Don’t Sit Still: Ads with Movement Raise Consumer Perceptions of Novelty

American Marketing Association
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Key Takeaways

When the image of a product in an ad changes direction while moving, viewers are more likely to regard the product as novel.

Marketers often want consumers to see products as novel, and a new study in the Journal of Marketing shows them how. According to the study, when the image of a product in an ad changes direction while moving, viewers are more likely to regard the product as novel.

“Products perceived as new are usually adopted faster and sell better than other products,” write the authors of the study, Junghan Kim (SUNY Buffalo) and Arun Lakshmanan (SUNY Buffalo). “Our findings suggest that advertisers can enhance people’s perceptions of a product’s novelty by having an image of the product move and change directions in an ad.”

Many studies examine the visually processed properties of advertisements, such as camera angle and logos. Yet this is the first study to present substantive findings regarding what the authors call the “kinetic property” of an advertisement.

The authors reached their findings in part by showing participants one of three advertisements for a fictitious new smartphone. In one ad, the phone did not move at all. In another ad, the phone moved, but did not change directions. In the third, the phone moved and changed directions.

Study participants who viewed the third ad were significantly more likely to regard the product as novel.

“Our primary contribution lies in uncovering a new determinant of consumers’ novelty judgments: a kinetic property in ads,” write Kim and Lakshmanan. “By integrating theory from psychophysics, vision research, and marketing, we pinpoint a specific property of animations, kinetic property–defined as direction changes in on-screen motion paths–that could make animated ads more effective. This finding opens up opportunities for non-dominant firms (e.g., low-innovation or low-budget brands) to more effectively advertise their new products.”


Junghan Kim and Arun Lakshmanan. “How Kinetic Property Shapes Novelty Perceptions.” Forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing. For more information, contact Junghan Kim (junghank@buffalo.edu) or Mary-Ann Twist (mtwist@ama.org).


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American Marketing Association
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