Measuring Advertising: The Feeling Dimension

haagen-dazAs a sort of follow on from the oxytocin and advertising post earlier today, here are two measures for measuring the feeling towards the an advert. The first one is a classic “Feeling towards the Ad” measure, the second is sometimes used to measure “arousal” states.

Edell and Burke developed their measures for Feelings Towards the Ad in the late 1980s (1,2). Respondents are asked to rate feelings in response to an ad on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 5 (strongly). The feelings are mad up of three feeling dimensions, each of which is measured separately . The three dimensions and their associated feelings are:

Upbeat Dimension: active, adventurous, alive, amused, attentive, attractive, carefree, cheerful, confident, creative, delighted, elated, energetic, enthusiastic, excited, exhilarated, good, happy, humorous, independent, industrious, inspired, interested, joyous, lighthearted, lively, playful, pleased, proud, satisfied, stimulated, strong.

Negative Dimension: angry, annoyed, bad, bored, critical, defiant, depressed, disgusted, disinterested, dubious, dull, fed-up, insulated, irritated, lonely, offended, regretful, sad, skeptical, suspicious.

Warmth Dimension: affectionate, calm, concerned, contemplative, emotional, hopeful, kind, moved, peaceful, pensive, sentimental, touched, warm-hearted.

For more measures, and a more in-depth discussion, this article by Wiles & Cornwall (although dated) may be useful.

The second measure is the “AD ACL” or Activation, Deactivation Adjective Check List (3) is a simple test of  arousal states, which has been used successfully across various disciplines – including marketing. It tests for arousal states in four dimensions: Energetic, Tired, Tension and Calmness. The scoring is (somewhat unusually for people used to the traditional Likert scales) in the form of VV (definitely feel) V (feel slightly) ? Cannot decide (no) definitely don’t feel. The instructions to respondents is to work through the list of adjectives and quickly mark how they feel after each word based on their first reaction. The adjectives presented are (in this order when testing for the entire list): active, placid, sleepy, jittery, energetic, intense, calm, tired, vigorous, at-rest, drowsy, fearful, lively, still, wide-awake, clutched-up, quiet, full-of-pep, tense, wakeful.

These are then divided into as follows:
Energetic: active, energetic, vigorous, lively, full-of-pep
Tired: sleepy, tired, drowsy, wide-awake, wakeful
Tension: jittery, intense, fearful, clutched-up, tense
Calmness: placid, calm, at-rest, still, quiet

Within the Social Marketing arena, this measure has been used by testing for only the energetic and the tension domain, for example to measure effectiveness of fear appeals.

However, it’s important to realize that emotional responses towards ads are normally seen as being vicarious and not directly linked to a specific experience, and therefore “transient in nature”. In other words, they don’t last long. They are also often different from the emotions experienced when actual consumption takes place – which are likely to be stronger and more lasting.

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