Get your own Little Black Book.

Build your own personal news stream. Discover the latest work created that intersts you, share your favourite stories and follow your favourite people and companies

Already have an account?

Opinion and Insight

New Research From JWT Shows Political Ads Leave a Negative 'Hangover Effect' On Viewers

J. Walter Thompson New York, 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Brand advertising is perceived as up to 32% 'less relevant' when running directly after political ads, the new research finds

New Research From JWT Shows Political Ads Leave a Negative 'Hangover Effect' On Viewers

New research by J. Walter Thompson and Forethought on over 3,600 US people finds that political advertising – even those with positive messages - generate negative emotions in consumers who have a difficult time compartmentalising these feelings, creating a negative “hangover effect” on how people then consume subsequent brand advertising.

Brand advertising is perceived 32% less relevant, 29% less entertaining and 27% less appealing when it follows a political ad. 

This impact goes beyond just how consumers perceive a brand’s commercial, it negatively impacts the perception of the brand and product overall. 

  • Brand reputation takes a 34% hit
  • Perception of product value declines by 32%
  • Product quality perception drops by 24%

Mark Truss, Global Director of Brand Intelligence, J. Walter Thompson: “This research brings to light a couple of very interesting and surprising truths, firstly even political advertising with positive messages (about candidates’ background, vision, qualifications, etc.) generates negative emotions in consumers. And secondly, the negative priming effect holds true even for very product-specific attributes such as taste.” 

Lynn Power, CEO J. Walter Thompson New York added: “This study underpins the importance of media placement and, although it might feel like the oldest advertising rule, marketers shouldn’t underestimate the impact other content can have on their brand and their advertising; as this ‘hangover effect’ is unlikely to be isolated to politics or TV.” 

Ken Roberts, CEO Forethought added: “The big talk in media buying today is programmatic buying. These findings confirm that when it comes to media placement a brand will be known by the company it keeps. Consumers do not partition how they assess individual communications. My brand ad follows your loud political ad and my positive message gets lost. This has a profound detrimental impact on evaluations of subsequent brand advertising, of the brand itself, and ultimately, future purchase intent."

Genre: PR , Strategy/Insight