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Effects of Ad Likeability in a 10 year perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  2 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Likeability is often suggested as one of the advertising strategies that have the ability to break through the clutter (e.g. Sacharin, 2001). Likeable ads are claimed to be better in interrupting the scanning phase of consumers – also referred to as the ‘stopping power of ads’ -, to improve processing, and to produce more positive judgments of the message and –hopefully- the brand. Besides elaborating on the expected effects of ad likeability, we give an overview of likeability studies and describe some findings concerning the possible moderating influence of product type. Ad likeability effects Several reasons were suggested to account for the effects of likeability (e.g. Biel, 1990; DuPlessis, 1994a, 1994b; Eagleson & Rossiter, 1994; Haley, 1990, 1994; Haley & Baldinger, 1991). First, for a commercial that is well liked, the consumer may be willing to pay attention to it and may be willing to see it on a repeated exposure (Biel, 1990). If the first impression of a commercial is favorable, consumers are likely to continue and to process the advertising more fully. In this sense, likeability can function as a ‘gatekeeper’ for further processing. A second reason for the effectiveness of likeability is the fact that the advertising itself may be considered as a brand attribute (Biel, 1990). This is especially found in product categories where the functional characteristics of different brands are perceived to be very similar. Therefore, liking the ad will be closely related to buying the brand: “love the ad, buy the product”. Others explained the power of likeability by cognitive processing of advertising messages. A well-liked ad is thought to affect information processing by creating positive arousal and activation, improving the recall of the advertised material and producing positive judgments of the message (Aaker & Myers, 1987; Chung & Zhao, 2003; Edell & Burke,

Authors: Smit, Edith., Meurs, Lex. and Neijens, Peter.
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2
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
Likeability is often suggested as one of the advertising strategies that have the ability to break
through the clutter (e.g. Sacharin, 2001). Likeable ads are claimed to be better in interrupting
the scanning phase of consumers – also referred to as the ‘stopping power of ads’ -, to
improve processing, and to produce more positive judgments of the message and –hopefully-
the brand. Besides elaborating on the expected effects of ad likeability, we give an overview
of likeability studies and describe some findings concerning the possible moderating
influence of product type.
Ad likeability effects
Several reasons were suggested to account for the effects of likeability (e.g. Biel, 1990;
DuPlessis, 1994a, 1994b; Eagleson & Rossiter, 1994; Haley, 1990, 1994; Haley & Baldinger,
1991). First, for a commercial that is well liked, the consumer may be willing to pay attention
to it and may be willing to see it on a repeated exposure (Biel, 1990). If the first impression of
a commercial is favorable, consumers are likely to continue and to process the advertising
more fully. In this sense, likeability can function as a ‘gatekeeper’ for further processing.
A second reason for the effectiveness of likeability is the fact that the advertising itself
may be considered as a brand attribute (Biel, 1990). This is especially found in product
categories where the functional characteristics of different brands are perceived to be very
similar. Therefore, liking the ad will be closely related to buying the brand: “love the ad, buy
the product”.
Others explained the power of likeability by cognitive processing of advertising
messages. A well-liked ad is thought to affect information processing by creating positive
arousal and activation, improving the recall of the advertised material and producing positive
judgments of the message (Aaker & Myers, 1987; Chung & Zhao, 2003; Edell & Burke,


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