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The Handbook of International Advertising Research by Hong Cheng

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16

Attention and Memory Effects of Advertising in an International Context

Mahdi Rajabi, Nathalie Dens, and Patrick De Pelsmacker

Introduction

The effectiveness of an advertisement depends on whether consumers remember the brand message, understand it, are persuaded by it, and, of course, ultimately buy the advertised product. As such, the role of advertising is twofold: making people aware of the product and its characteristics (informational role) and making people desire it before they have bought it (persuasive role) (Ehrenberg, 2000). Because of the elapsed time between exposure and behavior, advertising has to work through people’s memory (Ehrenberg, Bloom, Barnard, & Kennedy, 2002). Memory makes the connection between advertising inputs and behavior (Ambler & Burne, 1999). One of the basic theoretical frameworks on how advertising works are the hierarchy-of-effects models (Escalas & Stern, 2003; Lavidge & Steiner, 1961). According to these models, recipients of persuasive communications progress linearly through a series of stages, starting with cognitive processing, followed by affective effects and finally behavioral effects. It is generally assumed that obstacles that impede consumers from attending to, encoding, or storing information in memory will prematurely terminate the persuasion process (Grazer & Keesling, 1995). Consequently, one of the first objectives of advertising should be to generate attention, and develop memory traces of advertising content and brands advocated ...

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