Trust in native advertising: The neuroscience behind the processing of branded content

Beth Egan, Leanne Hirshfield, Mark R. Costa, Noah Buntain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Native advertising seeks to bypass consumer avoidance behaviour by integrating with sponsored content. While such advertisements are more likely to be seen and remembered, they may also increase viewer feelings of betrayal. Self-report surveys make it unclear when this sense of betrayal occurs, especially for applications of branded content, such as sponsored television. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, this study compared viewer reactions to a branded talk-show segment versus an unbranded control. Results of the pilot study suggest specific regions of the brain correlate with viewer feelings of distrust and negative emotion regulation that can be measured in real time. Implications for researchers and the advertising industry are included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Digital and Social Media Marketing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Ad trust
  • Brand attitude
  • Branded content
  • Native advertising
  • Psychophysiological research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Marketing


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