The Effect of Slow Motion Video on Consumer Inference

Yunlu Yin*, Jayson S. Jia*, Wanyi Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Video advertisements often show actors and influence agents consuming and enjoying products in slow motion. By prolonging depictions of influence agents’ consumption utility, slow motion cinematographic effects ostensibly enhance social proof and signal product qualities that are otherwise difficult to infer visually (e.g., pleasant tastes, smells, haptic sensations). In this research, seven studies, including an eye tracking study, a Facebook Ads field experiment, and lab and online experiments—all using real ads across diverse contexts—demonstrate that slow motion (vs. natural speed) can backfire and undercut product appeal by making the influence agent’s behavior seem more intentional and extrinsically motivated. The authors rule out several alternative explanations by showing that the effect attenuates for individuals with lower intentionality bias, is mitigated under cognitive load, and reverses when ads use nonhuman influence agents. The authors conclude by highlighting the potential for cross-pollination between visual information processing and social cognition research, particularly in contexts such as persuasion and trust, and they discuss managerial implications for visual marketing, especially on digital and social platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1024
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number5
Early online date27 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • audiovisual media
  • eye tracking
  • intentionality
  • slow motion video
  • visual marketing


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