Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Linwan Wu


This dissertation examines the effect of emotional factors, such as pleasure, arousal, and intensity, on online video ad sharing. Previous studies found that the emotions evoked by online video ads could influence consumers’ ad sharing intentions. However, it remains uncertain which emotional factors trigger ad sharing behavior. Some researchers argue that positive or high-arousal emotions (e.g., excitement) exert greater influence on ad sharing than negative or low-arousal emotions (e.g., sadness). However, these studies do not explain why video ads that evoke low-arousal or unpleasant emotions are also widely shared on social media. Based on the theory of social sharing of emotion and the emotion regulation theory, this research proposes that emotional intensity is a critical factor influencing ad sharing. This dissertation has two research objectives: (a) to examine the underlying mechanism of how emotional factors influence consumers’ intention to share online video ads and (b) to investigate if the relationships between emotional factors and ad sharing intention can be applied to ad-sharing behavior in a real social media setting. More specifically, the first objective is to investigate the effects of emotional factors, including intensity, arousal, and pleasure, on ad sharing intention through self-expression, social interaction, altruism, and entertainment motives. The second objective is to examine if expressed emotions in YouTube comments can predict the number of shares in a real social media setting. To achieve these research objectives, this research adopted a methodological triangulation approach using self-report survey data (in Study 1) and social media data (in Study 2). The results of the two studies suggest that emotional intensity is the most critical factor influencing online video ad sharing. Also, Study 1 showed that the indirect effect of emotional intensity on online video ad sharing intention mediated by social interaction was greatest. Emotional arousal positively influenced consumers’ intention to share online video ads (in Study 1) but did not affect real sharing behaviors (in Study 2). The effect of emotional pleasure was not significant in both studies. This research contributes to the expansion of viral advertising research by proposing emotional intensity as a critical factor influencing online video ad sharing.


© 2022, Chang Won Choi