Ad success at the cost of brand memory

Lisa Maria Landvogt & Amelia Maria Malpiedi

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Executive summary: Neuroscientific studies have proposed that it is primarily emotions and not rationality that plays a vital part in influencing decision-making, perception, memory, and behaviour. Therefore, an understanding of emotional processes is vital for successful branding, as it depends on understanding and developing an emotional appeal towards consumers. In terms of this thesis, brand memory is considered crucial for branding activities, as all brand decisions are at least practically based on memory. However, as emotional processes cannot be investigated using traditional research methods because they are reflected in the brain and physiological reactions, it is proposed to apply neuroscientific research studies. Thereby, generated knowledge can be used to develop a better understanding of how emotional processes influence consumer memory. Despite the widespread recognition of the importance of emotions in advertising by practitioners and scholars, no systematic research on how it relates to advertising effectiveness based on brand memory has been conducted. This study will contribute to recent developments in two ways. First, it will reflect on the theoretical foundations of marketing, demonstrating that traditional models based on the rational consumer are out-dated and that new models including the intuitive consumer, driven by emotions are needed. Furthermore, it will be discussed that memory of a brand is crucial for advertising success, as consumers do not make purchase decisions during ad exposure. To underline the theoretical literature review, this study contributes in a second manner, namely by investigating how emotions influence memory formation during ad exposure. Here the authors distinguish between ad and brand memory, because cues that are typically used during brand decisions, may not be retrieve from an ad, but from brand memory. The issue is explored through a laboratory experiment, using over 100 participants to view 16 TV commercials. During the experiment neuroscience tools such as the EGG and facial coding were used. The findings of the study have shown that ad-induced emotions do have a crucial impact on memory formation, where results were not always as expected. Emotions are found to be a complex matter, which must be looked at in great detail. The findings therefore reinforce the importance of further research in the area, supporting neuromarketing as a field with increasing interest. Moreover, from the presented study valid new insights informing the academic and corporate fields about the internal mechanisms of advertising effectiveness can be drawn.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages143