ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (12): 1562-1578.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.01562

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    

失败的游戏玩家, 成功的广告:展示失败体验会令观察者更想尝试吗?

栾墨(), 李俊澎   

  1. 对外经济贸易大学国际商学院, 北京 100029
  • 收稿日期:2022-03-30 发布日期:2022-09-23 出版日期:2022-12-25
  • 通讯作者: 栾墨
  • 基金资助:

Failed players, successful advertisements: Does showing the failure experience increase observers’ intention to try?

LUAN Mo(), LI Junpeng   

  1. International School of Business, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2022-03-30 Online:2022-09-23 Published:2022-12-25
  • Contact: LUAN Mo


展示他人积极正向的产品使用过程是广告设计的常见策略, 然而游戏广告却可能存在相反的效果。通过4个线上实验和1个基于真实情境的田野实验发现, 在游戏广告中展示他人失败(相较于成功)的游戏体验会提高观察者尝试该游戏的意愿, 这一影响通过下行社会比较和竞争动机的链式中介作用实现, 而游戏任务难度和观察者自身的特质性竞争倾向则在其中起到调节作用。本文基于游戏广告情境证实了目睹他人失败对观察者行为意愿的正面效应, 拓展了消费者行为与广告领域中展示失败产品体验对广告效果影响的研究, 为社会学习相关研究补充了更为完善的视角, 也为规模庞大的游戏产业提供了广告实践思路。

关键词: 游戏广告, 社会比较, 竞争动机, 社会影响, 成功与失败


It is a common strategy of advertising to show pleasant experience of users, but the effect may be opposite on game advertising. Most games are based on the principle of competition, which makes the result of the game a key factor. Success or failure would not only affect the motivation of game players, but also affect the observers. However, there are few researches on investigating how observing others' failure influences individuals' willingness to try a task, especially in the context of game. Would observing the failure (vs. success) of others in the ads of game improve observers' intention to download the game? If yes, what are the underlying psychological mechanism and boundary conditions? Based on social comparison theory and competition theory, the current research explored the influence of observing others' failure on observers' download intention of the games, and the serial mediation model of downward social comparison and competitive motivation, as well as the moderating role of difficulty and the observers' trait competitiveness were discussed.

Experiment 1 explored the main effect of game results on observers’ download intention. In Experiment 1A, each participant was required to watch an ad of game. We hypothesized that after observing the failure (vs. success) of others in game advertising, individuals show higher download intention. Experiment 1B tried to replicate the main effect in a real-world context. Experiment 2 measured downward social comparison and competitive motivation through another game ad. We hypothesized that the results of the game influence observers’ download intention through the serial mediator effect of downward social comparison and competitive motivation. In Experiment 3, we devised two levels in a same game that varied in their difficulty. We hypothesized that for simple tasks, observing failure facilitates observers’ download intention, whereas for difficult tasks, this effect would be weakened. Experiment 4 explored the moderating role of observers’ trait competitiveness through the same ad of Experiment 1A. We hypothesized that for individuals with a high level of trait competitiveness, observing failure facilitates their download intention, whereas for individuals with a low level of trait competitiveness, observing failure no longer has the edge.

The results of Experiment 1 provided evidence for the influence of game results on download intention. When observing failure (vs. success), individuals showed higher download intention, which supported hypothesis 1. Experiment 2 replicated the main effect through another game advertising video. Results of Experiment 2 proved the serial mediator effect of downward social comparison and trait competitiveness in the impact of observing others’ failure on download intention, which confirmed hypothesis 2. Results of Experiment 3 suggested that when individuals were faced with difficult tasks, the effect of observing others’ failure was no longer significant. In other words, task difficulty played a moderating role between observing failure and download intention, which confirmed hypothesis 3 and further verified the mediating effect. Results of Experiment 4 supported that the observer's trait competitiveness played a moderating role between observing failure and observers’ download intention. Although observing others’ failure in game advertising improved observers' download intention as a whole, this effect still varied from person to person. For individuals with high trait competitiveness, observing the failure of others would lead to higher download intention. For individuals with low trait competitiveness, this effect was no longer present. Hypothesis 4 was supported.

Taken together, based on the game advertising situation, these studies confirmed the positive effect of observing others' failure on observers’ behavior intention, and expanded the research on the impact of displaying failed product experience on advertising in the field of consumer behavior. The findings of the current research also added an alternative perspective to the social learning literature.

Key words: game advertising, social comparison, competitive motivation, social influence, failure vs. success