The games people play: How the entertainment value of online ads helps or harms persuasion



This research examines consumer reactions to online ads varying in levels of entertainment value. Results show that more favorable brand attitudes and more positive purchase intentions are formed when consumers are exposed to an ad that generates a high (game ad), rather than a low (banner ad) level of entertainment value. However, such effects are qualified by consumers' shopping goals. When consumers have access to their goals to seek specific product information, affect transfer is impaired, such that the advantage of entertaining ads dissipates. This research also documents moderating roles of individual differences in need for cognitive closure and Internet usage versatility. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.