Unravelling the advertising response function

Date of publication: September 1, 1988

Abstract:

Since 1980 Cadbury Schweppes Australia has been involved with an ongoing programme of advertising research. This paper reports analysis of a data-set of the reactions of target market viewers to 339 finished television commercials using the Viewer Response Profile. The analysis tested two hypotheses: 1. That there is no identifiable pattern in the way in which people respond to commercials. 2. That the type of responses that a television commercial can evoke are limited by the type of product being advertised. The findings indicate that: 1. People respond to commercials within a relatively small identifiable range of responses. These patterns can be defined using Cluster Analysis with Viewer Response Profile statement scores. 2. There is no evidence that the type of product being advertised provides a limit to the way in which people can respond to a television commercial. Where such limits appear to operate, they are self imposed. 3. Evidence is presented which indicates that rigid adherence to a particular style of advertising can at best help a successful brand, or at worst, condemn a whole category to "me too" generic advertising.

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