The Degree of Ad–brand Incongruity and the Distinction Between Schema-driven and Stimulus-driven Attitudes

Georgios Halkias, Flora Kokkinaki

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Drawing on schema theory and advertising rhetoric, this article contributes to research on incongruent communication with three studies exploring consumer responses across different degrees of ad–brand incongruity. Study 1 reveals an inverted U-shaped pattern, indicating the superiority of moderate incongruity on ad processing time, recall, and attitude toward the ad (Aad) and the brand (Ab). Studies 2A and 2B replicate this pattern and further demonstrate that the affect already stored in the brand schema drives brand attitude formation for congruent and extremely incongruent ads, whereas both schema- and stimulus-based affect determine brand attitude for moderately incongruent ads. Study 2B also shows that participants are able to resolve ad–brand incongruity and comprehend the ad unless discrepancies are extreme. Finally, it is revealed that comprehension of more cognitively challenging ads mediates the effect of incongruity on both Aad and Ab.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advertising
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)397-409
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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