Recognized in a split second
Since 1992 Viacom Outdoor in the Netherlands has tested the time it takes for the product and brand on outdoor advertising posters to be recognised. The fieldwork was carried out by Inter/View and, later, Intomart Gfk. Brand Recognition and Product Recognition are measured using a tachistoscope, which projects a real size image of the poster in flashes ranging from 0.04 seconds to a full second. In a content analysis of 187 tested posters carried out by the University of Amsterdam, 80 content and format variables were measured and used in a multivariate analysis to explain Brand Recognition and Product Recognition. The speed of Product Recognition is increased by placement of the brand name, the presence of new product information and the use of pack shots. Product Recognition is slowed down by large amounts of text or different colours on the poster and pictures of people (especially those that appear to make eye contact). The use of a pack shot and the inclusion of the brand name in the headline, preferably in a large font, and in the copy text enhances the speed of Brand Recognition. Large and long headlines should be avoided. Information cues, the use of humour and pictures of women delay Brand Recognition.
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