The effects of advertising repetition on measures of recall, comprehension, cognitive responses, attitudes toward the brand, attitudes toward the ad, purchase intentions, and brand choices.
Type of Report
Literature review of the findings of field and laboratory studies on advertising repetition.
To integrate the diverse and seemingly contradictory findings on the effects of advertising repetition by organizing these findings within a framework of two alternative models of advertising response: the Two-Stage Cognitive Response Model and the Two-Stage Learning Model. These models are shown to have important implications for advertising wear-in and wear-out.
Advertising managers, advertising agency executives, and others who are concerned with the scheduling and evaluation of advertising; also academic researchers interested in repetition effects.
Few areas of research in advertising have received as much attention as the effects of advertising repetition. A significant amount of empirical research was carried out during the 1970s and early 1980s. Interest in advertising repetition has been renewed in recent years because advertising professionals have become more concerned about documenting the benefits of advertising (particularly media costs) and the detrimental effects of media clutter. Academic research also has been stimulated by new theories (e.g., the Elaboration Likelihood Model) and research tools (e.g., electronic or computerized magazines) for examining repetition effects.
Central to the advertising repetition question are the concepts of wear-in and wear-out. Wear-in pertains to the notion that consumers often must be exposed to an ad more than once before the ad has any discernible positive effects, and wear-out to the notion that after consumers have been exposed to an ad repeatedly, the ad may lose its effectiveness and may actually produce negative effects. Most of the research on advertising repetition has focused on these two phenomena.
In general, laboratory studies have found only modest support for a wear-in effect but have found strong support for a wear-out effect. Field studies, on the other hand, have frequently found evidence of a wear-in effect but have found only modest support for a wear-out effect.
It is the thesis of this paper that the different methods and measures used in laboratory and field studies are responsible for the different findings that have been reported. Since laboratory studies typically use forced exposure settings and massed repetitions and measure advertising effects immediately after exposure, laboratory studies are more likely to identify a wear-out effect and less likely to identify a wear-in effect. Since field studies use natural viewing situations and distributed exposures and typically measure advertising effects at least one day after exposure, field studies are more likely to identify a wear-in effect and less likely to identify a wear-out effect.
About the Authors
Connie Pechmann is Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of California at Irvine. David W. Stewart is Professor of Marketing at the University of Southern California.
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