the context of public solicitations, which suggests that the emotional pressures that donors experience are likely far more intense than previously assumed. Though prior research has shown that consumers are willing to lie in response to social comparison information that poses a threat to their self-identity or social image (Argo et al., 2006), The current work also contributes to the understanding of perceived intrusiveness, a concept that, except for growing work in advertising (e.g., Edwards et al., 2002;Ghanbarpour et al., 2022;van Doorn & Hoekstra, 2013), remains understudied, especially in the charitable giving realm. As Studies 2 and 3 indicate, anticipating and managing perceptions of intrusiveness can prove critical, as feeling intruded upon can discourage potential donors from making a charitable contribution. ...
Full-text available
Though public donation solicitations (e.g., asking consumers to donate during checkout) are becoming ubiquitous, little is known about whether and how consumers' feelings elicited by these solicitations influence their donation behavior. Three consequential choice studies using incentive‐compatible experimental designs examine the multifaceted nature of public solicitation effectiveness. Study 1 shows that public (vs. private) solicitations increase not only the donation rate but also donors' propensity to deceive. Exploring the psychological mechanisms underlying these conflicting consequences, Study 2 demonstrates that social image concerns for not donating and perceived intrusiveness from being put on the spot counteract each other by simultaneously driving and impairing public solicitation effectiveness. Disentangling this interplay of mechanisms, Study 3 highlights the importance of the public solicitation form by uncovering a serial mediation effect. Specifically, nonverbal (vs. verbal) public solicitations increase the donation rate by reducing social image concerns and, in turn, perceived intrusiveness. Study 3 also reveals that verbal solicitations can have detrimental downstream consequences on consumers' attitudes and loyalty intentions toward both the soliciting store and the charity beneficiary. Uncovering perceived intrusiveness as a critical factor influencing donation behavior, this study thus shows that soliciting donations publicly can be a double‐edged sword, giving rise to important implications for both theory and practice.
... The measurement items for perceived advertisement benefits were adopted from Bleier and Eisenbeiss [5]. Privacy concern and feelings of intrusiveness were measured using measurement items modified from Dolnicar and Jordaan [6] and Edwards et al. [7], respectively. ...
Full-text available
The practice of unsolicited advertisements on social media has grown prevalent. This data article presents 837 US-based social media users’ consumer perceptions of such advertisements. Understanding how consumers perceive unsolicited advertising is vital to developing effective digital marketing strategies. Data collection was via an online survey adopting multi-measurement items from extant studies for reliability and validity. The data showed high internal consistency with Cronbach’s alpha testing, and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) found the measurement model valid. Goodness-of-fit indices showed a good fit with the data. Finally, convergent and discriminant validity was confirmed using the composite reliability, average variance extracted (AVE), and correlations among constructs. Further research may utilise the data using inferential analysis techniques to add to our understanding of consumer perceptions of unsolicited advertising on social media.
Full-text available
Το πέρασμα της κοινωνίας στην ψηφιακή εποχή εμπλούτισε το μάρκετινγκ με τα νέα δεδομένα και τις αντίστοιχες δυνατότητες των ψηφιακών μέσων, γεγονός που σηματοδότησε τη μετάβασή στο ψηφιακό γίγνεσθαι, δηλαδή, την ψηφιακή επικοινωνία με όλα τα συμπαρομαρτούντα των πλεονεκτημάτων και των μειονεκτημάτων της. Σ’ αυτό το καινοτόμο πλαίσιο, το μάρκετινγκ ζωντανής σύνδεσης και, εν προκειμένω, τα ιστόπεδα των επιχειρήσεων είναι, ταυτόχρονα, εργαλεία και μηχανισμοί προβολής και εμπορίας προϊόντων (και υπηρεσιών). Το παρόν άρθρο περιγράφει τη λειτουργία αυτού του μηχανισμού μέσα από ιστότοπους ομοειδών προϊόντων-μαρκών, τους οποίους συγκρίνει ανά δύο, με βάση τον τροπικότητα (“τρόπο”) των εργαλείων που το συναποτελούν και υπάρχουν στο menu τους. Πιο συγκεκριμένα, εδώ εξετάζονται τέσσερα ζεύγη ιστότοπων ομοειδών προϊόντων που καλύπτουν ένα σημαντικό φάσμα της κατανάλωσης, τα οποία και επιλέχτηκαν με κριτήριο την «ανάμιξη» των καταναλωτών με αυτά, όπως αναλύεται ο όρος αυτός από τους Rossiter & Percy. Έτσι, με δεδομένο ότι ο ιστότοπος μιας επιχείρησης υπόκειται σε επεξεργασίες που διασφαλίζουν την ελκυστικότητα, τη λειτουργικότητα και, εντέλει, την ειδοποιό του διαφορά από άλλους, ζητούμενο της μελέτης είναι η διάκριση και ακολούθως η κατάταξη των λειτουργιών τους με βάση τον προωθητικό ή ελκτικό τους χαρακτήρα, όπως αναλύεται αυτός στο μάρκετινγκ μέσα από τις γνωστές πλέον τακτικές ή στρατηγικές Ώθησης και Έλξης (Push & Pull). Από τα έντεκα εργαλεία του «Μάρκετινγκ Ζωντανής Σύνδεσης», έξι από αυτά αφορούν σχεδόν αποκλειστικά εκείνους που ελέγχουν τους ιστότοπους επιχειρήσεων. Ο ρόλος των έξι αυτών εργαλείων εποπτικός, είναι δηλαδή ο ρόλος ενός ματιού που βλέπει και καταγράφει τα πάντα. Τα δεδομένα που προκύπτουν από αυτή την καταγραφή αποβλέπουν στη βελτίωση του ιστότοπου προς αμοιβαίο όφελος επιχείρησης και επισκεπτών, πάντα στο πλαίσιο μιας ανταγωνιστικής αγοράς. Τα υπόλοιπα πέντε εργαλεία, που ουσιαστικά είναι τέσσερα αφού ένα από αυτά είναι ο ιστότοπος-website μιας επιχείρησης (το αντικείμενο της μελέτης δηλαδή). Η σύγκριση δεν είναι εύκολη για δύο λόγους: ο πρώτος έχει να κάνει με το μεγάλο όγκο τους, ενώ ο δεύτερος με το γεγονός ότι η μελέτη ιστότοπων επιχειρήσεων αποτελεί έρευνα πάνω σε κινούμενη άμμο.
In response to the challenge of replacing retiring workers with new talent, recruitment ads on recruitment platforms are becoming increasingly sophisticated and personalized. On some platforms, recruiters can now integrate users’ names and photographs into recruitment ads. Previous research has frequently found that ad personalization improves advertising effectiveness; however, personalization is not always an effective tactic, as personalization effects can be nuanced depending on the consumer and the ad’s personalized elements. A between-subjects experiment (N = 196) tested the effects of different types of recruitment ad personalization (integration of the recipient’s name only or of both the recipient’s name and photograph). This research found recruitment ads that were personalized with potential applicants’ names and photographs increased organizational attractiveness for potential applicants who exhibited low involvement in the ad’s message. In turn, their intentions to click on the ad and pursue the advertised job opportunity also increased.
Native advertising has grown in popularity in recent years, and advertisers continue to look for ways to increase its effectiveness. Beyond the emphases of prior research on ad disclosure and format relevancy of native advertising, the current research contributes to the literature by first testing the relationship between the native ad and social media content by varying the thematic content relevancy of the ad (irrelevant vs. relevant) and second, adding media context effects to the equation by changing the thematic media content consistency (low vs. high) of the surrounding social media posts in the feed. Across three experiments, the ad relevancy effect was significant. The ad relevant to the surrounding content posts decreased ad intrusiveness and increased positive ad or brand attitude compared to an irrelevant ad in high media content consistency settings. In low media content consistency settings, the ad’s relevancy did not matter as much. Moderated mediation found that higher ad intrusiveness drove lower ad attitude and brand attitude for the irrelevant ad only in the high content consistency condition. This relationship did not occur for the low content consistency condition. The findings highlight the importance of testing thematic ad-content relevancy in digital media settings that present novel content presentation formats. Theoretical implications are provided regarding the psychological appeal of relevancy and the different media contexts where schema theory can be more or less applicable. Practical implications on how to place ‘in-feed’ native ads and how social media platforms may facilitate contextual ad targeting, given the different media content consistency backdrop, are discussed.
Full-text available
Παράδειγμα πλήρης αναφορά στον τόμο των πρακτικών: Αντωνόπουλος, Ν. (Επιμ.). (2022). 1ο Ετήσιο Ελληνόφωνο Συνέδριο Εργαστηρίων Επικοινωνίας, Κεφαλονιά, Ελλάδα: Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο. ISBN: 978-960-7260-71-0 ή ebook ISBN 978-960-7260-72-7
Nowadays, rapid development in information technologies has been experienced in the aviation industry as in other industries. This development has affected both passengers and airlines in different aspects. The use of information technologies enables passengers to carry out flight-related transactions more easily and quickly, without place and time constraints. Information technologies have necessitated the use of different applications in the marketing activities of airlines. So in terms of airlines, it is extremely important to adapt these information technologies to all processes in order to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Today airlines have also started to use mobile applications (mobile apps) in their marketing activities. They encourage their passengers to use these apps, which require great investment. However, some passengers may avoid using mobile apps due to a variety of reasons such as technology anxiety, privacy concerns, complexity, etc. In this case, high investments made for the development of these apps may not be compensated and the competitiveness of airlines may be weakened. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine the factors affecting passengers’ avoidance of using airlines’ mobile apps. A survey was conducted using a face-to-face interview technique with convenience sampling method to collect data. Questionnaire items were measured by a five-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The survey was conducted in the two busiest airports in Turkey (Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen Airports in Istanbul). A total of 450 respondents have been reached but 400 valid questionnaires were analyzed by using Partial Least Squares method. A pilot study was conducted on 20 volunteer participants before the field research was initiated. In this context, the questionnaire was finalized by taking into consideration the suggestions expressed in order to maintain the coherence. The survey questionnaire consisted of two sections. The first section comprised of perceived irritation, perceived lack of utility, perceived lack of incentive, technology anxiety, privacy concern, and mobile app usage avoidance. In the second section, there were questions about passenger’s demographic characteristics such as; age, gender, education level, average income level, and flight frequency. Respondents were also asked about their general usage related to smartphones and mobile apps. According to the results; perceived irritation, perceived lack of utility, perceived lack of incentive, technology anxiety, and privacy concerns have a positive and significant effect on mobile app usage avoidance. Among these variables, technology anxiety is the most affected variable on passengers’ avoidance of using mobile apps. Both in national and international literature, there are numerous studies on mobile internet, apps adoption, and actual usage of mobile apps in different industries. Previous studies are especially related to the factors accepting the mobile apps. In addition to this, there are limited studies including avoidance of using airline mobile apps. In aviation industry also, there are a few studies both national and international literature on passengers’ avoidance of using airline mobile apps. Therefore, this study will be one of the few studies both shedding light on literature and airlines to increase the use of mobile apps.KeywordsPassengersMobile applicationsAvoidanceAirlines
Bu çalışma, çevrimiçi video içi reklam izleme motivasyonları ve bu motivasyonların çevrimiçi video içi reklama yönelik tutum ve algılanan reklam müdahaleciliğine etkisini belirlemeyi amaçlamaktadır. Ayrıca, bu iki değişkenin reklamı tıklama ve reklamı atlama üzerindeki etkisi incelenmiştir. Çalışmada çevrimiçi anket yöntemi kullanılmıştır. Araştırmanın örneklemini Türkiye’de yaşayan 18 yaş ve üzeri 391 tüketici oluşturmuştur. Veri analiz yöntemi olarak yapısal eşitlik modellemesi tercih edilmiştir. Araştırma bulgularına göre, eğlence boyutu video içi reklamlara yönelik tutum ve reklamı tıklama üzerinde pozitif etkiye sahipken; algılanan reklam müdahaleciliği üzerinde negatif etkiye sahiptir. Bilgi boyutu video içi reklamlara yönelik tutum ve reklamı tıklama üzerinde pozitif etkiye sahiptir. Algılanan reklam müdahaleciliği, çevrimiçi video içi reklama yönelik tutum üzerinde negatif etkiye sahiptir. Bilişsel ve davranışsal açıdan reklamı atlama üzerinde pozitif etkiye sahiptir. Ancak reklamı tıklama üzerinde etkisi bulunmamaktadır. Çevrimiçi video içi reklamlara yönelik tutum, reklamı tıklama üzerinde pozitif etkiye sahip, ancak bilişsel ve davranışsal açıdan reklamı atlama üzerinde etkili değildir.
Full-text available
This paper contends that television programs generate physiological arousal and that programming induced arousal can be used as a mediating variable to explain the impact of programming on the ensuing commercials. It systematically explores how television programming induced arousal can influence the learning of, and attitudes and behavior toward, the commercials embedded in the programs.
The authors address the role of marketing in hypermedia computer-mediated environments (CMEs). Their approach considers hypermedia CMEs to be large-scale (i.e., national or global) networked environments, of which the World Wide Web on the Internet is the first and current global implementation. They introduce marketers to this revolutionary new medium, propose a structural model of consumer navigation behavior in a CME that incorporates the notion of flow, and examine a series of research issues and marketing implications that follow from the model.
Hemispheric processing theory suggests that adding information to support verbal claims in an advertisement may influence the subconscious processing of the claims. Experiment 1 shows nonattended pictorial and verbal advertisements can compete for subconscious resources needed to process an attended verbal message and thus influence the comprehension and memory of the message. Experiment 2 shows similar patterns of interference result when brand claims are accompanied by a product illustration or verbal headline. In each experiment, interference is shown to be a function of the form of the material accompanying the verbal message and its placement in relation to the message. Implications for the design and layout of marketing communications are discussed.
One of the more pressing problems facing television advertisers today is zipping: fast-forwarding by viewers through commercials when playing a pre-recorded or rented videotape. This paper presents the results of laboratory and field investigations to assess whether viewers evaluate commercials prior to zipping them. High levels of zipping were found, reducing the audience size for commercials well below that for the programs. Block zipping, in which two or more commercials were zipped at a time, was discovered to be a predominant mode of zipping behavior. Zipping rates were lowest for the first commercial in the first pod, and highest for the commercials in the last pod. The authors conclude that a majority of subjects zipped to indiscriminately avoid all commercials and that few attempted to evaluate commercials prior to zipping them.
One of the central ideas which Professor Sandage has attempted to communicate over the years has been that of the distinction between advertising viewed as a social institution and advertising as observed in advertisements. This paper reports on an informal, empirical examination of this distinction stemming from data collected from advertising students over the past decade and a half. This examination revealed a systematic evaluation of advertising by students, regardless of the particular year or university in which the student responses were assessed. Advertising students distinguished between the institutional and instrumental aspects of advertising.