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26-29 May 2015
Europe/Berlin timezone
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Contribution Research-in-Progress Paper

Fürstenberghaus -
08 - Economics and Value of IS

The Hedonic Curse: Investigating the Influence of Hedonic Ads on the Evaluation of Subsequent Ads


  • Tianhui TAN

Primary authors



In the age of multi-channel advertisements, it is imperative for businesses to understand how advertisements are perceived by the consumer. While several studies in marketing and information systems have studied ad design, ad effectiveness, and potential outcomes like satisfaction and sales, few have studied the effect of advertisements on a dyadic level. In this study, we point out that ads are rarely shown to consumers in isolation. Thus, understanding the effects of ad sequence is both interesting to researchers and instrumental to marketers. In the current study, we explore the effects of ad sequence when a hedonic ad is followed by a utilitarian ad or a hedonic ad. We uncover the detrimental influence of hedonic ads on ads that follow, such that users evaluate a brand as more negative when its ad follows a hedonic ad, as compared to a utilitarian ad. We call this the hedonic curse, and provide preliminary results from a quasi-natural experiment to support this claim. We also intend to conduct a lab study to provide converging evidence for this effect, and to validate the underlying mechanism.