Abstract: Although program involvement is often found to be an important determinant of commercial recall, studies have produced mixed results. The authors contend that inconsistent findings are, in large part, a result of the degree to which respondents are free to determine their exposure to commercials. It is hypothesized that in studies where exposure is not forced, program involvement has a positive effect on commercial recall. This proposition was examined during the broadcast of our matches of the 2000 European Soccer Championship (N = 344). Results show that viewers who saw a highly involving match recalled commercials significantly better than those who saw matches that scored lower on program involvement. This effect was, in large part, mediated by respondents’ exposure to the commercials.
Keywords: program involvement, commercial recall, exposure, context effects