Emotional Experience and Advertising Effectiveness: On the use of EEG in marketing Defended on Thursday, 30 January 2020

The application of neuroscience methods and insights to the field of marketing theory and practice, has increased in popularity over the past two decades. This dissertation extends existing knowledge by elucidating two proposed aims of neuromarketing, using EEG: offering additional insight into implicit processes (here, emotions) and contributing to predicting behavioral, market level, responses or ‘advertising effectiveness’.

Emotions are fundamental in guiding our behavior and they have been studied extensively in marketing. However, it has proved difficult to measure emotional experiences unobtrusively, particularly for dynamic stimuli. The first chapter therefore demonstrates a method that could provide insight on the moment- by-moment specific emotional effect that a marketing stimulus, such as a TV- commercial, has, on consumers. In the second chapter, the relationship between an a priori identified process (arousal) and external measures of ad effectiveness in the population at large (as measured by notability, attitude toward the ad, and choice), is investigated in one and the same study. The third chapter shows a systematic re- analysis of data from four studies in which neural activity in response to a similar stimulus (here, movie trailers) was investigated using EEG to examine the association with population-wide commercial success of the movies.

In addition to the substantive findings, this dissertation also contributes methodologically to the neuromarketing field by i) applying novel multivariate methods to decode emotional experiences, ii) using a localizer task in an EEG study to reduce the reverse inference problem that commonly plagues neuroimaging research, and iii) conducting a major meta-analysis to address the issue of small samples sizes regarding both participants and stimuli in neuromarketing research.

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