Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Sunday Advertising Theory

There is a conventional “learning theory of advertising.” In this view, the message content informs audience beliefs which then resolve in positive attitudes toward the advertised brand.


But, Super Sundays involve an alternative theory, known as “attitude toward the ad.” In this view, the message content is designed to be enjoyable at high levels. These feelings of enjoyment can resolve themselves in positive attitudes toward the brand. There may even be a “halo effect” on beliefs about the benefits of the brand itself.


The Snickers “Betty White” commercial won out over all the rest in the USA Today Ad Meter ratings of Super Sunday commercials.

video

The spot is highly entertaining, thereby enacting “attitude toward the ad.” This commercial also conveys a strong message about the benefits of the product, thereby showing the “learning” model of advertising. It is an admirable piece of advertising.

Interestingly, the psychologist Harlow Gale first suggested these alternative theories in 1900 with a concept he called “attractive ad.” You can read more about Gale's work in the article by John Eighmey and Sela Sar, "Harlow Gale and the Origins of the Psychology of Advertising," Journal of Advertising, (December), 2007.

Copyright © 2010 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

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