This thesis has a theoretical approach to analyze how auditory unpredictability influences the preference formations process and memory of brands and commercials. The inspiration to this study came from an experiment conducted by Cyril Herry et al. where a number of subjects were exposed to both predictable and unpredictable sound sequences while performing a visual dot probe task. The study found that the unpredictable sound sequences caused sustained neural activity in an area of the brain called amygdala, and the visual dot probe task was found to induce avoidance and anxiety-like behaviour. This study has aimed at developing a research design based on the findings by Herry et al. and combining it with relevant marketing stimuli. In the process of developing the research design, the theory of how preference and memory is formed was reviewed, where the prediction effect was found to have a strong impact of the preference formations process. The theoretical review on memory showed that, exposure, attention and the emotional content of stimuli were the primary factors, that influences how stimuli is remembered. The theoretical review on the theory led to the construction of two hypotheses, where auditory unpredictability was expected to decrease the preference of the marketing stimuli but enhance the memory of it. Two experiments were then performed to test these hypotheses. The first test confirmed the hypothesis, as brand logos paired with unpredictable sounds were rated significantly lower than the brand logos paired with predictable sounds. The second test however failed to confirm the hypothesis, when the temporal unpredictability was composed in the music of television commercials. The subsequent test for recall of the television commercials shown in the preference test confirmed the priori hypothesis, as the commercials paired with the temporal unpredictable music in general had a significantly higher recall level than commercial paired with the temporal predictable music. Even though the results from the second test did not confirm the hypothesis for the preference formation, it is still believed to pose a threat of having a negative impact, given the results from the first test. The use of auditory unpredictability in advertising has thus been found as a potential paradox and therefore challenges the traditional advertising theory, where there has been found to be a positive correlation between the preference and memory of commercials.
|Educations||MSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||103|