Research from the University of Illinois finds that the effectiveness of ads viewed while multitasking depends on the individual’s media processing style. Analytic processors, who tend to focus on specific items, performed well on ad retention when their only task was to watch video ads on a computer, but were only half as effective when they had to split their time with a second task on the same computer.
Holistic processors, on the other hand, were just as effective in remembering aspects of the ads even with the second task. The authors also found that moods influence processing style, with a more positive mood leading to more holistic processing. This suggests that “those who want to multiprocess effectively should do so in a good mood.”
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