The effects of television commercial pacing on viewers' attention and memory

Paul D. Bolls, Darrel D. Muehling, Kak Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of advertising pacing (i.e. the number of visual cuts in an advertisement) on viewers' voluntary and involuntary attention to an advertisement, as well as its effects on the recall of claim-related and non-claim-related components of the advertisement. Using a limited capacity model of information processing/retrieval as its theoretical base and physiologically oriented measures of attention, this study provided some evidence that fast-paced advertisements (as compared to slower paced ones) may have a positive effect on viewers' involuntary (automatic) attention towards an advertisement, but have little differential effect on their voluntary attention. Furthermore, it appeared that the enhanced involuntary attention gained through the use of fast-paced advertisements comes in the form of attention directed towards the non-claim (advertisement executional) elements of an advertisement as opposed to the message-based (copy) elements of the advertisement. The practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-28
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Advertising pacing
  • Attention
  • Memory


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