This article documents how informational and emotional appeals in more than 2,000 television ads for 144 car models, aired over four years, influence online search and sales. Increasing the emotional content of ads leads to increases in online search, but increasing the informational content does not. Both informational and emotional content positively influence sales. However, increases in informational content lead to more incremental sales for low-price and low-quality cars than for high-price and high-quality cars. In turn, increases in emotional content generate more incremental sales for high-price cars than for low-price cars. Analyses of the results suggest that managers of high-price and high-quality cars should prioritize emotional rather than informational content in ads. However, managers of low-price and low-quality cars should emphasize emotional content if their objective is to increase online search and informational content if their objective is to increase sales.

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Journal of Marketing Research

Guitart, I., & Stremersch, S. (2020). The Impact of Informational and Emotional Television Ad Content on Online Search and Sales. Journal of Marketing Research. doi:10.1177/0022243720962505