ABSTRACT: Is advertising more effective when the advertised brand name is revealed at the onset of an advertising message or when it is withheld until the end of the message? Given the propensity of advertising to withhold the brand name, advertisers apparently presume the latter, perhaps because they believe that the practice sustains attention to the advertisement. The network model of memory and related theories of associative learning imply superior advertising effectiveness when the brand name is presented at the beginning of an advertisement. An experiment was conducted to test this proposition. Several award-winning television advertisements were remastered to reveal the brand name either at the beginning or at the end of the spot. The results support the prediction that advertising is more effective when the brand name appears at the beginning of the advertisement. Evidence is consistent with the conclusion that the effect was caused by strengthening the memory association between the brand name and the evaluative implications of advertising content, not by any effect of brand-name placement on advertising liking, memory for the brand name, or accessibility to advertisement content.
An important issue in the design and execution of advertising messages is ensuring that consumers' reactions to advertising are associated with the name of the advertised brand. Anecdotally, we all encounter situations in which we can clearly remember elements of an advertising execution, but cannot remember the advertised brand name, we associate the wrong brand name with the advertisement, or worse, we have positive associations but cannot remember specific elements of the advertisement and have no idea what brand to associate with that vague positive reaction (Jacoby and Hoyer 1989). Academic research has consistently demonstrated the difficulty that consumers have linking advertising messages to brand names, particularly in highly competitive advertising environments...
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