The effects of commercial breaks on ad and program memory: A neurophysiological study

ABSTRACT: Though the commercial break (CB) is a common advertising strategy, the neural processing that CBs evoke and effective CB positioning remain unclear. We investigated the effects of CB interruption, associated brain activity, ad pod position, and program genre on ad memory. Changes in the relationship between brain activity and ad memory reveal that CBs helped viewers remember ads despite low neural processing but because of negative emotion experienced due to interruption. Findings indicate that viewers remembered ads in the first CB better than those in the second, that CBs were more effective during dramas than during variety shows, while CB interruption attenuated program content memory. These findings shed light on how CBs influence ad and program content memory and have practical implications for advertising placement strategies on television and streaming video contents.