Do you ever watch TV and get bored with the adverts or can’t wait for them to end, so the show you were watching comes back on? I think we all have experienced this and as Christmas is around the corner, the adverts in-between TV shows and movies, I noticed how mind numbing they were. All promoting, advertising and emphasising why their product, brand or service is superior to their competitors. When I asked my brother who was sat next to me watching TV at the time; what the advert before the previous one was about, he looked perplexed and surprised that he couldn’t even remember what the company was, let alone what it was advertising! It was bizarre as neither could I, despite having watched it not a mere minute before. Schmitt et al (2003) found that non-viewing behaviours such as social interaction and continuing chores were more common during TV programming suggesting less visual attention paid to the adverts shown.
People typically tend to ‘switch off’ when adverts come on, unless of course something really grabs their attention, people normally tend to remember and recall the beginning (primacy effect) and the end (recency effect) of the adverts which is a psychological concept called the serial position effect (Terry, 2005). This could be very useful for companies to research into, as dependent on when their particular advert features amongst several others, they want to be recognised and recalled the most. In support of this Pieters and Bijmolt (1997) suggested that when considering the costs of production and goal of maximizing consumer brand recall, the commercial is better placed first as opposed to last, as the primacy effect was noticed to have produced a higher recall than the recency affect.
Companies thus have the task of making adverts as impressionable as quick as possible due to the limited commercial airing time they have. As Danaher (1995) found a decrease and fall in audience viewing was most common between commercial breaks, as viewers appear to be able to predict and sense the allotted ad break patterns and subsequent ad-avoidance behaviour is determined by the audience’s prediction. This may also depend on the adverts that follow after and during the program as Coulter (1998) suggested that the individuals emotional responses during a program and then the commercial breaks following after are linked, whereby the adverts are perceived in the same manner if it follows the emotional content of the program just prior to it. Furthermore positive impacts can influence consumer behaviours and perceptions towards a brand due to the length and content of commercials (Patzer, 1991). On the other hand there is also possible weaknesses as brand priming is associated with TV advertisements and exposure when advertising and marketing brands. As research by Brasel and Gips (2011) and Chartrand (2005) who found that brand priming can affect consumers incidentally or unconsciously thus influencing their perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. Thus raises the question of whether it is ethically sound for a company to do this as it may influence people without their due consent.
In addition due to the impact TV advertising can have on its viewing audience; when advertising a company’s brand during a popular show or something viewed by a large a lot of people such as major sporting events, it can have profound effects on recall and overall increased brand awareness. As Pavelchak et al (1988) suggested emotions (arousal and pleasure) are commonly found during the ‘Super Bowl XX’, where arousal was more significantly related to peoples’ brand recall than pleasure. Which may be the result of the high intensity situations created when watching these games inducing more arousal than pleasure. The below picture is an example of a commercial break that take place during a baseball match and as the above sporting research suggests may influence the viewing audiences perceptions and behaviours towards brands.
So as Christmas is around the corner the number of Christmas related adverts have also increased quite noticeably, advertising everything from food shopping, purchases to be made for loved ones and friends, to festive events that will be occurring. Obviously these adverts appeal to people in varying degrees, as Christmas food shopping appeals to the parents, whereas the latest action figures targets children. John Lewis in my opinion are excellent at doing this take the example below is highlighting Christmas values buying presents for loved ones, which is put together pretty well with the soft music playing in the background.
Another advert from John Lewis which aims to impact you on an emotional level as John Lewis could quite easily have spoken about the discounts and great items to buy for Christmas, yet went about it in a emotional and moving way which would be far more likely to connect with the audience thus making them more memorable.
This advert to me was quite profound that the snowman would go above and beyond for his other half. To go on a journey for them through capturing the struggle he had to endure and potential dangers that were quite humorous, to not only buy some thoughtful Christmas gifts but also to ‘Give a little more love this Christmas’. Thus being powerful and succinct in their message, John Lewis convey that they are a brand that cares for its customers, as loved ones should for one another.
In summary companies have a number of considerations to make when airing their adverts such as the actual timing of the advert, as the ones straight after or during the main program gain a higher recall rate. Furthermore the content of the advert, as research has found that if an emotional state is associated with the advert they are more likely to be remembered and recalled. Companies obviously have to tailor the advert to encourage positive images thus ultimately give the audience the image of their brand they wished to be portrayed as making them more memorable and strengthening their brand awareness.
I hope you have all enjoyed reading my blog as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!
Brasel, S. A., & Gips, J. (2011). Red bull “Gives You Wings” for better or worse: A double-edged impact of brand exposure on consumer performance. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 21(1), 57-64.
Coulter, K. S. (1998). The effects of affective responses to media context on advertising evaluations. Journal of Advertising, 27(4), 41-51.
Chartrand, T. L. (2005). The role of conscious awareness in consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 15(3), 203-210.
Danaher, P. J. (1995). What happens to television ratings during commercial breaks?. Journal of Advertising Research, 35(1), 37-47.
Pieters, R. G. M., & Bijmolt, T, H, A. (1997).Consumer Memory for Television Advertising: A Field Study of Duration, Serial Position, and Competion Effects. Journal of consumer research, 23(4), 362-372.
Patzer, G. L. (1991). Multiple dimensions of performance for 30-second and 15-second commercials. Journal of Advertising Research, 31(4), 18-25.
Pavelchak, M. A., Antil, J. H., & Munch, J. M. (1988). The Super Bowl: An investigation into the relationship among program context, emotional experience, and ad recall. Journal of Consumer Research, 15(3), 360-367.
Schmitt, K. L., Woolf, K. D., & Anderson, D. R. (2003). Viewing the viewers: Viewing behaviors by children and adults during television programs and commercials. Journal of Communication, 53(2), 265-281.
Terry, W. S. (2005). Serial position effects in recall of television commercials. The Journal of general psychology, 132(2), 151-164.