Copy testing measures what people think, feel and/or do as a consequence of being exposed to advertising content. However, with little scientific understanding of the complex relationship between thoughts and feelings and how they work with each other to produce behavior, there is ongoing controversy about the best way to measure advertising messaging effectiveness.
The following abstracts summarize an assortment of articles that talk about what copy testing is, different approaches, its strengths and weaknesses, how it is used and the value it has demonstrated.
We hope they provide a good sense of the content of the articles so you can decide if you would like to review an article in full and lead to better understanding of what copy testing offers and how it can be improved to the shape of advertising in our lives.
Also, it is important to keep in mind that for every published study, there is, on judgment, no less than one unreported one that is based on proprietary advertiser, agency and/or research company data demonstrating the ability of copy testing measures to be predictive of in-market sales performance.
- Sharp, Byron; Hartnett, Nicole. Generalisability of Advertising Persuasion Principles. European Journal of Marketing, Vol 50(1-2), 2016. pp. 301-305.
This paper reflects on the generalisability of the predictive validity test of the Persuasion Principles Index (PPI) conducted by Armstrong et al. (2016). The sample of ads and the testing procedure may have contributed to the success of the PPI predictions over the other copy-testing methods. More research is needed to test the validity of the principles and the predictive accuracy of the PPI across a range of conditions (e.g. different ads, media, products and cultures).
- Armstrong, J. Scott; Du, Rui; Green, Kesten C.; et al. Predictive Validity of Evidence-based Persuasion Principles An Application of the Index Method. European Journal of Marketing, Vol 50(1-2), 2016. pp.276-293.
This paper aims to test whether a structured application of persuasion principles might help improve advertising decisions. Evidence-based principles are currently used to improve decisions in other complex situations, such as those faced in engineering and medicine. A higher adherence-to-principles-score correctly predicted the more effective advertisement for 75 per cent of the pairs. Copy testing was correct for 59 per cent, and expert judgment was correct for 55 per cent. Guessing would provide 50 per cent accurate predictions. Combining judgmental predictions led to substantial improvements in accuracy. Pretesting advertisements by assessing adherence to evidence-based persuasion principles in a structured way helps in deciding which advertisements would be best to run. That procedure also identifies how to make an advertisement more effective.
- Hartnett, Nicole; Kennedy, Rachel; Sharp, Byron; et al. Creative That Sells: How Advertising Execution Affects Sales. Journal of Advertising, Vol 45(1), 2016. Pp102-112.
Advertising creative is widely accepted as critical to advertising success. However, generalizations of what works in applied settings across different conditions are few. The present study replicates the seminal work of Stewart and Furse (1986), who investigated the effect of more than 150 creative devices on several copy-testing measures of advertising effectiveness. We replicate the analysis using the original codebook but examine the link to in-market, short-term sales effectiveness. We use a large sample of 312 television ads from several product categories aired in multiple countries. Our findings indicate that the codebook remains relevant for characterizing current advertising practices but many of the creative devices found most (or least) effective differ to those from the original study. Similar to Stewart and Furse (1986), no single creative device can do much alone to explain sales effectiveness. There is no one simple cookbook for making sales effective advertising, though such research offers some important guidelines.
- Malik, Garima and Guptham, Abhinav. (2014) Impact of Celebrity Endorsements and Brand Mascots on Consumer Buying Behavior. Journal of Global Marketing, Vol. 27(2), May 2014, pp.128-143.
Celebrity and brand mascot endorsements are very popular and often-used techniques by marketers. Marketers believe that celebrity and brand mascot endorsements provide a higher degree of appeal, attention, and customer recall ability compared with when this technique is not used. Marketers also claim that a celebrity affects the credibility of claims about a product and increases the memorabilia factor of the message, which may provide a positive effect that could be generalized to the brand. Primarily this essay has been designed such that it examines various parameters related to advertisements containing celebrity and brand mascot endorsements. Data were been collected from 150 respondents through questionnaire and subjected to t test, χ2 test, and difference of means test to enforce the hypotheses that celebrity endorsements have impacts on customers’ perceptions and their purchase intentions. The findings of this study provide insights for marketing and brand managers to design and market their campaigns effectively.
- Bart, Yakov, Stephen, Andrew T., and Sarvary, Miklos. (2014) Which Products Are Best Suited to Mobile Advertising?
A Field Study of Mobile Display Advertising Effects on Consumer Attitudes and Intentions. Journal of Marketing Research: June 2014, Vol. 51, No. 3, pp. 270-285.Mobile advertising is one of the fastest-growing advertising formats. In 2013, global spending on mobile advertising was approximately $16.7 billion, and it is expected to exceed $62.8 billion by 2017. The most prevalent type of mobile advertising is mobile display advertising (MDA), which takes the form of banners on mobile web pages and in mobile applications. This article examines which product characteristics are likely to be associated with MDA campaigns that are effective in increasing consumers’ (1) favorable attitudes toward products and (2) purchase intentions. Data from a large-scale test-control field experiment covering 54 U.S. MDA campaigns that ran between 2007 and 2010 and involved 39,946 consumers show that MDA campaigns significantly increased consumers’ favorable attitudes and purchase intentions only when the campaigns advertised products that were higher (vs. lower) involvement and utilitarian (vs. hedonic). The authors explain this finding using established theories of information processing and persuasion and suggest that when MDAs work effectively, they do so by triggering consumers to recall and process previously stored product information.
- Moorman, M., Willemsen, L., Neijens, P., Smit, E. Program-Involvement Effects on Commercial Attention and Recall of Successive and Embedded Advertising. Journal of Advertising, Vol. 41(2), 2012. pp. 25-37.
Research on context effects has demonstrated a link between program-induced involvement and recall of commercials broadcast in breaks. However, the effect of program-induced involvement on recall of advertising embedded in the program itself has been understudied. In addition, little consideration has been given to the antecedents of program involvement. The present study aims to address these gaps. Results from a naturalistic field study show an attention spillover effect on both embedded and successive advertising. The results further demonstrate that program involvement is a function of various personal factors, related to enduring topic involvement and social viewing environment.
- Sabri, O. Taboo Advertising: Can Humor Help to Attract Attention and Enhance Recall? Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2012. pp. 407-422.
“Taboo advertising” is often seen as an effective way to attract attention and enhance recall. Drawing on arousal theory and the “taboo-superiority effect,” this study questions the nature of the relationship between the level of tabooness and the achievement of those aims. Purpose-designed print advertisements manipulated levels of taboo and humor. Analysis of data collected from 180 respondents in France finds a curvilinear relationship, in which an optimum level of taboo-arousal achieves maximum attention and recall. It also finds that humor decreases perceived tabooness of objectively high-taboo advertisements. Implications for marketing communications strategy are discussed, and future research directions are suggested.
- Rossiter, J., and Bellman, S. Emotional Branding Pays Off. Journal of Advertising Research, 52(3), Sep. 2012. pp. 291-296.
Emotional branding is defined here as the consumer’s attachment of a strong, specific, usage-relevant emotion-such as Bonding, Companionship, or Love-to the brand. The present large-scale survey of buyers of frequently purchased consumer products finds that, for such products, full-strength emotional branding is attained among, at most, only about 25 per cent of the brand’s buyers but that, if attained, it pays off massively in terms of personal share of purchases. Emotional branding may well be more widely effective for high involvement, positively motivated products (not surveyed here). It seems that advertising can generate the expectancy of strong, specific, emotional attachment, but very favorable brand usage experience must follow if this approach is to be successful. In general, the traditional benefit-based “USP” advertising strategy seems less risky with lesser though more widespread effectiveness.
- Jung-Chung, K., Der-Juinn, H., Chin-Lung, L., and Sheng-Hsien, L., The Causal Relationship between Need for Cognition and Advertising Recall. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 40(6), 2012. pp. 1025-1032.
Using a factorial experiment design, the study investigated the causal relationship between personality factors and cognitive responses, as well as the relationship between cognitive responses and purchasing intentions. The research found that participants with high need for cognition (NFC) had better advertising recall than those with low NFC and that advertising recall was related to purchasing intention in that those who had good recall of the advertisement had a higher purchase intention than those who had poor recall. The results contribute to personality literature by extending findings relating to the antecedent effects of NFC on cognitive responses. In addition, a contribution was made to attitude research by identifying advertising recall as a viable explanatory variable. Managerial implications are suggested.
- Kim, J., Baek, Y., and Choi, Y., The Structural Effects of Metaphor-Elicited Cognitive and Affective Elaboration Levels on Attitude Toward the Ad. Journal of Advertising, 41(2), 2102. pp. 77-96.
This study examines the structural effects of cognitive and affective elaborations elicited by metaphoric advertising messages using the model developed by MacKenzie, Lutz, and Belch (1986). Results of an experiment with a 2 (low/high involvement) X 2 (hedonic/utilitarian) between-subjects design indicated that the level of metaphor-elicited cognitive elaboration had a significant effect on attitude toward advertiser, whereas the level of metaphor-elicited affective elaboration was significant on ad perceptions and ad credibility. In addition, affective elaborations had a greater overall impact, in terms of total effect, on Ajd compared to the cognitive elaborations. Details about the effects of cognitive and affective elaborations under different product conditions are presented, and theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
- Dolcos, F., Iordan, A. D., and Dolcos, S. Neural Correlates of Emotion–Cognition Interactions: A Review of Evidence from Brain Imaging Investigations. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23(6), 2011. pp. 669-694.
Complex dynamic behaviour involves reciprocal influences between emotion and cognition. On the one hand, emotion is a “double-edged sword” that may affect various aspects of our cognition and behaviour, by enhancing or hindering them and exerting both transient and long-term influences. On the other hand, emotion processing is also susceptible to cognitive influences, typically exerted in the form of emotion regulation. Noteworthy, both of these reciprocal influences are subjective to individual differences that may affect the way we perceive, experience, and eventually remember emotional experiences, or respond to emotionally challenging situations. Understanding these relationships is critical, as unbalanced emotion–cognition interactions may lead to devastating effects, such as those observed in mood and anxiety disorders. The present review analyses the reciprocal relationships between emotion and cognition, based on evidence derived from brain imaging investigations focusing on three main topics: (1) the impact of emotion on cognition, (2) the impact of cognition on emotion, and (3) the role of individual differences in emotion–cognition interactions.
- Micu, A., and Plummer, J. T., Measurable Emotions: How Television Ads Really Work. Journal Of Advertising Research, 50(2), 2010. pp. 137-153.
Emotional responses are complex and should be measured against a variety of metrics. Five advertising research companies spanning three physiological (GSR, HRT, and facial EMG), one symbolic (ZMET), and three self-report (verbal, visual, and moment-to-moment) measures tested the effectiveness of the same four television commercials. This study compared and contrasted the physiological, symbolic, and self-report measure results and found they should be used in combination, depending on the information needed. Traces from the physiological measures indicate the peaks of lower-order emotions. Self-report measures capture conscious emotional reactions using preset labels. Symbolic measures provide a mental map of the brand. The authors suggest brand managers could use different criteria in setting the advertising objectives and reorient the creative briefing process. Emotional experiences are co-created, and advertising planning should link the “brand story” with a consumer’s “life story.”
- Labroo, A., and Rucker, D. The Orientation-Matching Hypothesis: An Emotion-Specificity Approach to Affect Regulation. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 47(5), 2010. pp. 955-966.
This article proposes that merely considering outcomes associated with a positive approach emotion (e.g., happiness) can regulate negative emotions that evoke an approach orientation (e.g., sadness, anger). In contrast, outcomes associated with a positive avoidance emotion (e.g., calmness) best regulate negative emotions that evoke an avoidance orientation (e.g., anxiety, embarrassment). Although such orientation-matched (versus mismatched) positive outcomes might not address the problem that caused the negative emotion, they automatically signal a reduced need for affect regulation specific to the evoked orientation. Thus, orientation matching results in emotional benefit, increases preferences toward matched outcomes, and frees resources for subsequent tasks.
- LaTour, Kathryn A., LaTour, Michael S. Positive mood and susceptibility to false advertising. Journal of Advertising. Armonk: Vol 38(3), Fall 2009, p. 127.
This paper examines the impact of mood on consumers’ implicit and explicit responses to false advertising. In the first experiment, they find that those consumers in a positive (versus a negative or neutral) mood state are more likely to notice the false information in the advertising, but paradoxically, are also likely to develop positive feelings toward the brand. In that experiment, they used both a hedonic brand (Disney) and a hedonic/emotional ad (autobiographical). In the second experiment, they extend the ad stimulus context beyond Disney to Wendy’s to more readily facilitate autobiographical versus informational manipulations. The findings indicate that hedonic advertising execution (autobiographical vis-a-vis informational) is associated with more elaborate processing (but only for those in a positive mood.) The observed positive affect transfer continued, however, despite the greater detection of the false information in the positive mood condition. The authors propose that the negative feelings toward the ad associated with detecting the false information are momentary and are replaced by positive feelings toward the brand that are engendered by positive mood and the advertising, as suggested by the synapse model of memory. The third experiment varies the timing of our measures to investigate this proposition and finds that timing does matter. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings for research on mood, deceptive advertising, and implicit versus explicit effects of advertising response.
- Lee, L., Amir, O., & Ariely, D. In search of Homo Economicus: Cognitive noise and the role of emotion in preference consistency. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol 36(2), Aug, 2009. pp. 173-187.
Understanding the role of emotion in forming preferences is critical in helping firms choose effective marketing strategies and consumers make appropriate consumption decisions. In five experiments, participants made a set of binary product choices under conditions designed to induce different degrees of emotional decision processing. The results consistently indicate that greater reliance on emotional reactions during decision making is associated with greater preference consistency and less cognitive noise. Additionally, the results of a meta-analytical study based on data from all five experiments further show that products that elicit a stronger emotional response are more likely to yield consistent preferences.
- Rubinson, Joel. Empirical Evidence of TV Advertising Effectiveness. Journal of Advertising Research, Vol 29(2), June, 2009. pp. 20-226.
Seven different databases – accounting for a total of 388 case histories – were accessed to conduct a form of meta-analysis to address the question of whether the effectiveness of TV advertising has decreased over time. These databases include results from advertising-weight tests, marketing-mix modeling, copy testing, return-on-marketing analysis from quasi-experimental design, and media-planning tools. The author concludes that impressions from TV advertising appear to be as effective as ever, even possibly increasing in effectiveness. In terms of specific marketing objectives, the results suggest that the impact of TV on sales lift appears to operate primarily by generating brand awareness, suggesting that an effective marketing plan that uses TV should do so in conjunction with multiple forms of marketing in order to impact all stages of the consumer purchase process.
- Chingching, Chang “Being Hooked” by Editorial Content, Journal of Advertising, Vol 38(1), Spring 2009. pp. 21-33.
Processing narratives demands sufficient cognitive resources; therefore, the effectiveness of narrative advertising depends on individuals’ cognitive capacities. In contexts where cognitive capacity was constrained by processing narrative editorials, narrative advertising was less likely to transport and “hook” readers or evoke empathy. The relative effectiveness of narrative and argument advertising was also moderated by editorial content. When reading narrative magazine articles, participants failed to take argument strength into account when evaluating a subsequent ad. In addition, the superior effectiveness of narrative advertising compared to argument advertising in terms of generating more favorable cognitive responses, warm feelings, and positive ad and brand attitudes did not emerge when participants read narrative articles. In contrast, when reading facts-based articles, participants elaborated more on the subsequent ad and took argument strength into account. In this condition, narrative advertising was able to be processed and, as a result, was more effective than argument advertising.
- Schacht, Annekathrin; Sommer, Werner. Emotions in word and face processing: Early and late cortical responses. Brain and Cognition, Vol 69(3), Apr. 2009, pp. 538-550.
Recent research suggests that emotion effects in word processing resemble those in other stimulus domains such as pictures or faces. The present study aims to provide more direct evidence for this notion by comparing emotion effects in word and face processing in a within-subject design. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded as participants made decisions on the lexicality of emotionally positive, negative and neutral German verbs or pseudowords, and on the integrity of intact happy, angry and neutral faces or slightly distorted faces. Relative to neutral or negative stimuli both positive verbs and happy faces elicited posterior ERP negativities that were indistinguishable in scalp distribution and resembled the early posterior negativities reported by others. Importantly, these ERP modulations appeared at very different latencies. Therefore, it appears that similar brain systems reflect the decoding of both biological and symbolic emotional signals of positive valence, differing mainly in the speed of meaning access, which is more direct and faster for facial expressions than for words.
- Megehee, Carol M. Advertising time expansion, compression, and cognitive processing influences on consumer acceptance of message and brand. Journal of Business Research, New York: Vol 62(4), Apr, 2009. p. 420.
This article examines the nature of consumer process involvement and cognitive processing of advertising content as mediating variables between commercial message executions (e.g., broadcast time compression and expansion and using broadcast versus print media) on attitude and behavioral intentions. This article proposes a framework that builds on the prior work of Krugman, Wright, and MacInnis and colleagues; this framework includes hypotheses of an advertising execution and processing involvement interaction effect on cognitive processing of commercial messages and a substantial direct effect of cognitive processing on attitude and behavioral intention. The article includes details of an experiment testing hypotheses in the framework. The findings provide strong support of the hypotheses. Implications for advertising strategy include adopting a conservative view on the use of time compression in advertising commercials and nurturing low consumer processing involvement of commercial messages.
- Heath, Robert. Emotional engagement: How television builds big brands at low attention. Journal of Advertising Research, Vol 49(1), Mar, 2009. pp. 62-73.
This article proposes a new definition for engagement that is independent of attention. Engagement is defined as “the amount of subconscious ‘feeling’ going on when an advertisement is being processed.” An “emotional engagement” model is developed that shows how strong brands can be built without the need for the high levels of attention that advertising usually demands. Finally, empirical evidence is presented demonstrating that, although TV advertising excels at building strong brands, on-air commercials get less than half the attention of print advertising. This confirms TV advertising is a high engagement, low attention medium.
- Clore, Gerald L., Affective guidance of intelligent agents: How emotion controls cognition. Cognitive Systems Research, Vol 10(1), March, 2009. pp. 21-30.
In this article, the authors examine how emotional reactions influence both judgments and cognitive performance. They argue that many affective influences are due, not to affective reactions themselves, but to the information they carry about value. The specific kind of influence that occurs depends on the focus of the agent at the time. When making evaluative judgments, for example, an agent’s positive affect may emerge as a positive attitude toward a person or object. But when an agent focuses on a cognitive task, positive affect may act like feedback about the value of one’s approach. As a result, positive affect tends to promote cognitive, relational processes, whereas negative affect tends to inhibit relational processing, resulting in more perceptual, stimulus-specific processing. As a consequence, many textbook phenomena from cognitive psychology occur readily in happy moods, but are inhibited or even absent in sad moods.
- Storbeck, Justin, and Clore, Gerald L., The affective regulation of cognitive priming. Emotion, Vol 8(2), Apr, 2008. pp. 208-215.
Semantic and affective priming are classic effects observed in cognitive and social psychology, respectively. The authors discovered that affect regulates such priming effects. In Experiment 1, positive and negative moods were induced before one of three priming tasks; evaluation, categorization, or lexical decision. The study found that positive affect led to both affective priming (evaluation task) and semantic priming (category and lexical decision tasks). However, negative affect inhibited such effects. In Experiment 2, participants in their natural affective state completed the same priming tasks as in Experiment 1. Here affective priming (evaluation task) and category priming (categorization and lexical decision tasks) were observed in such resting affective states. Hence, authors conclude that negative affect inhibits semantic and affective priming. These results support theoretical models which suggest that positive affect promotes associations among strong and weak concepts, and that negative affect impairs such associations.
- Locher, P., Frens, J. & Overbeeke, K. The influence of induced positive affect and design experience on aesthetic responses to new product designs. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, Vol 2(1). Feb, 2008. pp. 1-7.
This experiment found that positive affect, induced by a gift of a small bag of candy (not consumed), enhanced ratings of the visual appeal of a set of six digital cameras by male participants untrained and trained in principles of design theory, as compared to control groups who did not receive candy (N=10 per group). The number of participants; reactions to the cameras’ features, the affective quality of their reactions (positive, negative or neutral), and the time taken to evaluate each camera were obtained from participants’ “think aloud” procedure verbalizations recorded as they examined each camera. Analyses of these cognitive process measures revealed that, consistent with the Affect Infusion Model proposed by Forgas (1995), training in design differentially influenced the cognitive processing styles responsible for positive affect’s influence on the judgments; design students engaged in substantive processing whereas untrained students employed heuristic processing to arrive at their ratings. Results demonstrate that induced positive affect can influence aesthetic evaluative judgments, a heretofore neglected aspect of cognition in the literature describing the effects of induced mood on behavior.
- Hye-Jin, Paek, Hye-Jin, Choi H., & Nelson, M.R. Conditional Functional Matching Effects: The Complex Relationships Among Self-Monitoring, Product Function, and Advertising Appeals, American Academy of Advertising Conference Proceedings (Online), 2008. Lubbock: pg. 68.
The study involved two experiments to test the functional matching effects hypothesis for gauging advertising effectiveness. In particular, it examines the main and joint effects of self-monitoring, types of advertising appeals, and functions of products on advertising effects. Experiment I, using a copy testing method, demonstrated that socially adjustive appeals were preferred for the social-identity product and utilitarian appeals were preferred for the utilitarian product (product-based functional matching effect). But when self-monitoring personality was considered, the functional matching effect was more pronounced for the social-identity product. High self-monitors tended to evaluate socially-adjustive appeals more favorably regardless of the product. Experiment II used different participants, experimental design, actual advertising stimuli, and dependent variables (advertising message quality and attitude toward advertised product) with product involvement as a covariate. The results show that self-monitoring seems to play a stronger role in functional matching effects, canceling the functional matching effects among self-monitoring , and advertising appeals. The authors conclude that functional matching effects are conditional upon product involvement and consumer personality. The study recommends that researchers should invite more promising persuasion and personality theories to explain and predict better which advertising appeals can be more persuasive and, more importantly, under which conditions and to whom. Practical implications with regards to advertising message strategy and market segmentation are discussed.
- Aaker, J., Drolet, A., and Griffin, D., Recalling Mixed Emotions. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(2), 2008. pp. 268-278.
In two longitudinal experiments, conducted both in the field and lab, we investigated the recollection of mixed emotions. Results demonstrated that the intensity of mixed emotions is generally underestimated at the time of recall–an effect that increases over time and does not occur to the same degree with unipolar emotions. Of note, the decline in memory of mixed emotions is distinct from the pattern found for memory of negative emotions, implying that the recall bias is diagnostic of the complexity of mixed emotions rather than of any association with negative affect. Finally, the memory decay effect was driven by the felt conflict aroused by the experience of mixed emotions.
- Labroo, Aparna and A Ramanathan, Suresh, The Influence of Experience and Sequence of Conflicting Emotions on Ad Attitudes. Journal of Consumer Research. Vol 33(4), Mar. 2007, pp.523-528.
Two experiments suggest that when participants evaluate an ad, they prefer improving ad emotions, because attitudes based on an assessment of whether the emotions deviate positively or negatively from previous levels of emotions. In contrast, when emotions are experienced, positive emotions facilitate coping with later negativity, and an ad with declining (vs. improving) emotions results in more favorable attitudes. This beneficial effect of experienced positive emotions in reducing the impact of subsequent negative emotions is reversed when the positive emotions are allowed to dissipate over a time delay between the experiences of the two emotions.
- Baird, T.R., Wahlers, R.G., & Cooper, C.K. Non recognition of print advertising: Emotion arousal and gender effects. Journal of Marketing Communications, Vol 13(1), Mar, 2007. pp. 39-57.
Research in the behavioral sciences has found that memory tends to be enhanced by exposure to emotion-arousing stimuli. While this relationship is not fully understood, the linkage appears to be more pronounced for females than for males. While the majority of prior studies dealing with memory have relied on the use of visual stimuli in a clinical experimental setting, this research examined the impact on memory resulting from exposure to actual print advertisements of varying degrees of arousal-producing content. Differences in the relationship between arousal and memory were explored for male and female participants. In general, females were found to exhibit higher memory levels than males. As a single combined group, subjects exposed to emotion arousing versus emotion neutral ad stimuli exhibited no significant difference in memory. For the set of emotion neutral ad stimuli, no difference in memory was found between sexes. However, retention was significantly higher for females than males for the set of emotion-arousing stimuli. The study identifies opportunities for further applied memory research.
- Moorman, M., Neijens, P.C., Smit, E.G. The Effects of Program Involvement on Commercial Exposure and Recall in a Real-Life Setting. The Journal of Advertising, Vol 36, 2007. pp. 121-37.
Although program involvement is often found to be an important determinant of commercial recall, studies have produced mixed results. The authors contend that inconsistent findings are, in large part, a result of the degree to which respondents are free to determine their exposure to commercials. It is hypothesized that in studies where exposure is not forced, program involvement has a positive effect on commercial recall. This proposition was examined during the broadcast of four matches of the 2000 European Soccer Championship (N=344). Results show that viewers who saw a highly involving match recalled commercials significantly better than those who saw matches that scored lower on program involvement. This effect was, in large part mediated by respondents’ exposure to the commercials.
- Jung-Sook, Lee. Affect Intensity and Need for Cognition: Effects on Cognitive Elaboration of Emotional Advertising. American Academy of Advertising Conference Proceedings, 2006. pp. 61-71.
The experiment investigates the effects of two personality traits, Need for Cognition (NFC) and Affect Intensity (AI), on college students’ reactions to emotional advertising. The findings indicate high Need for Intensity alone does not influence cognitive elaboration. However, the interaction between Need for Cognition and Affect Intensity affects both the amount and nature of cognitive elaboration, especially in humor ads. High Affect Intensity enhances individuals’ cognitive elaboration only among those with high Need for Cognition.
- Faseur, T., and Geuens, M., Different Positive Feelings Leading to Different Ad Evaluations. Journal of Advertising, 35(4), 2006. pp. 129-142.
This study contributes to the debate about the valence-based versus the multidimensional view of feelings. The differential impact of three different positive context- and ad-induced feelings on ad effectiveness was compared. Support for the multidimensional view of feelings was found in the sense that ad- and context-evoked coziness, excitement, and romance had a different impact on ad evaluations. In addition, a significant interaction effect between ad- and context-induced feelings indicated that ads that were exciting, romantic, and cozy scored best in a feeling-congruent context.
- Yoo, C.J., The brand attitude formation process of emotional and informational ads. Journal of Business Research. Vol 58(10), Oct. 2005, pp. 1397-1406.
This study examines brand attitude formation process by ad execution format (emotional vs. informational). For ads with an emotional ad format, heightening positive feelings and reducing negative feelings enhanced thoughts about credibility of the ad, which in turn affected ad attitudes and brand attitudes. For ads with an informational ad format, enhancing evaluative thoughts about the credibility of the ad enhanced positive feeling and reduced negative feelings. These variables in turn affected brand attitudes, both directly, and through the mediational influence of ad. These results have relevant theoretical implications for studying the various processes by which brand attitudes are formed and have managerially relevant implications regarding advertising copy-testing.
- Fredrickson, B.L., & Branigan, C. Positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Cognition and Emotion, Vol 19(3), 2005. pp. 313-332.
The broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson, 1998, 2001) hypothesizes that positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Two experiments with 104 college students tested these hypotheses. In each, participants viewed a film that elicited (a) amusement, (b) contentment, (c) neutrality, (d) anger, or (e) anxiety. Scope of attention was assessed using a global-local visual processing task (Experiment 1) and thought-action repertoires were assessed using a Twenty Statements Test (Experiment 2). Compared to a neutral state, positive emotions broadened the scope of attention in Experiment 1 and thought-action repertoires in Experiment 2. In Experiment 2, negative emotions, relative to a neutral state, narrowed thought-action repertoires. Implications for promoting emotional well-being and physical health are discussed.
- Calvo, M.G.; Avero, P. Time course of attentional bias to emotional scenes in anxiety; Gaze direction and duration. Cognition and Emotion, Vol 19(3), 2005. pp. 433-451.
Pictures of emotionally neutral, positive, and negative (thread- or harm-related) scenes were presented for 3 seconds, paired with nonemotional control pictures. The eye fixations of high and low trait anxiety participants were monitored. Intensity of stimulus emotionality was varied, with two levels of perceptual salience for each picture (color vs. greyscale). Regardless of perceptual salience, high anxiety was associated with preferential attention: (a) towards all types of probability of first fixation on the emotional picture than on the neutral picture of a pair; (b) towards positive and harm stimuli in a subsequent stage of early engagement, as shown by longer viewing times during the first 500 ms following onset of the pictures; and with (c) attention away from (i.e., avoidance) harm stimuli in a later phase, as indicated by shorter viewing times and lower frequency of fixation during the last 1000 ms of picture exposure. This suggests that the nature of the attentional bias varies as a function of the time course in the processing of emotional pictures.
- Schupp, H.T., Ohman, A., Junghofer, M., Weike, A.I., Stockburger J., & Hamm, A.O. The Facilitated Processing of Threatening Faces: An ERP Analysis. Emotion, Vol 4(2), Jun. 2004. pp. 189-200.
Threatening, friendly and neutral faces were presented to test the hypothesis of the facilitated perceptual processing of threatening faces. Dense sensor event-related brain potentials were measured while subjects viewed facial stimuli. Subjects had no explicit task for emotional categorization of the faces. Assessing early perceptual stimulus processing, threatening faces elicited an early posterior negativity compared with non-threatening neutral or friendly expressions. Moreover, at later stages of stimulus processing, facial threat also elicited augmented late positive potentials relative to the other facial expressions, indicating the more elaborate perceptual analysis of these stimuli. Taken together, these data demonstrate the facilitated perceptual processing of threatening faces. Results are discussed within the context of an evolved module of fear.
- Ruiz, Salvador and Sicilia, Maria, The impact of cognitive and/or affective processing styles on consumer response to advertising appeals. Journal of Business Research, Vol 57(6), June 2004, pp. 657-664.
As advertisers increasingly seek greater communication effectiveness and new forms of media emerge, psychological differences amongst individuals are becoming essential criteria in the design of advertising appeals. The present study considers whether individuals differ in their propensity to rely on affective, cognitive or both systems to process information. This research suggests that persuasive appeals tend to be more effective when the nature of the appeal matches, rather than mismatches, the individual personality-type preferences for processing information. Results show that informational and informational-emotional advertising appeals, which match consumer’s processing style (thinking and thinking-feeling processors, respectively), can generate more positive attitudes toward the brand, purchase intention (PI) and brand choice.
- Kensiger, E.A. & Corkin, S. Memory enhancement for emotional words: Are emotional words more vividly remembered than neutral words? Memory & Cognition, Vol 31(8), Dec. 2003. pp. 1169-1180.
Individuals are more likely to remember negative information than neutral information. In the experiments reported here, we examined whether individuals were also more likely to remember details of the presentation of negative words, as compared with neutral words. In Experiment 1, the remember-know procedure was used to examine the effect of emotion on the vividness of an individual’s memory, showing that remember responses were more frequently assigned to negative words than neutral words. In Experiment 2, a source memory paradigm was used, and again, evidence that individuals’ memories were more detailed for negative than for neutral words was found. In Experiments 3-6, we examined the relative contribution of valence and arousal, finding that both dimensions increased the vividness of remembered information (i.e. items with valence only and those that elicited arousal were better remembered than neutral information) but that the effect was greater for words that evoked arousal than for those with valence only. The results support a qualitative, as well as a quantitative, memory benefit for emotional, as compared with neutral, words.
- Lowrey, T.M., Shrum, L.J. & Dubitsky, T.M. The Relation Between Brand-Name Linguistic Characteristics and Brand-Name Memory. Journal of Advertising, Vol 32(3), Fall 2003,
pp. 7-17.Copy testing results from a commercial copy testing firm were used to assess the relation between the presence of linguistic features in brand names and memory for those names. Brand names in the ads being tested (n=480) were coded on 23 linguistic properties, of which 11 occurred with sufficient frequency to be retained for analysis. Regression analyses tested for the association between linguistic properties of the brand names and brand-name memory as a function of brand-name familiarity, controlling for executional variables. Results revealed that three linguistic variables were positively related to brand-name memory (semantic appositeness, paranomasia, initial plosives), but only for less familiar brands. Two linguistic variables showed main effects for brand-name memory: unusual spelling (positive) and blending (negative). However, the effects were stronger for less familiar brands than they were for same interaction with familiarity: The effects were stronger for less familiar brands. These results are interpreted within Criak and Lockhart’s (1972) depth of processing framework and implications for the naming of brands are discussed.
- Romaniuk, J. Measuring brand perceptions: Testing quantity and quality. Journal of Targeting Measurement & Analysis for Marketing, Vol11(3), Mar. 2003, pp. 218-230.
The image of a brand is considered to be important as is evident from the vast sums of money spent by companies on the development and measurement of their corporate/brand image. Yet very little is known about the relationship between brand perceptions and buyer behavior. The authors empirically tested three hypotheses about the relationship between brand perceptions and loyalty. They found that (a) there was little evidence that any particular attributes are more related to customer loyalty than any others nor (b) that there were little specific brand positions that were uniquely associated with higher loyalty. They did, however, find the more attributes associated with a brand the more loyal the customer. This is a relatively unexplored effect of brand perceptions, which should be included in brand tracking, and has some profound implications for marketing practice. It suggests that while distinctiveness is useful in making sure that the brand’s marketing activities are noticed and correctly branded, the source of that distinctiveness is a less important marketing decision. Finally, they recommend that there should be different long and short-term goals for brand building. In the short term a choice may be made to focus on specific attributes. In the long term, however, marketers should work towards building the number of links between the brand and attributes in the market place, i.e. building the brand’s share of mind.
- Moorman, Marjolein. Context Considered: The Relationship Between Media Environments and Advertising Effects. Ph.D. diss., 2003, Universeiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam.
It is generally assumed that the medium context in which advertisements are placed, does not allow an audience of a certain composition and size to see the ads, yet also influences how the ads affect the audience. Although this belief is widespread, our knowledge about the effects of the context on advertising impact is still rather limited. For example, what is it about the context that causes the effect? Are context effects caused by objectively noticeable characteristics, such as content, genre or style? Does a commercial always perform better in a sitcom break compared to a talk show break? Or are context effects more dependent on the perception of the individual audience members? Does it matter whether the context induces involvement or whether people like the environment in which the ad is embedded? Equally little is know about the direction of effects. Does context-induced involvement stimulate people to pay attention to embedded ads, or does it distract them? Do people remember an ad when it matches its environment, or is a non-matching ad more eye-catching and therefore better remembered? Do people appreciate an ad more when they like its environment, or does it induce annoyance? The aim of this dissertation is to identify how context influences advertising effects. It presents an overview of the most critical context factors, and the underlying mechanisms explaining their effects. Moreover, it empirically explores how these context factors influence advertising effects in real-life, focusing on ads in magazines and on television. The book offers insights for media planning and gives directions for further research in this area.
- Jones, Marilyn Y., Pentecost, Robin, Requena, Gabrielle. Memory for Advertising and Information Content: Comparing the Printed Page to the Computer Screen. Advances in Consumer Research, Vol 30, 2003, pp. 295-297.
An experiment was used to test memory for two forms of information – ad copy (persuasive) and consumer information (nonpersuasive) presented in print and screen media. For both forms of information, print outperforms screen on recall but not on recognition. The results suggest that print information is easier to retrieve but also that screen information is available in memory. Differences between print and screen media are persistent and not readily explained by any of the obvious individual factors – comfort/familiarity, preference and reading time. Other results with implication for marketing communication decisions show that brand name is poorly recalled from the screen relative to the printed page and that the non persuasive consumer information is better remembered than is persuasive ad information.
- De Pelsmacker, Patrick, Geuens, Maggie, Anckaert, Pascal. Media Context and Advertising Effectiveness: The Role of Context Appreciation and Context/Ad Similarity. Journal of Advertising, Vol 31(2), 2002, pp. 49-61.
Humorous, warm and rational television and print advertisements are tested in similar television and print contexts. The impact of ad style/context style congruency and context appreciation on the attitude toward the ad and recall was studied. Results show that low involvement persons perceived ads embedded in a congruent context as clearer and more likable. High involvement persons percieved ads embedded in a contrasting context as having a higher likeability and clarity. Ads shown in a highly appreciated television or print context resulted in a more positive attitude toward the ad. As opposed to a print environment, in a television context, ad content and brand recall were positively influenced by a positively appreciated context.
- Gallagher, Katherine, Foster, Dale K., Parsons, Jeffrey. The Medium is Not the Message: Comparing Advertising Effectiveness and Content Evaluation in Print and on the Web. Journal of Advertising Research, 41(4), 2001, pp. 57-70.
Some have argued that traditional principles of mass media advertising do not apply on the web. We present an empirical study that contradicts this assertion. Our findings suggest that advertisers need not take full advantage of the enhanced capabilities of the medium to produce effective web advertising. Given equal opportunity for exposure to the target audience, the same advertisements were equally effective in print and on the web. However, for promotional material that consumers would not classify as advertising, evaluations were lower when the material was presented on the web. We propose a plausible explanation for this apparent paradox.
- Vakratsas, Demetrios, Ambler, Tim. How Advertising Works: What Do We Really Know? Journal of Advertising, Vol 63(1), 1999, pp. 26-43.
The authors review more than 250 journal articles and books to establish what is and should be known about how advertising affects the consumer – how it works. They first deduce a taxonomy of models, discuss the theoretical principles of each class of models, and summarize their empirical findings. They then synthesize five generalizations about how advertising works and propose directions for further research. Advertising effects are classified into intermediate effects, for example, on consumer beliefs and attitudes, and behavioral effects, which relate to purchasing behavior, for example, on brand choice. The generalizations suggest that there is little support for any hierarchy, in the sense of temporal sequence, of effects. The authors propose that advertising effects should be studied in a space, with affect, cognition, and experience as the three dimensions. Advertising’s positioning in this space should be determined by context, which reflects advertising’s goal diversity, product category, competition, other aspects of mix, stage of product life cycle, and target market.
- Coulter, Keith S. The Effects of Affective Responses to Media Context on Advertising Evaluations. Journal of Advertising, Vol 27(4), Winter 1998, pp. 41-51.
The author examines the effects of emotional responses to television programming (program-induced affect) on attitude toward the ad (Aad). He finds that both thoughts about the program and overall program evaluations (i.e., progam liking) mediate the effect of program-induced affect on Aad, and that emotional responses to the ad moderate the relationship between program liking and Aad. More specifically, the program liking-Aad linkage is strengthened if the ad and program are similar in emotional content. That effect is enhanced for ads appearing early within a pod. The author proposes and tests a model specifying the nature of the relationships among those variables, and discusses the practical implications for advertising practitioners.
- Celuch, Kevin G., Slama, Mark. The effects of cognitive and affective program involvement on cognitive and affective ad involvement. Journal of Business & Psychology, Vol 13(1), Fall 1998, pp. 115-126.
Advertisers attempt to create ads which gain the attention and involvement of their audience. These advertisements may be primarily cognitively or Affectively involving. Similarly the programs in which the ads are embedded may be primarily cognitively or effectively involving. Does the type of program involvement affect involvement with ads? Building on previous research (McClung, Park and Sauer 1985; Park and McClung 1986) a study is presented which suggests that cognitive involvement in ads (particularly cognitive ads) suffers from an overload effect when the ads are placed in cognitively involving programs while affect involvement in ads is enhanced by a priming effect when the ads are placed in affectively involving programs.
- Ha, Louisa. Observations: Advertising Clutter in Consumer Magazines: Dimensions and Effects. Journal of Advertising Research. 1996, Vol 36(4), pp. 76-81.
The controversy over the effect of clutter, together with conflicting research results, could probably be attributed to the poor conceptualization of clutter and advertising effects. The cognitive-information-processing approach has been the tradition in clutter research. This approach tends to examine how clutter affects memory or ads. It overlooks affective responses, such as attitudes, that can be elicited by clutter.The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of clutter on advertising effectiveness in consumer magazines, a self-paced medium. There are three possible dimensions of clutter that constitute the density perception and account for clutter’s negative effects on information processing:
- quantity – the number of advertisements and the proportion of ad space in a media vehicle
- competitiveness – the degree of similarity of the advertised products and the proximity between the advertisements of competitive brands in the same product category in a media vehicle, and
- intrusiveness – the degree to which advertisements in a media vehicle interrupt the flow of an editorial unit
- Dubow, J.S., Advertising Recognition and Recall By Age – Including Teens. Journal of Advertising Research. Vol 35(5), Sep/Oct 1995.
The paper claims that published information on memory for advertising as a function of age appears to be limited to younger (18 to 34) versus older adults (35+) and to the “day -after recall” measure. Additional data from three copy testing companies adds the brand recall and recognition measures to the literature – and adds data for teenagers. Memory for advertising is found to vary as a function of age across all three measures: Fore each measure, young adults remember advertising better than older adults, and teens remember advertising better than young adults.
- Forgas, Joseph P.; Mood and judgment: The affect infusion model (AIM). Psychological Bulletin, Vol 117(1), Jan. 1995. pp. 39-66.
Evidence for the role of affective states in social judgments is reviewed, and a new integrative theory, the affect infusion model (AIM), is proposed as a comprehensive explanation of these effects. The AIM, based on a multiprocess approach to social judgments, identifies 4 alternative judgmental strategies: (a) direct access, (b) motivated, (c) heuristic, and (d) substantive processing. The model predicts that the degree of affect infusion into judgments varies along a processing continuum, such that judgments requiring heuristic or substantive processing are more likely to be infused by affect than are direct access or motivated judgments. The role of target, judge, and situational variables in recruiting high- or low- infusion judgmental strategies is considered, and empirical support for the model is reviewed. The relationship between AIM and other affect-cognition theories is discussed, and implications for future research are outlined.
- Starr, Valerie, Lowe, Charles. The Influence of Program Context and Order of Ad Presentation on Immediate and Delayed Responses to Television Advertisements. Advances in Consumer Research, 1995, Vol 22.
Differences in program context significantly influence the effectiveness of advertisements appearing at different points within the same program. Specifically, recall for brands and products advertised was found to be greater when a low-involvement point of the surrounding story was interrupted. Also within a relatively uninvolving program context, the first advertisement to appear in a series of advertisements had a significant advantage in recall over the second and third ads, perhaps because viewers became impatient for the program to resume and paid less attention to the ads. These results have implications for optimal placement of advertisements to enhance their effectiveness.
- Coulter, Keith S., Murphy, Sewall A. The Effects of Editorial Context and Cognitive and Affective Moderators on Responses to Embedded Ads. Advances in Consumer Research, 1995, Vol 22, pp. 177-183.
This paper utilizes two experiments within a print media setting to examine the manner in which contextual involvement effects may be moderated by a number of key variables including affective tone of the article and ad (i.e. affective consistency), cognitive priming of relevant attributes, and involvement in the advertisement. Results indicate that editorial context involvement has a negative impact on attitude toward the ad (Aad). This relationship is moderated by the interactive effects of affective consistency and ad involvement. Cognitive priming was found to interact with editorial involvement in influencing attitude toward the brand, but not Aad. The results have important implications in terms of achieving the appropriate “match” between editorial content and advertising message.
- Celuch, Kevin G., Slama, Mark. Program Content and Advertising Effectiveness: A Test of Congruity Hypothesis for Cognitive and Affective Sources of Involvement. Psychology & Marketing, July/Aug. 1993, Vol 10(4), pp. 285-299.
It has been suggested by McClung, Park and Sauer (1985) that television ads will be more effective if the source of involvement in the ad (cognitive or affective) matches the source of involvement in the program in which the ad is embedded. This research employed a two-factor experimental design in which cognitively involving ads and affectively involving ads were viewed in cognitively and affectively involving programs. Congruency between the sources of program and ad involvement did not produce greater ad effectiveness than did incongruence. The programs did, however, influence ad effectiveness.
- Alwitt, Linda F., Prabhaker, Paul R. Functional and Belief Dimensions of Attitudes to Television Advertising: Implications for Copytesting. Journal of Advertising Research. Vol 32(5), Sep/Oct. 1992, pp. 30-42.
This study examined several types of reasons for people’s claimed general dislike of television advertising. Television advertising in general is evaluated differently by people of different ages and incomes, but, in addition, their evaluations are influenced by their attitudes about television programs. The paper argues that people dislike advertising because they perceive commercials to be offensive or in poor taste, and because they cannot completely trust the way products are depicted. People also dislike advertising because much of it is not relevant to their needs or their self-images as reflected in their personalities and interests. Differences among consumers in how they evaluate overall attitudes about TV advertising can influence how copy tests of advertising for specific brands are interpreted.
- Norris, Claire E., Coleman, Andrew M. Context Effects on Recall and Recognition of Magazine Advertisements. Journal of Advertising. Armonk: 1992. Vol 21(3), pp. 37-46.
This experiment tested the hypothesis that depth of involvement in a magazine article is inversely related to subsequent recall and recognition of accompanying advertisements. Subjects read magazine articles interspersed with unfamiliar advertisements for common product types. Results showed that the more deeply the subjects were involved in the articles the less they remembered about the accompanying advertisements. Articles about recipes were rated least interesting, enjoyable, and absorbing, and they elicited less attention and concentration from the readers than fiction and feature articles, but subjects who read the recipes remembered the advertisements best and subjects who read the fiction article remembered the advertisements worst.
- Shavitt, S., Brock, T.C. Delayed Recall of Copytest Responses: The Temporal Stability of Listed Thoughts. Journal of Advertising. Armonk: 1990. Vol 19(4), p. 6.
Data from a large-scale advertising copy testing study were analyzed to assess the overall level of recall of listed thoughts at a delay, and to determine the types of listed thoughts that were particularly retrievable. Female heads-of-household viewed a series of television commercials and listed thoughts about each. One week later, the respondents, who were re-contacted by telephone, were able to recall the content of half of their listed thoughts. More importantly, comparisons of the recall rates for listed-thought categories supported theory-based predictions about the responses that should be particularly retrievable. Thoughts that contained evaluative content were significantly more likely to be recalled than favorable thoughts. Also, thoughts about the self were more likely to be recalled than thoughts that did not contain self-relevant content. This greater retrievability of self-relevant thoughts was true for commercials with standard executional styles. However, for ads with a highly unusual presentation or spokesperson, thoughts about the ad execution appeared to be the most retrievable. The study suggests that the cognitive responses elicited by a persuasive message contribute strongly to message acceptance because such responses reflect enduring thought processes.