Congruity between mood and message regulatory focus enhances the effectiveness of anti drinking and driving advertisements: A global versus local processing explanation

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Alcohol-impaired driving (AID) has devastating effects on society. To decrease the incidence of AID, high-risk populations like college students are often targeted by anti-AID advertising campaigns. The present study examines the effectiveness of anti- AID advertisements as a function of pre-existing audience mood. Two experiments showed that congruity between the mood of the audience (positive, negative) and the regulatory focus of the ad (promotion, prevention) can increase advertising effectiveness. Positive mood enhanced the effectiveness of promotion-framed ads, whereas negative mood enhanced the effectiveness of prevention-framed ads. The effects were attributable to differential engagement in global or local processing. Positive mood induced a tendency to engage in global processing, and negative mood fostered engagement in local processing. Theoretical contributions are considered along with actionable recommendations for the creators of anti-AID advertising campaigns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-446
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Advertising
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Attitude
  • Behavior
  • Information processing
  • Mood
  • Social advertising

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Marketing

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