Abstract: This research addresses how positive and negative publicity about athlete endorsers influences motivational mechanisms (appetitive and aversive) underlying cognitive and affective processing and evaluation to ads. Participants viewed an ad for a soft drink brand that featured an athlete endorser while psychophysiological measures of cognition, emotion, and arousal were collected. Each ad was preceded by a news story that contained either positive or negative information about the athlete’s off-field behavior. Results indicate that cognition and arousal were enhanced in response to ads paired with negative news stories compared to ads paired with positive news stories. Findings suggest that aversive motivational activation elicited by the negative news stories transfers to processing and evaluation of the ads.
Abstract: Using hierarchy of effects theoretical framework, the present study investigates psychological responses to positive and negative publicity about athlete endorsers. Furthermore, this research addresses the role of brand novelty on these processes. Participants were exposed to an ad for a soft drink brand (either novel or well-established) that featured an athlete endorser. Each ad was paired with a news story that contained either positive or negative information about the athlete’s off-field behavior. Participants’ cognitive, affective, and conative responses were assessed. Results indicate more cognition, affect, and conation to ads associated with positive publicity about the athletes and for established brands. Unexpectedly, publicity and brand novelty interacted such that established brands were more susceptible to the effects of publicity than were novel brands. Results are discussed in regard to furthering theory and practical implications.