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Measuring Advertising Effectiveness






Wheatley J.J. Measuring Advertising Effectiveness. – Homewood, Illinois : Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1969. – 236 p.



Table of contents






This book of readings deals with the subject of measuring the effectiveness of advertising communications. The articles were selected from materials published by the American Marketing Association. They originally appeared in the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, and the published Proceedings of the various conferences sponsored by the Association. They are, by and large, of very recent origin. Sixteen out of the 21 articles included in this anthology were published in 1964 or later. It should also be noted that nine of the articles were originally f: published in the Proceedings of seven separate conferences sponsored bу АМА since 1960 and consequently have had, until now, relatively limited circulation.

The book should be useful to all those who have acquired, or are in e process of acquiring, some familiarity with advertising and who are interested in trying to understand how it works, as well as those who are concerned with the practical task of managing this activity and exercising control over it.

It is axiomatic that, in order to manage or control any process or activity, it is necessary to come to grips with the problems of measurement from both a theoretical and a practical standpoint. Toward that end, the book begins with an examination of two different models that have been suggested which attempt to explain how advertising works and how it may be evaluated. Following this, there is a series of articles dealing with some of the theoretical foundations upon which advertising, s a form of communication intended to affect attitude and behavior, rests. Next the issue of what should be, and is being, measured is examined. Some of the various techniques and procedures now in use are then explored. This is followed by a series of articles that deal with measurement problems in media, with messages themselves, and finally pith the audiences at whom these messages are directed.

 As noted above, the format of this book does not permit the inclusion material on the subject of measuring advertising effectiveness which was originally published in sources other than AMA publications. Also, because of space limitations a large number of very worthwhile articles on various aspects of this subject from AMA publications could not be included. To provide at least a partial remedy for the latter shortcoming, a selected bibliography has been placed at the end of each part of the book. Some of the articles listed in this bibliography cover the same material as in the text but from a slightly different viewpoint; others deal with it in greater depth and detail. Still others deal with different but related aspects of the general subject of evaluating advertising effectiveness.

January, 1969

John J, Wheatley


Table of contents




Part I. Predicting the effects of advertising

1. Robert J. Lavidge and Gary A. Steiner. A Model for Predictive Measurements of Advertising Effectiveness

2. Kristian S. Palda. The Hypothesis of a Hierarchy of Effects: A Partial Evaluation

3. Alfred A. Kuehn. Timothy W. McGuire, and Doyle L. Weiss, Measuring the Effectiveness of Advertising

Suggested Additional AMA Readings


Part II. Some theoretical considerations: learning attitudes; persuasibility, and the value of information

4. W. T. Tucker. The Development of Brand Loyalty

5. Raymond A. Bauer. Attitudes, Verbal Behavior, and Other Behavior

6. James William Carey. Personality Correlates of Persuasibility

7. Donald F. Cox. The Measurement of Information Value: A Study in Consumer Decision-Making

Suggested Additional AMA Readings


Part III. The task of measurement

8. Blaine Cooke. Must We Measure Advertising Effectiveness?

9. Eugene C. Pomerance. How Agencies Evaluate Advertising

Suggested Additional AMA Readings


Part IV. Methods of measuring advertising effectiveness: analytic techniques, laboratory methods, recognition and recall, and sales measures

10. Robert D.Bussell. Predicting Short-term Changes in Market Share as a Function of Advertising Strategy

11. Albert: С Rohloff. Quantitative Analyses of the Effectiveness of TV Commercials

12. Darrell B. Lucas. The ABCs of ARF's FARM

13. Ward J. Jenssen. Pretesting the Effectiveness of Advertising and Other Marketing Influences Via In-Store Tests

Suggested Additional AM A Readings


Part V. Media: environmental considerations and scheduling

14. Douglas A. Fuchs, Two Source Effects in Magazine Advertising

15. Curtis C. Rogers. Measuring Market Values of Media

16. Frank M. Bass and Ronald T. Lonsdale. An Exploration of Linear Programming in Media Selection

Suggested Additional AMA Readings


Part VI. Messages: their timing and composition

17. Hubert A. Zielske. The Remembering and Forgetting of Advertising

18. Burleigh B. Gardner and Yehudi A. Cohen. ROP Color and Its Effect on Newspaper Advertising

Suggested Additional AMA Readings


Part VII. The audience: its definition, size and behavior

19. Leo Bogart. Is It Time to Discard the Audience Concept?

20. Donald F. Cox. The Audience as Communicators

21. Pierre Hofmans. Measuring the Cumulative Net Coverage on Any Combination of Media

Suggested Additional AMA Readings




This short book is one of a new series being published by the American Marketing Association. It is designed to make available in a convenient form the latest scholarly research and writing on a series of topics which are of continuing interest to practitioners, students, and teachers in the field of marketing. It is our hope that this format will be successful in bringing such material to the attention of persons who are not members of the Association as well as of those who are members of the AMA but who have not had the opportunity to read, in their original sources, .the articles that have been included in this volume. Many of the publications that have been drawn upon in connection with this endeavor have had a relatively limited circulation in spite of the fact that they contain a substantial number of significant contributions to the literature dealing with various aspects of the task of measuring the effectiveness of advertising.

John J. Wheatley, General Editor




The primary goal of all those concerned with the managerial aspects of advertising is to understand how it works and to be able to predict its effect.

In this section of the book we begin our examination of the task of measuring the effectiveness of advertising communications with a model or hypothesis that suggests the way advertising works. It elaborates on the notion that the job of advertising is to modify the attitudes and behavior of those persons at whom it is directed by suggesting that behavioral change occurs not instantaneously but by means of moving potential purchasers through a sequence of stages or steps that begins with an awareness of what is being advertised and culminates in the actual purchase of the product. While this approach has gained considerable acceptance, an element of controversy has developed about it. In the second article Palda examines this hypothesis and concludes that there is little evidence to support the contention that it is a valid theoretical concept. He also suggests that even if the existence of a hierarchy of effects could be established it may be less difficult and expensive to measure advertising effectiveness by using sales as the ultimate yardstick criterion. The third article in this section, by Kuehn, McGuire, and Weiss, discusses some of the problems involved in such a direct approach and offers a solution which involves consideration of the interactive effects of advertising, price, and other important market variables on sales.



Robert J. Lavidge and Gary A. Steiner


What are the functions of advertising? Obviously the ultimate function is to help produce sales. But all advertising is not, should not, and cannot be designed to produce immediate purchases on the part of all who are exposed to it. Immediate sales results (even if measurable) are at best, an incomplete criterion of advertising effectiveness.

In other words, the effects of much advertising are "long-term". This is sometimes taken to imply that all one can really do is wait and see-ultimately the campaign will or will not produce.

However, if something is to happen in the long run, something must be happening in the short run, something that will ultimately lead to eventual sales results. And this process must be measured in order to provide anything approaching a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the advertising.

Ultimate consumers normally do not switch from disinterested individuals to convinced purchasers in one instantaneous step. Rather, they approach the ultimate purchase through a process or series of steps in which the actual purchase is but the final threshold.

Seven steps

Advertising may be thought of as a force, which must move people up a series of steps:

1. Near the bottom of the steps stand potential purchasers who are completely unaware of the existence of the product or service in question.

2. Closer to purchasing, but still a long way from the cash register, are those who are merely aware of its existence.

3. Up a step are prospects who know what the product has to offer.

4. Still closer to purchasing are those who have favorable attitudes; toward the product–those who like the product. I

5. Those whose favorable attitudes have developed to the point of preference over all other possibilities are up still another step.

6. Even closer to purchasing are consumers who couple preference with a desire to buy and the conviction that the purchase would wise.

7. Finally, of course, is the step which translates this attitude into actual purchase.

Research Io evaluate the effectiveness of advertisements can be designed to provide measures of movement on such a flight of steps.

The various steps are not necessarily equidistant. In some instances the "distance" from awareness to preference may be very slight, while the distance from preference to purchase is extremely large. In other cases, | the reverse may be true. Furthermore, a potential purchaser sometimes I may move up several steps simultaneously.

Consider the following hypotheses. The greater the psychological | and/or economic commitment involved in the purchase of a particular product, the longer it will take to bring consumers up these steps, and I the more important the individual steps will be. Contrariwise, the less | serious the commitment, the more likely it is that some consumers will go almost "immediately" to the top of the steps.

An impulse purchase might be consummated with no previous awareness, knowledge, liking, or conviction with respect to the product On the I other hand, an industrial good or an important consumer product ordinarily will not be purchased in such a manner.


Different objectives


Products differ markedly in terms of the role of advertising as related to the various positions on the steps. A great deal of advertising is designed to move people up the final steps toward purchase. At an extreme is the "Buy Now" ad, designed to stimulate immediate overt action. Contrast this with industrial advertising, much of which is not intended to stimulate immediate purchase in and of itself. Instead, it is designed to help pave the way for the salesman by making the prospects aware of his company and products, thus giving them knowledge and favorable attitudes about the ways in which those products or services might be of value. This, of course, involves movement up the lower and intermediate steps.

Even within a particular product category, or with a specific product, different advertisements or campaigns may be aimed primarily at different steps in the purchase process–and rightly so. For example, advertising for new automobiles is likely to place emphasis on the lower steps when new models are first brought out. The advertiser recognizes that his first job is to make the potential customer aware of the new product, and to give him knowledge and favorable attitudes about the product As the year progresses, advertising emphasis tends to move up the steps. Finally, at the end of the "model year" much emphasis is placed on the final step –the attempt to stimulate immediate purchase among prospects who are assumed, by then, to have information about the car".


The full text of the book can be found at bookstores, e-bookstores and libraries.


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See also:

Measuring Advertising Readership and Results

The Effect of Advertising and Display

Advertising and Human Memory

Books on Advertising

Books on PR

Books on Mass Media