Effects of Social Identity and Schadenfreude on Attitude toward Brand Sponsoring an Instant Replay Review: The Moderating Role of Rivalry and Suspense

Accepted for publication in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour.

Abstract: Used during sport games to guard against incorrect calls by referees, instant replay review has provided sponsoring brands an additional advertising opportunity. Although instant replay video (IRV) encourages sport spectators to stay focused on the screen, no study has examined how viewer perception of and attitude toward an ad or brand tied to IRV are formed or how such formations might vary in different circumstances. Applying Social Identity Theory and the concept of schadenfreude (i.e., the experience of joy when observing another’s misfortune), the current study examined sport fan perceptions of an IRV-sponsoring ad and its sponsoring brand. Results from an experiment using a 2 (rivalry level: high vs. low) × 2 (suspense level: high vs. low) between-subjects design revealed that the positive emotion induced by a negative instant replay outcome for the opposing team (i.e., schadenfreude) led to positive attitude toward the ad (Aad-IRV) and the sponsoring brand (Ab-IRV). Importantly, the results indicate that the effects of schadenfreude on Aad-IRV were greater when the level of rivalry was higher. Participants exposed to the high rivalry game condition showed a stronger relationship between schadenfreude and Aad-IRV than the low rivalry game group. In addition, when the participants felt high suspense during the game, the schadenfreude resulting from a negative outcome of the rivalry team produced a significantly positive effect on Aad-IRV. However, no such schadenfreude effect was observed in the low suspense situations. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Jooyoung Kim  Jihoon (Jay) Kim 

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