Effects of Inspirational Media

Posted by on Oct 11, 2018 in Cover Stories | 0 comments

BATON ROUGE, La. –  Advertisements have the power to sell more than just a product.

According to an undergraduate study, viewers of inspirational media are more likely to experience positive affect than viewers of comedic media. Not only did inspirational media lead to a more positive affect, but people who had greater trust of advertisements were more likely to act charitably.

Researcher Kaelen Delaune graduated from the Manship School and Ogden Honors College in May 2017. Her thesis, “A Study of the Effects of Inspirational Media” utilized the Media Effects Lab in a three-phase study. Delaune was interested in the power of media and how it can be used not just to sell a product, but to tell a story, create relationships, and motivate people to take charitable actions.

“Advertisements convey information about products and services, but they also have the capacity to serve greater purposes,” writes Delaune. This research is interesting for brands looking to establish an emotional relationship with their consumers. Non-profits could integrate findings from this study into their PR and marketing strategies.

Phase one of the study asked respondents to recommend advertisements and movie clips they believed were comedic or inspirational. There were 345 total submissions. Based on respondents rationale for submission, the researcher selected 12 media submissions to include in the pilot study. The purpose of phase two was to decide on the four videos to be used in the main study. Phase two asked respondents to view either 6 advertisements or 6 movie clips answer a survey. Phase three was an experimental study and took place in the Media Effects Lab.

The researcher selected four clips for the main study. The selected inspirational movie clip was a scene from “Remember the Titans.” The selected inspirational advertisement was a Red Bull commercial from 2013 titled, “World of Red Bull.” The comedic movie clip was a scene from “Step Brothers.” The comedic advertisement was titled, “Allstate Blind Spot.”

A convenience sample was recruited though Manship School courses where students received extra credit. There were eighty-two participants. The students were randomly assigned a video from one of the four conditions.

The researcher recommends future research focus on user-generated content and social media because results could be different then professionally produced media.

Undergraduate students at the Manship School are encouraged to use the Media Effects Lab to conduct experimental studies. For more information, please contact Dr. Meghan Sanders.