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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Elizabeth G. Miller

Second Advisor

George R. Milne

Third Advisor

Linda Isbell

Fourth Advisor

Craig Wells

Subject Categories



Marketing and psychology literatures have focused on identifying factors that impact the creativity of outcomes, processes, and persons. Specifically in the advertising literature, research has been defining the construct of creativity, measuring it, and examining its positive effects. Although creativity research has been on the rise, it has also been a neglected area in consumer research (e.g. Burroughs, Moreau, and Mick 2008) and there are still many new, important areas that have yet to be explored. Accordingly, in this dissertation, we focus on new research questions: “What increases creativity perception of advertisements?” and “When does creativity matter the most in advertisements?”

Essay 1 examines what might enhance perceived creativity of an advertisement, focusing on the impact of (negative) discrete emotions. Across four studies, we find that both incidental and integral fear increases creativity perception of an advertisement, while other negative emotions (anger, disgust, sadness), neutral emotion and happiness do not. This increased creativity perception, in return, has a positive impact on important outcomes such as attitudes towards the advertisement, purchase intention and willingness to pay a premium for both commercial and public service advertisements.

Essay 2 explores boundary conditions for when creativity enhances an advertisement’s effectiveness. Across two studies, we show that utilitarian creative advertisements are perceived more positively than hedonic creative advertisements. Further, using a greater number of claims (larger claim set-size) within an advertisement increases the impact of creativity for hedonic ads, but decreases the impact of creativity for utilitarian ads. These findings help marketers manage their advertising budget more effectively and efficiently knowing when advertisement creativity matters and thus when to invest in creativity.

Together, these essays approach the study of creativity in new ways. This dissertation is the first research to look at a factor having an impact on creativity perception (rather than generation) and presents an antecedent: fear. It is also the first research to look at when creativity matters more and shows how it interacts with decision context (hedonic/utilitarian) and claim set-size in an advertisement. The dissertation also contributes to the discrete emotion literature by identifying new impacts of fear (vs. other negative emotions) on consumer perceptions. In addition, it provides new insights on the impact of hedonic versus utilitarian decision context. Implications for practice are also discussed.


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