This research uses an experimental approach to study the user effects of a video financial report compared to a paper financial report. We hired professional actors and created newscast-type videos of a fictitious company's management discussion and analysis section of the annual report. The experimental task involved either viewing a video financial report or reading a paper financial report. After viewing/reading the financial report, subjects judged their personal opportunity with the firm (i.e., career and investment) and firm quality. Additionally, they rated perceptions gathered from the report, and they were tested on recall from the report.
Overall, our results indicate that video report users rate personal opportunity with the firm in the report higher than do paper report users, but paper report users recall more about the firm and rate the quality of the firm higher than do video report users. We also find that personal opportunity judgments are more influenced by emotive perceptions of the financial report than by its ability to inform, regardless of report media. For the firm-quality judgment, we find that video report users are most influenced by emotive perceptions of the report, whereas paper report users are equally influenced by emotive and information oriented perceptions.
Our findings indicate that video financial reports can influence unsophisticated report users differently than traditional paper reports. We also find evidence that some of this difference in influence between report media relates to video's capacity to heighten emotional processing.