Context effects on memory for television advertisements

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Claire E. Norris
Andrew M. Colman
Cite this article:  Norris, C., & Colman, A. (1993). Context effects on memory for television advertisements. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 21(4), 279-296.


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This study focuses on the hypothesis that television viewers’, depth of psychological involvement in a program is inversely related to their recall and recognition of accompanying advertisements. Ninety subjects watched an involving or a relatively uninvolving television program accompanied by six completely unfamiliar advertisements. They then responded to a series of questionnaires designed to measure their perceptions of the programs and the advertisements and their memory for the advertisements. As predicted, subjects’ recall and recognition of the advertisements correlated negatively with their ratings of the programs as suspenseful, challenging, involving, and worth remembering, and positively with their ratings of boredom with the programs. But, in sharp contrast, subjects’ attitudes towards the advertisements, attitudes towards the brands, and rated intention to buy the products correlated positively with their ratings of the programs as stimulating, thought provoking, attention-grabbing, challenging, immersing, and as having impact.


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