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Ad Repetition and Variation in a Competitive Ad Context
Unformatted Document Text:  4 research attention. It has been well established that the effectiveness of an ad is a function of how often it has been presented (see Pechmann & Stewart, 1989, for a review). In terms of message recall, research has shown that one efficient way to counteract recall interference is to provide a sufficient amount of ad exposure. For example, Burke and Srull (1988) have demonstrated that ad repetition significantly increases ad recall. Batra and Ray (1986) have indicated that ad recall rises from one exposure to four exposures. In short, findings regarding message repetition on ad recall are unanimous. One important explanation is that message repetition enhances memory effects by strengthening message encoding and increasing associations, which make later message retrieval much more likely (Lautman & Dean, 1983). When brand evaluations are considered, evidence as to the effectiveness of ad repetition is contradictory. Some research indicates that there is a linear relationship between message repetition and brand evaluations (e.g., Batra & Ray, 1986). Other research argues that there appears to be an inverted U relationship between ad repetition and brand evaluations (Rethans, et al., 1986). That is, multiple exposures of the same ad will first lead to increased effectiveness, but after a certain number of exposures, the effectiveness of the same ad will decline. Two-factor theory has been introduced to explain this inverted U-shaped relationship between ad repetition and brand evaluations. On the one hand, message exposure reduces uncertainty and generates more positive responses. On the other hand, tedium sets in with message exposures and leads to negative evaluations. Despite these contradictory findings, little attention has been paid to ad repetition effects in ad contexts in which the target ad is embedded with competitors’ ad messages. Past research has shown that it is more meaningful to explore the effectiveness of ad repetition within a competitive context than a non-competitive context. For example, Geiger (1974) has argued that the relationship between ad exposure and ad recall emerges when relative measures of

Authors: Chang, Chingching.
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research attention. It has been well established that the effectiveness of an ad is a function of
how often it has been presented (see Pechmann & Stewart, 1989, for a review). In terms of
message recall, research has shown that one efficient way to counteract recall interference is to
provide a sufficient amount of ad exposure. For example, Burke and Srull (1988) have
demonstrated that ad repetition significantly increases ad recall. Batra and Ray (1986) have
indicated that ad recall rises from one exposure to four exposures. In short, findings regarding
message repetition on ad recall are unanimous. One important explanation is that message
repetition enhances memory effects by strengthening message encoding and increasing
associations, which make later message retrieval much more likely (Lautman & Dean, 1983).
When brand evaluations are considered, evidence as to the effectiveness of ad repetition is
contradictory. Some research indicates that there is a linear relationship between message
repetition and brand evaluations (e.g., Batra & Ray, 1986). Other research argues that there
appears to be an inverted U relationship between ad repetition and brand evaluations (Rethans, et
al., 1986). That is, multiple exposures of the same ad will first lead to increased effectiveness,
but after a certain number of exposures, the effectiveness of the same ad will decline.
Two-factor theory has been introduced to explain this inverted U-shaped relationship between ad
repetition and brand evaluations. On the one hand, message exposure reduces uncertainty and
generates more positive responses. On the other hand, tedium sets in with message exposures
and leads to negative evaluations.
Despite these contradictory findings, little attention has been paid to ad repetition effects in
ad contexts in which the target ad is embedded with competitors’ ad messages. Past research
has shown that it is more meaningful to explore the effectiveness of ad repetition within a
competitive context than a non-competitive context. For example, Geiger (1974) has argued
that the relationship between ad exposure and ad recall emerges when relative measures of


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