Understanding and using likeability

Date of publication: May 1, 1994

Author: Erik Du Plessis


This paper presents the results flowing from a large database (100 television commercials) developed over a 10 year period. The database measures the in-market awareness and likeability of all television commercials in South Africa, within two to three weeks after their first appearance. The ability of television commercials to get into memory has halved over a period of 8 years in South Africa. A trend that possibly also exists in other countries. This paper will also demonstrate that the variable which most influences the ability for a commercial to get into memory is its likeability. If people are becoming less attentive and the variable that influences the penetrative ability of advertisements most is likeability, then one needs to have an operational definition of likeability. A model that both describes likeability and which is a predictor of likeability; using introspective measures about the commercial's communication elements, is shown. Since this is the first time this data has been presented outside South Africa, considerable care has been taken to ensure that the terminological differences that may exist are highlighted and the American and European sources of methodologies are discussed.

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