Abstract: This article examines whether there are differences between older and younger adults in recall and liking of arousing television commercials. As hypothesized, the experiment demonstrated that older adults remembered brands and products in calm commercials better than in arousing commercials, and they also liked calm commercials more. In contrast, younger adults remembered brands and products in arousing commercials better and they liked these commercials more. In addition, (curvi)linear relationships showed that for older adults arousal deteriorates their recall and liking, whereas for younger adults arousal – up to a certain point – is beneficial. These findings strongly suggest that advertising effects found in younger samples are unlikely to be the same for older target groups. An important practical implication is that it currently seems wise to make commercials targeted towards older adults calm instead of arousing when the aim is to generate brand recall and liking.
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