The role of dynamic digital menu boards on consumer decision-making and healthy eating

Peters, Anicia
Major Professor
Brian E. Mennecke
Committee Member
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Theses & dissertations (College of Business)

The rapid pace of Digital Signage's technological advancements and price decline over recent years means that plasma displays are becoming commonplace in public areas. These displays face the danger of simply being ignored because consumers' limited capacity means higher selectivity in exerting cognitive effort in an effort to deal with the clutter and subsequent information overload. Companies such as Intel and Microsoft have joined the race in trying to find new avenues for the displays to grab and hold consumer attention. Dynamic digital menu boards represent an important type of digital signage that has begun to be deployed in some fast food outlets. These displays combine the power of vibrant video and high-speed Internet to enable remote controlled digital displays at the Point-of-Purchase. Despite the prevalence and ubiquity of these displays, the effect that they have on the consumer has received very little attention in the academic literature.

This thesis reports on research designed to examine the role of embedded imagery (i.e., video and still images) in dynamic digital menu boards in influencing consumer decision-making. Specifically, the study examined how the vividness of video influenced consumer decision-making and whether consumers could be influenced to make healthier food choices. To do this, we conducted a 2x2 experimental laboratory study to investigate the effect of embedded video ads in menu. The study also resulted in the development of a preliminary psychometric measurement tool for the vividness construct.

The results show that there is a main effect for healthy food choices and for the video ads, but it failed to show an interaction effect between these two variables. A three-factor vividness construct was derived from an examination of the data.