How we perceive marketing messages depending on our mood

I've just come across an article Happy People See More on the Neuromarketing blog. According to it, the results of a new study by the University of Toronto suggest that our mood influences what we see: ΅Participants were shown images designed to affect their mood in a good, neutral, or bad way. Then they were shown images, each with a face in the middle and surrounded by a place, such as a house. Participants were asked to identify the gender of the face. When in a bad mood, participants only took in information about the face. When in a good mood, participants also took in information about the surroundings." (Source:

This is a very interesting conclusion because it relates to the article on Prevage Body by Elizabeth Arden that I posted yesterday. Personally, I got into a bad mood while looking at this, in my view, sad ad and reading the accompanying text. As a result of the bad mood, I also intuitively rejected the product in question.

The University of Toronto research is not going beyond the analysis of what people actually see while in a certain mood. The research does not make any conclusions as to what would happen next after our vision has excluded some elements of an image we are exposed to. However, I can imagine that if we're exposed to an ad, we would hardly make a purchase it intends to trigger if we're in a bad mood. Which might or might not be the result of the ad itself!

As a counter-example to Prevage Body, I am posting a video by Dove which ran a campaign of its Pro-age line giving the theme of self-esteem a positive tone: