Advertisements bombard us everyday. With numerous brands, messages and logos surrounding us, which ones stand out? And how long will we retain these messages?
In this week’s readings, we learned about frequency tactics while planning campaigns. The author of Strategic Planning for Public Relations, Ronald Smith, writes that the frequency of exposure to a message is important in determining whether or not “the message takes root in a persons consciousness.” The more a consumer repeatedly sees a message, the more accepting they will be of the message.
It has been determined that one exposure usually has no effect on the person, unless that person is highly attentive to the situation. Smith says a person should be exposed to a message three times in order to make an impact on the consumer. However, when many different messages are being thrown at a consumer, three exposures may not be enough.
Smith suggests that in order to keep the audience thinking about your messages and brand, repetition and reinforcement of the messages through media is important. The author also says, “Most audiences remember a message they have seen daily for several days more than one presented several times in a single day.”
In order to further drive this point of brand awareness and message repetition, I found a study that shows how impactful repetition is when trying to sell a product.
Milk is a basic necessity that our bodies need in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But, what happens when the company that sells this refrigerator staple stops advertising? Does advertising really matter for milk?
Ashwin Aravindakshan and Prasad A. Naik, the authors of this article, reference a 2009 case study by Sutherland on the sales and brand awareness of milk after advertising stops. Sutherland (2009), found that a milk companies sales remained constant 12 months after its advertising stopped. But, after this 12 month period, milk sales rapidly dropped.
In another case study, Sutherland (2009) tested the brand awareness of milk. Sutherland (2009) found that brand awareness was not a gradual process, but dropped significantly after several months.
Aravindakshan and Naik believe that this previous study of advertising and brand awareness has holes, so the authors plan to fill those holes by proving how the evolution of awareness when advertising stops through a series of new developed formulas. Aravindakshan and Naik studied a French car company, Peugeot, and analyzed the decline in awareness after this company stopped advertising. They estimated that for Peugeot, ad memorability would be about three weeks.
Awareness formation models describes the growth and decay of brand awareness. This model was used by Aravindakshan and Naik in order to determine the memorability of Peugeot advertisements. This model was used because the current advertising model, suggests (without testing) that consumers forget advertisements instantly.
Aravindakshan and Naik operationalize consumer memory as “the delaying the forgetting of consumer ads”. The delay differential equation was used, which is new for the field of marketing. Advertising effects were measured under various scenarios.
The authors of this study conducted several different situations in order to test the memorability of Peugeot’s advertisements to its consumers. Awareness, memory and forgetting rates were tested and formulas were used in order to obtain statistically significant data.
Similar to the milk case study, Aravindakshan and Naik found that awareness remains steady for awhile, and then awareness declines rapidly. The authors found that, “when ad memorability is high, the resulting long delay and rapid decline is what we would observe based on our formulation…”
Currently, companies monitor for brand awareness only by using tracking study. This experiment by Aravindakshan and Naik, provides a new way and formula to test brand awareness in a more accurate way in order to expand this field of research.
This study helps reinforce the fact that frequency tactics are vital when planning campaigns. Lack of messages decrease awareness of the brand, and in turn, sales will decrease. While implementing patterns of message repetition in campaigns, there are four concepts you can use to help disseminate messages: continuity, flighting, pulsing, and massing. Continuity presents messages consistently over time; flighting presents messages in waves; pulsing is a continuous base supported with bursts of communication; and massing is a mixture of a message into a short period of time. These four tactics can be used not only for advertising messages, but also for special events, blog postings, posters, and brochures.
One-time messages are usually not effective, so to make your brand last in the minds of consumers strategically use frequency tactics.
Aravindakshan, A., Naik, P. “How does awareness evolve when advertising stops? The role of memory”. Marketing Letters (2011) 315-326. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. http://www.lib.lsu.edu/instruction/guide_on_the_side/tutorial/academic-search-complete
Smith, R. (2013). Strategic Planning for Public Relations. New York: Taylor & Francis.