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“How Does Recall Work in Advertising?”- via The Journal of Advertising Research (JAR)

“If a target audience cannot remember a marketer’s message, advertising largely becomes a waste of time, money and resources. Advertising without recall is advertising without impact.”

The September 2016 issue of the JAR includes four papers addressing the question, “How Does Recall Work in Advertising?” We are excerpting two papers in this issues and will provide the two others next week.

To read a paper in its entirety (plus info on authors),

  • Login to your myARF [link to:]
  • Click on “Journal of Advertising Research” on the left hand side menu
  • Locate the article in the search field on the page

Spot Length and Unaided Recall in Television.  The researchers analyze both the relationship between spot length and unaided recall in a real-world environment and the direct effect on recall of other advertising break-planning variables. These variables included the position of the break in relation to the television program, the degree of advertising clutter in the break (indicating the break’s duration), the spot’s relative position in the break, and primacy and recency effects.  A Key Finding: “Longer spots” – those lasting more than 20 seconds – generated more recall than would correspond proportionally to increase in length. This conclusion supports the argument that advertisers should buy longer spots to reduce the number of brands per advertising break.

 Digital-Video – the effects of “mid-roll” versus “pre-roll” spots. One of these new formats is “limited-interruption” advertising, in which each midroll advertising break features just one commercial. This study provides empirical guidance by quantifying the positive and negative effects of repeated limited interruption. A Key Finding: For commercials of the same 30 second duration … limited interruption advertising in digital video delivers greater … brand advertising recall than pre-roll advertising. By comparison, 15 second pre-roll advertisements were just as effective as mid-roll ads, most likely because their shorter duration prevents disengagement (i.e. viewers watching, not skipping, the ads).