Neural signals of video advertisement liking: Insights into psychological processes and their temporal dynamics

Hang-Yee Chan, Maarten Boksem, Vinod Venkratraman, RC (Roeland) Dietvorst, Christin Scholz, Khoi Vo, Emily B. Falk, Ale Smidts

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What drives the liking of video advertisements? The authors analyzed neural signals during ad exposure from three functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data sets (113 participants from two countries watching 85 video ads) with automated meta-analytic decoding (Neurosynth). These brain-based measures of psychological processes—including perception and language (information processing), executive function and memory (cognitive functions), and social cognition and emotion (social-affective response)—predicted subsequent self-report ad liking, with emotion and memory being the earliest predictors
after the first three seconds. Over the span of ad exposure, while the predictiveness of emotion peaked early and fell, that of social cognition had a peak-and-stable pattern, followed by a late peak of predictiveness in perception and executive function.
At the aggregate level, neural signals—especially those associated with social-affective response—improved the prediction of out-of-sample ad liking compared with traditional anatomically based neuroimaging analysis and self-report liking. Finally, earlyonset social-affective response predicted population ad liking in a behavioral replication. Overall, this study helps delineate the
psychological mechanisms underlying ad processing and ad liking and proposes a novel neuroscience-based approach for generating psychological insights and improving out-of-sample predictions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2023

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© The Author(s) 2023.


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