Scholarly Insights: AMA's digest of the latest findings from marketing's top researchers
Multimedia advertising strategies commonly incorporate
animation and motion graphics to create visually engaging effects, but some evidence
suggests that these advertising strategies often miss the mark, and can even be
perceived as distracting or annoying. A new study in the Journal of Marketing has taken a deep dive into the kinetic property
of motion, “defined as direction changes in the paths of moving on-screen ad
Authors Junghan Kim and Arun Lakshmanan conduct a series of
experiments that manipulate kinetic motion (high, low, and none) in promotional
content and assess consumers’ novelty perceptions toward the featured product. The
researchers consistently find that “participants exposed to [high kinetic
property ads] rated the product as more novel than those exposed to the static
ad.” The authors reason that kinetic
material produces a lively atmosphere that energizes consumers, which in turn
leads them to perceive the product as new and exciting. Importantly, they also
show that consumers report higher purchase intentions and willingness to pay
when the kinetic property is high.
While motion graphics and kinetic elements evidently have
their perks, it is important not to overwhelm the consumer. Therefore, the
authors qualify their findings with some important boundary conditions.
Specifically, kinetic motion is most effective:
When the product is an incremental innovation rather than a
radically new product. This is critical, given that “the lion’s share of new
product introductions are actually [incrementally new products].”
When product category
characteristics (e.g., perceived market
dynamism) match the kinetic ad executions.
When kinetic elements are easy to distinguish. When they are
difficult to distinguish from their background, or if the consumer is repeatedly
exposed to the same ad or ads with similar visual design, the effect of
increased novelty judgement wears off.
Apple utilizes kinetic typography in a video promoting its brand culture.
The finding that the kinetic
property enhances novelty judgments particularly for incremental innovations
opens up opportunities for nondominant firms (e.g., low-budget brands) that
adopt a strategy of pursuing incremental innovations. In addition, because consumers
quickly grow accustomed to repetition, advertisers may have more success by using
the kinetic property in single-appearance web ads.
Because “advertisements embedded with kinetic property offer
an avenue to communicate with consumers without imposing significant visual or
affective load,” marketers and advertisers should make use of this research to
optimize the potential of their promotional power and compete more effectively.
With a design-oriented approach, kinetic elements can shape web-based and
broadcast commercials into strong statements in advertising.
Junghan Kim and Arun Lakshmanan (2015) "How Kinetic Property Shapes Novelty Perceptions." Journal of Marketing, 79 (November).