Advertising in action: The effect of excitation transfer on reactions to comic book advertising



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study was an examination of excitation transfer theory in the area of print advertising – specifically in the area of comic book advertising. The researcher manipulated arousal level of comic book content and order of ad presentation to test for effects on attitude toward the ad (Aad), attitude towards the brand (Ab), purchase intention (Pi) and two different measures of recall that represented different amounts of time passing between exposure to the arousing event and ad recall test administration. Experiment participants (N = 121) viewed low or high arousal comic book pages followed by two advertisements. Results showed that measures of attitude toward the brand and purchase intention were not affected by level of arousal. Arousal affected several Aad measures, all of which pertained to the second ad participants viewed. In those cases, participants in high-arousal conditions reported more positive attitudinal measures than did participants in low-arousal conditions. Level of arousal significantly impacted aided recall for the first ad participants viewed along with free recall of the second ad participants viewed. Aided recall of the second ad was affected by arousal in a manner that approached significance. In these instances, high levels of arousal led to higher memory scores.



Arousal, Excitation transfer, Comic books, Comic book advertising, Attitude towards the ad, Recall