A brief observation about likability and interestingness of advertising.
After years of only inquiring about likability and its opposite we added another standard question. After the recognition part of every post-test interview we began asking respondents to choose between "I find this ad/commercial really interesting" or "not interesting." "Really interesting" turns out to be a much tougher attribute. For instance, for 4,629 print ads that were post-tested during the last decade, 51.1 percent were liked, while only 22.1 percent were felt to be really interesting.
The interesting ads score considerably higher in persuasion (Stapel, 1971). That measurement consists of asking purchase plans of nonusers of the product or service advertised before questions about ad recall or affect.
Data from a recent "Gallup Impact" survey of the ads in a women's magazine (Libelle, September 24, 1993) produce the following insights. As usual, the "interesting" scores amounted to slightly less than half of the likability figures. The results of 14 print ads that produced proved recall percentages over 10 percent were:
* average recognition 57% * average proved recall 21% * average likability 59% * average found interesting 27% * average liked and found interesting 24%
In nine out of ten cases, likability was a prerequisite for interest, although the degree of interestingness as a proportion of being liked varies. The poorest performance was of an advertisement being liked by 55 percent, found interesting by only 11 percent, and 10 percent of all respondents both liking and judging it interesting.
The highest scoring ad (a full color double page), on the other hand, produced the following results of perception, likability, and interest for all respondents:
* Recognition (after showing it to the respondents) 82% * Proved recall, correct description of content (before magazine is opened) 51% * Liking the ad 76% * Ads interesting 32% * Liking and found interesting 30%
The persuasion indications were recorded among the majority of nonusers/owners before the perception items were registered, showing the following for nonusers/owners:
* Recognition 80% * Proved recall 51% * Likability 72% * Interestingness 31% * Buying intent 24%
Buying intent was registered with 29 percent of those who liked the ad and among 36 percent who found it an interesting advertisement.
In another example from the same test, the perception scores of this same double page ad showed that a likable ad gains considerable attention and an interesting ad gains even more. After all, if you look it up in any dictionary, be it English, French, or Dutch, interest not only denotes "concentrated attention," but also "benefit, advantage, financial share of right," etc.
Table 1 Likability and "Interesting" Scores Among respondents who Neither liked the ad, nor Liked the Found it found it interesting (%) ad (%) interesting (%) Recognition 59 68 87 Proved recall 30 55 66
To sum up this observation, registering both liking and the degree of interest in both pre- and post-testing produces highly useful indicators concerning the creative efforts (and of course about the product or service itself that is being advertised).
Stapel, Jan. "Sales Effects of Print Ads." Journal of Advertising Research 11, 3 (1971): 32-36.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||Journal of Advertising Research|
|Date:||Mar 1, 1994|
|Previous Article:||Intended vs. unintended messages: viewer perceptions of United States Army television commercials.|
|Next Article:||Why liking matters.|