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Journal of Advances in Management Research

Emotions as predictor for consumer engagement in YouTube advertisement

Fedric Kujur, Saumya Singh,
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Fedric Kujur, Saumya Singh, (2018) "Emotions as predictor for consumer engagement in
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Emotions as predictor for engagement in
consumer engagement in YouTube
YouTube advertisement
Fedric Kujur and Saumya Singh
Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology (ISM),
Dhanbad, India
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Purpose – YouTube has emerged as the most innovative social networking sites (SNS) with exclusive
features at that time which allowed users to post, view, comment and link to videos on the site. The purpose of
this paper is to investigate the way emotional appeals are being used in YouTube advertisements to promote
their products by considering various big brands of different industries in emerging market like India. The
advertisement that induces consumer’s emotions can cause subconscious reactions which supersede
consumer’s logical and pragmatic responses to create the unbreakable bond with a brand.
Design/methodology/approach – The study has taken online video advertisements which were uploaded
on YouTube by different companies. The advertisements considered for the study were selected on three
criteria: having more than 1,00,000 subscribers; videos having Indian advertisements; and have released at
least one popular advertisement of minimum 1,00,000 views monthly in the period January 1-December 31,
2016. Random sampling method was used. Content analysis of 150 video advertisements was done to assess
the influence of positive and negative emotions on consumer engagement. Multiple regression method is used
taking the stepwise method.
Findings – The present study focused on emotional aspects of the advertisement that induce consumer
engagement through SNS. The marketing strategies mainly focus on rational aspects as well as emotional
aspects. The study suggests that in emerging economy like India, people heavily rely on emotions
rather than logical information regarding any goods or services; hence, we considered both positive and
negative emotional aspects in the study so as to measure the influence of emotional appeals on consumer
engagement. Positive emotional appeals like contentment, happiness and love have the positive influence
on the consumer engagement. On the other hand, negative emotional appeals are negatively related to the
consumer engagement.
Originality/value – The present study aims at measuring ripple effect of the emotional appeals on ads and
also tries to compare the impact between positive and negative emotional appeals so that it becomes easy for
the marketers to determine the context in which it can be applied. For this purpose, YouTube video ads from
India have been taken as the object of study from different industries.
Keywords Emotions, Social Media, YouTube advertisements
Paper type Research paper

To understand the key drivers behind the thoughts and emotions of people living in the
twenty-first century the first, most logical resource is social media as it has infiltrated
every aspect of modern life. Social media channels including YouTube, Facebook, Google
and Twitter have enabled customers to be more participative as significant contributors to
marketing strategies. Go and You (2016) identified that these social media channels
provide ample growth opportunities to marketers for developing better strategies. Social
networking sites (SNS) have emerged as an indispensable communication tool for people
to connect and stay in touch and provide a suitable platform where social media users can
create online communities, share information, ideas, personal messages and other content
(Chua and Banerjee, 2015). There has been a sharp increase in the popularity of SNS,
including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ (Whiting and Williams,
2013; Branthwaite and Patterson, 2011) and this consistent growth in the use of social Journal of Advances in
Management Research
media has largely influenced the intervention of business organizations worldwide since © Emerald Publishing Limited
most of their existing and prospective customers are connected on the different social DOI 10.1108/JAMR-05-2017-0065
JAMR media platforms. Various studies on social media advertising have stressed that social
media advertising is an essential determinant when shaping the consumers’ attitude
(Boateng and Okoe, 2015).
For business organizations, social media is gaining importance as a platform for
brands to connect with and inform consumers worldwide. Social media marketing
industry report suggests that one of the top objectives of social media marketing is
increasing exposure and traffic by engaging consumers over SNS (Michael, 2015).
Among marketers, the concept of consumer engagement includes being conspicuous and
they are investing more resources into social media to develop online fanbases and engage
them in online activities such as “liking,” “commenting” and “sharing” social networking
advertisements (Cvijikj and Michahelles, 2013). Hadija et al. (2012) suggest that
advertisements are pushed onto audiences via SNS as opposed to the user pulling
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information from websites. De Vries et al. (2012) and Cheng et al. (2009) observed that
companies rely heavily on creating rich content or information about brands (persuasive
messages) for engaging online consumers but other studies reveal that consumers’
brand choices or buying decisions are influenced by emotions rather than information.
The emotional responses to advertisements can play a pivotal role in engaging consumers,
strengthening relationships with customers and exerting positive attitude toward the
company or brand.
Starbucks used the emotional appeal strategy in their advertisements and their success
grew in part by creating an emotional bond with their customers (Huebsch, 2015).
The emotional bond can be even more influential in the context of advertising than other
strategies, including lowering prices and convenience. The advertisement that induces
consumers’ emotions can cause subconscious reactions that supersede consumers’ logical
and pragmatic responses and help to create an unbreakable bond with a brand. Emotional
messages catch the attention of users instantly throughout SNS, impacting attitude of users
worldwide (Melin, 2014).
Brands currently engaging their customers online with emotional appeals can garner
greater exposure; it has been found that video advertisements utilizing characters and plots
have stronger emotional elements of persuasion or engagement than advertisements that
simply offer compelling product facts as they have the potential to enhance consumer
engagement by arousing powerful emotions and creating empathy in the viewer. Further,
advertisements that induce positive emotions have been shown to change attitudes toward
the advertisements and increase purchase intentions and recall, reduce ad avoidance and
affect sales. Many studies have pointed out that the emotional appeals in advertisements
have greater influence on consumer engagement by inducing consumer interaction with the
brand and driving advertisements to go viral. Therefore, the present study has considered
YouTube advertisements from various industries – to explore the usage of emotions in the
The present study aims to measure the ripple effect of the emotional appeals
on YouTube advertisements and compares the impact between positive and negative
emotional appeals advertisements.

Literature review
Concept of emotions and consumer behavior
In advertising literature, the emotional responses to advertisements are relatively old
marketing phenomena and the application of emotional appeals in advertisement that
have been studied in the last two decades (Holbrook and Hirschman, 1982). Understanding
the impact of emotions on consumer behavior, as emotions are considered to be a series of
intense feelings that cause instant behavioral responses (Cohen and Areni, 1991), is useful
for marketers. This study mainly focuses on consumer’s emotional responses to
advertising and the mediating roles that emotions have on the satisfaction of the Consumer
consumers (Derbaix, 1995; Phillips and Baumgartner, 2002). Emotions such as anger or engagement in
delight are often an outcome of a consumer’s consumption process and, because of this, YouTube
emotional reaction to advertisement can be considered homogenous reliable and
predictive of attitudes and judgments (Pham et al., 2001). Emotions play a pivotal role in advertisement
defining consumer reactions within the consumption process and experience and are
considered important when evaluating measures such as satisfaction (Ladhari, 2007) and
behavioral intentions (Zeelenberg and Pieters, 2004). Several studies have confirmed the
impact of emotion on satisfaction, consumer loyalty and decision making (Kwortnik and
Ross, 2007) as emotions have a pervasive influence on consumer experiences. At the pre-
purchase stage, emotions play a fundamental role in a consumers’ motivation and affect
the decision to purchase goods and services (Prayag et al., 2013; Chuang, 2007). At the
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post-consumption stage, emotions influence satisfaction (Faullant et al., 2011), trust and
commitment (Han and Jeong, 2013) and loyalty (Yüksel and Yüksel, 2007).
There are two major theoretical approaches in psychological literature when studying
emotions: dimensional (valence based) and categorical (emotion specificity). According to
Watson et al. (1988), the dimensional approach gives a simpler account of emotional
experiences (Lazarus, 1991), as there is no need to distinguish between specific positive
(e.g. joy, happiness and excitement) and negative (e.g. fear, regret and disappointment)
emotions. The second approach theorizes emotions as a set of idiosyncratic affective
states (e.g. joy, anger, sadness and surprise) (Plutchik, 1980). Emotions of the same valence
have different effects on judgment (Lerner and Keltner, 2000), decision-making
(Raghunathan and Pham, 1999), satisfaction (Machleit and Eroglu, 2000) and behavioral
intentions (Zeelenberg and Pieters, 2004). It is commonly agreed that the two
conceptualizations (summary dimensions vs specific basic emotions) do not conflict
(Faullant et al., 2011). Measurement of emotions in marketing has favored the
valence-based approach. Summary dimensions such as positive and negative emotions
(Grappi and Montanari, 2011) or pleasure and arousal (Bigné et al., 2005; Yüksel and
Yüksel, 2007) are typical despite different results using a variety of scales showing that
there is wide divergence in the content of emotions. However, consumer researchers
frequently prefer a limited number of dimensions, such as positive and negative
emotions, which appear to be the most popular conceptualization (Bagozzi et al., 1999;
Laros and Steenkamp, 2005).

Influence of positive and negative emotions on consumer engagement

In the present market scenario, appealing emotionally to consumers has been extensively
utilized, creating interactions between consumers and brands. Hollebeek (2011) observed
that consumer engagement with a specific brand is the result of a customers’ cognitive,
emotional and behavioral investment in specific brand interactions and goes on to identify
the three consumer engagement dimensions as involvement, passion and emotion.
In marketing literature, the term engagement has been defined on the basis of different
contexts and various studies support that emotional appeals have a strong influence on
the consumer engagement. A study by Zhang (2016) indicated that the advertisements
that make their audiences feel amused and creates a sense of excitement and urgency
while also containing general entertainment value such as feelings of warmth and
excitement and strongly influences in the engagement of consumers. Some research
studies also support the notion that emotionally uplifting and popular advertisements
impact consumers’ perception that they are “in the know” and tend to have access to the
emotionally induced content and become engaged.
On the other hand, research by Essays (2013) demonstrated that negative emotional
appeals incorporating emotions such as fear, guilt, sadness and empathy can strongly
JAMR influence a positive attitude toward an advertisement; consumers undergo typical
response processing these advertisements which further engages them in brand-related
activities and indirectly influences their purchase intentions. Further research by Cotte
and Ritchie (2005) stated that a negative advertisement can evoke an unfavorable set of
emotions that elicits the consumer to make a purchasing decision in an attempt to solve
the problem established by the negative advertisement as the advertisement, combined
negative emotions, are deeply seated in the psyche of the customers. By identifying
problems, the advertisements are providing a solution to that specific problem, thus this
negative marketing establishes a connection between consumer and their purchase. In this
regard, both positive and negative emotions can have influence on consumers’ decision-
making processes.
Diener (1999) studied the positive and negative effects of emotions, while Berkowitz (2000)
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found that negative emotions have a stronger impact on the human brain than positive
emotions. Following the same logic, products or services that incur a negative response in the
market tends to have greater weight than the products or services receiving positive opinions
(Ito et al., 1998; Mizerski, 1982). According to Boucher and Osgood (1969), the reason behind
these negative advertisements eliciting a stronger response may be that negative words are
used less as compared to positive ones; hence, the distinctive characteristics and novelty
increases the possibility of being recollection. Therefore, messages with negative emotions tend
to engage people with its content as it provides differentiation (Fiske, 1980). Negativity biases
may force people to present negative messages in a positive way and this may lead advertisers
to consider whether their advertisement is trustworthy ( Jones and Davis, 1965). Naveed et al.
(2011) empirically tested the adoption and diffusion of negative messages in the context of
Twitter, while Chmiel et al. (2011) tested it in the context of web forums and both concluded
that negative messages receive more attention by users that promote consumer engagement.
Cotte and Ritchie (2005) also suggested that negative emotions are used in advertisements to
evoke an uncomfortable state that pushes customers to find a solution provided by advertisers.
The basic objectives of using negative emotional appeals in the advertisement may be to
capture the attention of the audience, to induce an intended set of emotions and to motivate
them to purchase the marketers’ product or service.
On the other hand, literature reveals that, in comparison to negative emotions, positive
emotions also play dominant role in consumer advertising. Positive emotions are always
considered to be the factor that changes the effective experience of people such as attitude,
motivation, creativity and problem-solving skills (Um, 2008). The influence of positive
emotions on consumers help to make more positive judgments and give favorable feedback
because the situation is more positively interpreted (Shahmandi, 2008). According to
Griskevicius et al. (2010) advertising research has mainly focused on the two emotions, joy
and surprise, to exert a positive environment for the consumers; despite these positive
emotions inducing engagement in advertisements, the dynamic effect of the dimensions of
positive emotions on consumer engagement have yet to be explored (Teixeira et al., 2012).
However, inducing positive emotional responses still works as a stable strategy for
consumer engagement as the inclusion of positive emotions in video advertisements helps
attract the attention of audience from beginning to end and increases the probability of
desired downstream communication effects (Vakratsas and Ambler, 1999).
From the literature, the assumption can be formed that dimensional emotions,
i.e., positive and negative emotions, have influence on the consumer engagement. Laros
and Steenkamp (2005) have proposed a hierarchical model or structure which forms three
levels of the emotions, namely: superordinate, basic and subordinate. The basic notion of
this model is that emotions can be grouped into clusters, yielding a hierarchical structure
(Shaver et al., 1987; Storm and Storm, 1987). The superordinate level consists of positive
and negative emotion. In the basic level, positive and negative emotions are divided into
four categories of consumer emotions considered to be intermediate or basic emotions. Consumer
Finally, the subordinate level consists of groups of individual emotions that form a engagement in
category named after the most typical emotion of that category. The basic emotions that YouTube
have a negative effect are anger, fear, sadness and shame, whereas under positive effect
are contentment, happiness, love and pride. The basic emotions are specific consumer advertisement
emotions based on Richins’ (1997) study consumer emotion sets which encompass the
subordinate level (see Figure 1). This hierarchical structure has been used as a criterion to
measure the consumer engagement on YouTube advertisements in this study. Thus, from
the above arguments, the following hypotheses can be formulated:
H1a. The more the ad contains the element of positive emotions (contentment), the more
likely it is to induce consumer engagement in YouTube.
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H1b. The more the ad contains the element of positive emotions (happiness), the more
likely it is to induce consumer engagement in YouTube.
H1c. The more the ad contains the element of positive emotions (love), the more likely it
is to induce consumer engagement in YouTube.
H1d. The more the ad contains the element of positive emotions (pride), the more likely it
is to induce consumer engagement in YouTube.
H2a. The more the ad contains the element of negative emotions (anger), the more likely
it is to induce consumer engagement in YouTube.
H2b. The more the ad contains the element of negative emotions ( fear), the more likely it
is to induce consumer engagement in YouTube.
H2c. The more the ad contains the element of negative emotions (sadness), the more
likely it is to induce consumer engagement in YouTube.
H2d. The more the ad contains the element of negative emotions (shame), the more likely
it is to induce consumer engagement in YouTube.
H3. The ad that contains the elements of positive emotion is likely to induce more
consumer engagement than the elements of negative emotions.
Further, the study also considered control variables, especially those that are emotionally
evocative, including celebrity and cuteness (babies and animals). The intention of taking
these emotionally evocative variables is to check whether the presence of celebrity and
cuteness in the video ad increases the effectiveness of emotions in inducing consumer


Positive Negative

Contentment Happiness Love Pride Anger Fear Sadness Shame

Contended Optimistic Romantic Pride Anger Sacred Depressed Embarrassed

Peaceful Hopeful Loving Nationalism Frustrated Afraid Sad Ashamed
Fulfilled Encouraged Sexy Irritated Worried Miserable Humiliated
Figure 1.
Happy Jealous Tensed Guilty Richins’s hierarchical
Pleased Envious model of emotions
JAMR YouTube as a medium of consumer engagement
In 2005, YouTube emerged as the most innovative SNS with exclusive features that allowed
users to post, view, comment and link to videos on the site. It attracts billions of people who
discover, watch and share originally created videos and provides a platform for people to
connect, inform and inspire others worldwide. According to Bradshaw and Garrahan (2008),
YouTube is the third most visited website across the globe where billions of monthly
visitors watch more than six billion hours of video and upload 100 hours of new videos
every minute. Researchers have found that the generation aged from 18 to 34 years old
watch YouTube videos more than any cable TV channels (Perrin, 2015; Dehghani et al.,
2016). In terms share of online time spending on the site, YouTube is tied with Facebook as
the global leader (Dehghani et al., 2016). Therefore, with the excessive consumption of the
YouTube content, marketers see a vast opportunity to communicate their brand content to
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users and engage with users online. Following the huge success of YouTube, companies
have found that own-branded channels are an excellent way to boost consumer engagement,
reach new audiences and convert website visits into purchases.

Research methodology
The present study attempts to investigate the impact of emotional appeals used in YouTube
advertisements by the various big brands of different industries, including automobile,
aviation, banking and insurance, chocolate and biscuit, cement, paint, cosmetic, garment,
electronics, health care, hotel, retail and mobile to promote their products. The study has
taken online video advertisements as uploaded onto channels owned by different companies
on YouTube. Companies use these channels to upload video advertisements to communicate
with other users and manage video information and other activities. The channels
considered for the study were based on three criteria: having more than one lakh
subscribers; videos having Indian advertisements; and have released at least one popular
advertisement of more than one lakh views monthly in the period January 1-December 31,
2016. This process generated 51 brand channels from different industries during data
collection. These brand channels were regularly tracked and all video advertisements that
were uploaded from July 1 to December 15, 2016 were recorded. During this period of
150 days, a total of 300 advertisements were collected. The average time to upload an ad for
each channel took about seven days during this period. For the convenience of data
collection, a random sampling method was used and a total of 150 video advertisements
were selected for the final study.
From these video advertisements, the data were collected to measure consumer
engagement which included total views, number of likes, dislikes, comments, shares and
new subscribers. For YouTube ad share, the study relied on the Application Programming
Interface provided by major social networks which showed the number of times the Uniform
Resource Locator of a given video has been shared. The major social networks are
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. In order to calculate the consumer engagement,
the study considered number of likes, dislikes, comments, shares and new subscribers on
YouTube. Considering the different nature of involvement of the customer inputting likes,
dislikes, shares and others, weightage for each parameter has been calculated using
pairwise comparison method and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method developed by
Saaty (1980), a widely acceptable method for performing a pairwise comparison of
parameters and determining their relative importance, was used. For constructing pairwise
comparison matrix, a group of experts were selected and were asked to rate their responses
on Saaty’s nine-point scale (Table I). For example: how important is “Like” when compared
with “Comment” with respect to consumer engagement while watching online videos?; and
how important is “Like” when compared with “Share” with respect to consumer engagement
while watching online videos?
Five complete responses were received from the experts and these responses were Consumer
aggregated using the arithmetic mean method. The final aggregated matrix is shown in Table II. engagement in
The relative importance of the parameters was computed using Expert Choice 11 software and YouTube
the results are given in Table III. The formula which is used for the calculation of consumer
engagement is: advertisement
Consumer engagement ¼

0:056  Likes þ0:067  Dislikes þ0:406  Comments þ0:261  Shares þ0:210  New subscibers
Total viewers

Content coding
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Content analysis is widely accepted as the scientific study of communication content (Gupta
et al., 2016). It is a research technique used to make valid inferences by interpreting and
coding textual material that consists of documents, oral communication and graphics.
The content analysis is considered as a very popular technique as it evaluates the texts or
content properly and converts qualitative data into quantitative data for the easy analysis
and better predictions of the findings. That is why, in the field of communication, the use of
content analysis has been increasing at a rapid pace over the past 20 years or so (Gupta
et al., 2016). This research technique helps in finding out the appeals or sensations that are
present in a video or the factors that attract the attention of the consumers to the video.
To measure the influence of emotional appeals on the consumer engagement in YouTube
advertisements, content coding was done. In total, 150 YouTube advertisements which

Definition Intensity of importance

Equally important 1
Moderately high important 3
Strongly high important 5 Table I.
Very strongly high important 7 Nine-point intensity of
Extremely high important 9 Importance scale and
Intermediate values 2, 4, 6, 8 its description

Parameters Likes Comments New subscribers Shares Dislikes

Likes 1 0.185 0.238 0.217 0.714

Comments 5.4 1 3.0 1.4 5.4
New subscribers 4.2 0.333 1 1.0 3.4 Table II.
Shares 4.6 0.714 1.0 1 4.6 The pairwise
Dislikes 1.4 0.185 0.294 0.217 1 comparison matrix

Parameters Weights (W ) λmax, CI, RI CR

Likes 0.056
Comments 0.406 λmax ¼ 5.09
New subscribers 0.210 CI ¼ 0.022 0.02 Table III.
Shares 0.261 RI ¼ 1.12 Results obtained
Dislikes 0.067 with AHP
JAMR consisted of the title of video ads and brand channels were coded independently. Before
coding, the coder was given an explanation about the rating scales and showed YouTube
advertisements to differentiate different emotions from the samples and the definitions
of each scale were clarified. Further instructions were given to base ratings from the
available information. Following these instructions, the coder coded the sampled video
advertisements independently.
For the elements of emotional appeal, the coder was asked to rate the extent to which the
ad arouses emotions using a six-point scale (0 ¼ not at all; 5 ¼ very high). The elements of
emotional appeal included both positive and negative emotions. The positive emotions
consisted of four sub-emotions, i.e., contentment, happiness, love and pride, while negative
emotions consisted of four sub-emotions, i.e., anger, fear, sadness and shame. The study also
considered two control variables that are emotionally evocative in nature, namely, celebrity
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and cuteness. For celebrity and cuteness, binary coding was assigned ranging from 0 to 1.
Celebrity included persons from the field of sports, entertainment, cinema and politics as they
are considered to be inspirational for others. The reason behind using celebrity as control
variable is that studies have shown that advertisements that feature a celebrity, about whom
many people already have positive feelings and impulses, grab an audience’s attention more
easily than a standard advertisement (Olenski, 2016). For cuteness, small babies, children and
animals, especially pets, were included. As per Murad et al. (2015), the power of children in
advertisements is a main factor that influences the consumers’ purchasing power in every
product category. For instance, images of children, along with visuals about the nutrition of
products, are often portrayed as energetic, brilliant and cute. The usage and mixture of these
characters get the attention of large numbers of viewers. The research also shows that the
inclusion of animals in advertisements attracts very high consumer engagement. According to
O’Brien (2015), an advertisement called “Friends Forever” included nothing but animals being
cute, and has been watched nearly 22 million times on YouTube and shared 6.5 million times
on social media. For coding, the study adopted binary rating scale for each source type,
1 indicating the presence in the video advertisements and 0 indicating the absence in the video
advertisements. Since the effect of celebrity and the cuteness attracts consumer engagement,
the present study has tried to control the effect of these variables on consumer
engagement. See Table IV for the description of samples.

Scalesa Statistics
Variable 0 1 2 3 4 5 Mean SE SD Variance

Positive emotion
Contentment 88 5 12 25 15 5 1.260 0.135 1.648 2.717
Happiness 54 11 20 20 32 13 2.027 0.148 1.817 3.301
Love 64 13 19 23 24 7 1.687 0.139 1.703 2.901
Pride 124 6 11 9 0 0 0.367 0.071 0.863 0.744
Negative emotion
Anger 94 9 14 21 8 4 1.013 0.121 1.484 2.201
Fear 120 3 5 12 8 2 0.607 0.107 1.305 1.703
Sadness 109 16 15 5 5 1 0.573 0.089 1.089 1.186
Shame 102 3 7 17 13 8 1.067 0.137 1.682 2.828
Emotionally evocative source
Control variable Absent (0) Present (1)
Celebrity 86 64 0.427 0.041 0.496 0.246
Table IV. Cutenessa 118 32 0.213 0.034 0.411 0.169
Descriptive table Notes: aScale definition: 0, Impact “Not at all”; 1, Impact “Very Low”; 2, Impact “Low”; 3, Impact “Average”;
of the sample 4, Impact “High”; 5, Impact “Very High”
Results and interpretation Consumer
For the empirical analysis of the data, the present study used multiple ordinary least square engagement in
(OLS) linear regression for the dependent variable, taking the stepwise method, in which the YouTube
threshold level for entering variables into the regression model was kept “Probability of
Fo ¼ 0.05” and for removing “Probability of F ⩾ 0.10”. Outliers were checked and those advertisement
observations and those with standardized residuals exceeding −3 or +3 were removed.
Further, the study also conducted the test of homoscedasticity and normality of residuals
with the Q-Q-Plot of z*pred and z*presid of dependent variables and it was found that there
was no such tendency in the error terms.
The next step the study followed was to test all hypotheses through an OLS linear
regression with positive emotions (contentment, happiness, love and pride), negative
emotions (anger, fear, sadness and shame) and emotionally evocative sources (celebrity and
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cuteness) as independent variables and consumer engagement as dependent variable for

measuring the effect of emotions on consumer engagement in YouTube advertisements.
Table V provides the full description of the coefficients for the significant variables in the
regression model.
The overall regression model explained the substantial part of the variance with adjusted
R² ¼ 0.589 and R ¼ 0.601. Further, in ANOVA test, the study finds the model significant
(F ¼ 29.214, p o0.001), hence this shows that linear relationship exists among certain
variables in the model (in other words R2 ≠ 0). Thus, the formulation of the resulting model
is expressed in the following equation:

Consumer engagement ¼ 0:469 þ0:112  contentment þ0:364  happiness þ0:128

 love þ0:071  anger0:021  fearþ0:027  sadness þ0:527
 celebrity þ0:226  cuteness þerror

The independence assumption was also done by using Durbin-Watson’s test to calculate a
value of d ¼ 1.907 which is between the two critical values of 1.5 odo2.5 meaning
that there is no first order linear auto-correlation in the regression model. Likewise, no
multi-collinearity problems were found, as the level of tolerance was fixed for the dependent
variable (tolerance W0.1 or VIF o10).
All the above tests imply the robustness and appropriateness of the regression
model, where the independent variables explain 60 percent of variance of the consumer

Parameters Unstandardized coefficients Co-linearity statistics

Variables Β SE t-value p-value Tolerance VIF

Contentment 0.112 0.077 2.689 0.025 0.449 2.225

Happiness 0.364 0.070 5.133 0.000 0.451 2.217
Love 0.128 0.063 2.687 0.016 0.627 1.594
Anger 0.071 0.101 0.586 0.039 0.960 1.042
Fear −0.021 0.071 −2.226 0.021 0.652 1.533
Sadness 0.027 0.094 0.020 0.049 0.486 1.127
Celebrity 0.526 0.083 4.709 0.000 0.887 1.520
Cuteness 0.226 0.063 2.105 0.003 0.658 1.365
Intercept 0.469 0.202 3.490 0.000
Model fitness F ¼ 29.214
Adj. R² ¼ 0.589 Table V.
R ¼ 0.601 Result overview
JAMR From the analysis, it can be seen that both positive and negative emotions have significant
influence on the consumer engagement. The results show that from the positive emotions,
happiness seems to have a very high influence on the consumer engagement with β ¼ 0.364;
po0.05, followed by contentment and love with the value β ¼ 0.112; po0.05 and β ¼ 0.128;
po0.05. This leads to the acceptance of H1a-H1c. However, the inclusion of pride in the
present study showed no influence on the consumer engagement, thus the study failed to
support H1d. On the other hand, negative emotions showed very less impact on the consumer
engagement with anger ( β ¼ 0.071; po0.05) and sadness ( β ¼ 0.027; po0.05). Although fear
is significant, it has negative impact on the consumer engagement ( β ¼ −0.021; Po0.05).
Hence, this leads to the acceptance of H2a-H2c. However, the inclusion of shame in the present
study showed no influence on the consumer engagement, thus the study failed to support H2d.
As the present study had considered two control variables from emotionally evocative
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sources, the results showed that the presence of both variables in the YouTube
advertisements doubled the effect of emotions which leads to higher consumer engagement.
The presence of a celebrity in the ad, increased the effectiveness emotions even more so as to
induce higher consumer engagement with value of β ¼ 0.526; p o0.05 and for cuteness
β ¼ 0.226; p o0.05. It should be noted that the presence of a celebrity and cuteness had a
higher impact only in the case of positive emotions while in the case of negative emotions,
the study observed decreasing effects.
The study also compared the effectiveness of positive emotions and negative emotions
on the consumer engagement. Table VI provides the details of the comparison and it can be
observed that positive emotions have very high impact on the consumer engagement.
The more the positive emotional elements in YouTube advertisements, the higher the
impact of consumer engagement. Pride seems to be positively related, but its impact is
insignificant on the consumer engagement. On the other hand, all the elements of negative
emotions seem to be negatively related to the consumer engagement. The higher the effect of
negative emotions in YouTube advertisements, the lesser the influence on consumer
engagement and vice versa. Thus, the present study accepted H3.

Discussion and conclusion

The present study has mainly focused on emotional aspects of the advertisement that
induce consumer engagement through SNS. The purpose of SNS in the business context is
to engage people. Interest in consumer engagement has been mushrooming ever since the
evolution of social media. The users of social media are increasing daily and this gives
marketers an opportunity to engage potential consumers by using this platform
strategically. The marketing strategies focus on both rational aspects as well as emotional
aspects. But, as the study suggests, people heavily rely on emotions rather than logical
information regarding any goods or services, hence we considered both positive and
negative emotional aspects in the study to measure the influence of emotional appeals on
consumer engagement. The study also compared the effectiveness of both positive and
negative emotions on consumer engagement.

Positive emotion Negative emotion

Variables β p-value Model fitness Variables B p-value Model fitness

Contentment 0.347 0.000 F ¼ 41.021 Anger −0.089 0.000 F ¼ 14.011

Table VI. Happiness 0.699 0.000 R ¼ 0.544 Fear −0.603 0.000 R ¼ 0.560
Comparison table Love 0.254 0.000 Adj. R² ¼ 0.612 Sadness −0.062 0.005 Adj. R2 ¼ 0.310
between positive and Pride 0.088 0.059 Shame −0.587 0.015
negative emotions Intercept 0.459 0.000 Intercept 2.357 0.000
It is clearly visible from the study that positive emotional appeals including contentment, Consumer
happiness and love have a positive influence on the consumer engagement, as they leave the engagement in
consumer in a pleasant state of mind. Moreover, the results also suggest that positive YouTube
emotional appeals enhance the effectiveness of an advertisement, consumers’ information
processing ability and their recall. The findings of present study conforms with a study advertisement
conducted by Hirschman and Stern (1999), who demonstrated that consumers usually spend
more time watching an advertisements with a positive content, as they create a positive
mood for the consumer.
However, negative emotional appeals also increase consumer engagement, though their
level of influence is comparatively low. The results demonstrate that, except for fear appeal,
others including sadness, anger and shame impact consumer engagement significantly.
The present study suggests that a consumers’ unpleasant state of mind, if evoked by
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negative emotions, can be used to generate an emotional imbalance which can be rectified
by engaging in the featured (desired) behavior. This process can also motivate people to act
so they can decrease the feelings of discomfort.
Thus, practical implications of this study could be that the YouTube advertisers can include
more positive emotional appeals to engage viewers with its content. Use of logical reasoning
and factual claims in advertisements should be used in the case of new products. Although the
positively evocative emotions are more influential, users are under constant attack and
bombarded by thousands of advertisements to the degree that they tend to become immune to
the vast number of advertisements and information on SNS. Therefore, in order to further
attract consumers’ attention, advertisers may also consider including negative emotions.

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Corresponding author
Saumya Singh can be contacted at: saumya.ism@gmail.com

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