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Northwest Missouri State University


Faculty/Staff Spotlight

Feb. 10, 2012

Dr. Benjamin Blackford publishes research of Super Bowl commercials

Dr. Benjamin Blackford

Dr. Benjamin Blackford

An article co-authored by Dr. Benjamin Blackford, assistant professor of marketing and management at Northwest Missouri State University, recently was published in the prestigious Journal of Advertising and shared in the Harvard Business Review’s "Daily Stat" feature.

Blackford’s article, “The Prevalence and Influence of the Combination of Humor and Violence in Super Bowl Commercials,” was published in the Winter 2011 edition of the Journal of Advertising, the official journal of the American Academy of Advertising. Blackford co-authored the article with James Gentry, Robert L. Harrison and Les Carlson.

While extensive research has been completed about the effects of violence on television viewers, the article builds on a subset of research examining how humor affects the viewing of violence. According to their research, the number of violent acts presented in humorous contexts in Super Bowl commercials increased 135 percent between 2005 and 2009. Reviews of about 90 minutes worth of commercials broadcast on television during the Super Bowl football games of 2005, 2007 and 2009 showed that 143 acts of violence were presented humorously and 27.5 percent of funny incidents were linked to violent acts. The researchers concluded that this may desensitize viewers to violence and violence may appear more acceptable when combined with humor.

The Journal of Advertising is a premier academic publication that aims to provide a forum reflecting the current understanding of advertising as a process of communication, its role in the changing environment as well as advertising business and practices. All papers published in the Journal go through a rigorous, double-blind, peer review process.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468