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Easy to Remember, Easy to Forget? The Memorability of Creative Advertisements

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Abstract

Previous studies have revealed that creative advertisements are recognized and recalled better than their less creative counterparts. Remembering and forgetting are two sides of the same coin of memory, denoting memory’s storage and elimination functions, respectively, which can both potentially impact advertising effectiveness. To date, there appear to have been no published studies examining the memorability of creative advertisements from the perspective of forgetting. Therefore, this issue was investigated using an "intentional forgetting paradigm" in which participants were cued either to remember or forget individual advertisements. The results showed that recognition hit rate and recognition latency were better for creative advertisements than for standard advertisements in both the remember and forget conditions. Furthermore, an advertising effectiveness analysis indicated that advertisements rated as more creative were also more easily remembered. There was additionally an effect of creativity category on intentional forgetting, with a higher hit rate and shorter recognition latency for creative advertisements. These results indicate that creative advertisements are easy to remember, but hard to forget, even when an instruction to forget is given. The findings provide further evidence that creative advertisements are more memorable and confirm the value of creativity in advertising.

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... The variables grouped under "individuals" captured characteristics related to individual employees. Those investigated in our sample include, among others, collective intelligence (Lee & Chang, 2010;Peters & Reveley, 2015), convergent thinking (Shen et al., 2020), creative advertising insight (Shen et al., 2020), creative performance (Khalili, 2016), engagement with the creative process (Fischer et al., 2019), divergent thinking (Nusbaum & Silvia, 2011;Shen et al., 2020), innovative behavior (Khalili, 2016), explorative learning (Valaei et al., 2017), exploitative learning (Valaei et al., 2017), green creativity skills (Ogbeibu et al., 2021), green task motivation (Ogbeibu et al., 2021), innovativeness (Ummar & Saleem, 2020), intelligence (Desmet et al., 2021;Fischer et al., 2019;Squalli & Wilson, 2014;Vitrano et al., 2021), and opportunity recognition beliefs (Fearon et al., 2021). ...
... The variables grouped under "individuals" captured characteristics related to individual employees. Those investigated in our sample include, among others, collective intelligence (Lee & Chang, 2010;Peters & Reveley, 2015), convergent thinking (Shen et al., 2020), creative advertising insight (Shen et al., 2020), creative performance (Khalili, 2016), engagement with the creative process (Fischer et al., 2019), divergent thinking (Nusbaum & Silvia, 2011;Shen et al., 2020), innovative behavior (Khalili, 2016), explorative learning (Valaei et al., 2017), exploitative learning (Valaei et al., 2017), green creativity skills (Ogbeibu et al., 2021), green task motivation (Ogbeibu et al., 2021), innovativeness (Ummar & Saleem, 2020), intelligence (Desmet et al., 2021;Fischer et al., 2019;Squalli & Wilson, 2014;Vitrano et al., 2021), and opportunity recognition beliefs (Fearon et al., 2021). ...
... The variables grouped under "individuals" captured characteristics related to individual employees. Those investigated in our sample include, among others, collective intelligence (Lee & Chang, 2010;Peters & Reveley, 2015), convergent thinking (Shen et al., 2020), creative advertising insight (Shen et al., 2020), creative performance (Khalili, 2016), engagement with the creative process (Fischer et al., 2019), divergent thinking (Nusbaum & Silvia, 2011;Shen et al., 2020), innovative behavior (Khalili, 2016), explorative learning (Valaei et al., 2017), exploitative learning (Valaei et al., 2017), green creativity skills (Ogbeibu et al., 2021), green task motivation (Ogbeibu et al., 2021), innovativeness (Ummar & Saleem, 2020), intelligence (Desmet et al., 2021;Fischer et al., 2019;Squalli & Wilson, 2014;Vitrano et al., 2021), and opportunity recognition beliefs (Fearon et al., 2021). ...
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... In fact, creative advertisements must contain elements that are novel, different or unusual; however, to be effective, such advertisements must also be meaningful, appropriate and valuable to the audience (see Simola et al., 2020). Perhaps due to these novel, distinct or unique characteristics (which can attract stimuli-driven attention), creative advertisements have often been reported to be more effective in attracting consumers' attention and more memorable (Shen, Liu, et al., 2020). Using prize-winning advertisements as a proxy for creative advertisements, Till and Baack (2005) found that creative television advertisements performed better on tests of both immediate and delayed (by 1 week) recall than common television advertisements that did not win an award but only when this recall was unaided, as opposed to aided. ...
... Generally, the former approach tends to qualitatively define creative advertisements that could likely be modulated by the award level, social desirability and/or professional ideals; in contrast, the latter approach is inclined to quantitatively isolate creative advertisements from common advertisements, which seems more appropriate. The latter approach is consistent with the increasingly popular idea that today's marketing has already shifted from business to consumer buyers (Leonidou et al., 2011), assigns sufficient importance to the role of the audience or the general public in conceptualizing advertising or marketing and might more accurately reflect the true ideas of the audience (having a similar perspective to that of a genuine audience; see Shen, Liu, et al., 2020;West et al., 2008) regarding the advertisements' real-life persuasiveness; the latter approach is also consistent with the spectrum view of advertising creativity and the fact that all issued advertisements should have some advertising creativity, with only quantitative differences in the level of advertising creativity. ...
... Therefore, the desire for outstanding creativity in a PSA likely amplifies the perceived effectiveness of such advertising over its commercial counterparts, resembling the anchoring effects, that is, the perceived effectiveness of creative advertising likely appears superior in a comparison between PSAs and commercial advertisements with the same level of advertising creativity. In fact, a recent study showed no difference in memory effectiveness between creative commercials and creative noncommercial advertisements (Shen, Liu, et al., 2020). Nevertheless, memory performance, such as the recognition time or accuracy, seems mostly cognitive in essence, whereas purchase intent metrics seem to be more appropriate or preferred for assessing or reflecting the consumption or marketing reality. ...
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There have been diverse arguments regarding the factors that could have an impact on individuals’ attitudes toward a specific ad, brand, or product. However, there is still no overall agreement pertaining to these issues because many circumstantial factors, including personal characteristics of targeted audience members and product diversity, can affect attitudes and receptivity to an advertisement. Through the 3 × 3 experimental method, an investigation seeking for the possible interplay between levels of creativity (i.e., low, medium, and high) inherent in advertisements and individuals’ professional roles as consumers, advertisers, or ad agency professionals was conducted. The results indicated that the variables (i.e., creativity levels, diversity of roles among targeted audience members) affected individuals’ attitudes toward ads, as well as advertised brands and products. In addition, an interaction effect between two variables on attitudes toward an ad was detected. In general, advertising creativity level was more important than roles of targeted audience members on their attitudes toward brands and products seen in ads.
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Creativity is an important component of advertising. This research examines the potential effectiveness of creative advertising in enhancing recall, brand attitude, and purchase intent. Our basic methodology compares a set of randomly selected award-winning commercials (Communication Arts) with a random sample of control commercials. The commercials were embedded in television programs and subjects for a naturalistic viewing experience. Studies 1 and 2 had aided and unaided brand and execution recall as dependent variables. For Study 3, brand attitude and purchase intent were the dependent variables of interest. Results indicated that creative commercials facilitate unaided recall, but that creativity did not enhance aided recall, purchase intent, or brand and advertisement attitude. The basic advantage of creative advertising in enhancing unaided recall was found to persist over a one-week delay.
Article
Creativity is seen as an essential component of advertising and is continuing to attract research interest. While there is widespread agreement on the value of creativity, there are two different perspectives on the key components of creativity. One perspective sees creativity as primarily divergence, containing elements of novelty, aesthetic representation, newness, and difference. The second includes, in addition to divergence, the concept of meaningfulness (or appropriateness or connectedness) to the consumer. This view argues that if an advertisement is not meaningful then it simply is not creative. We attempt to find some empirical resolution to this issue. Our findings indicate that divergence is indeed an important element of creativity. Meaningfulness, however, while certainly very important to ad effectiveness, appears to be a distinct and separate construct from creativity.
Article
Creativity is seen as an important component of advertising, with highly creative ads being easier to recall than control ads. However, the boundary conditions around this effect are less understood. This research examines how creativity influences recall across repeated ad exposures. Additionally, this paper investigates the influence of creativity on advertising wearin/wearout. We utilise creative and control commercials embedded in a television programme for a naturalistic viewing experience, along with a one-week follow-up measure. We find that creative advertisements exhibit higher recall, though repeated exposures reduce this advantage. Further, creative ads are more liked, demonstrate wearin effects more quickly and are less susceptible to wearout.
Article
Creativity is an important component of advertising. This research examines the potential effectiveness of creative advertising in enhancing recall, brand attitude, and purchase intent. Our basic methodology compares a set of randomly selected award-winning commercials (Communication Arts) with a random sample of control commercials. The commercials were embedded in television programs and subjects for a naturalistic viewing experience. Studies 1 and 2 had aided and unaided brand and execution recall as dependent variables. For Study 3, brand attitude and purchase intent were the dependent variables of interest. Results indicated that creative commercials facilitate unaided recall, but that creativity did not enhance aided recall, purchase intent, or brand and advertisement attitude. The basic advantage of creative advertising in enhancing unaided recall was found to persist over a one-week delay.
Article
This paper considers the implications for cultural heritage of observations regarding individual and collective memory which suggest that the process of forgetting is in fact integral to remembering – that one cannot properly form new memories and attach value to them without also selecting some things to forget. Remembering is an active process of cultivating and pruning, and not one of complete archiving and total recall, which would overwhelm and cause us to be unable to make confident decisions about which memories are valuable and which are not. I argue that the same is true of heritage; that as a result of its increasingly broad definition, and the exponential growth of listed objects, places and practices of heritage in the contemporary world, we hazard becoming overwhelmed by memory and in the process rendering heritage ineffective and worthless. I refer to the consequence of this heterogeneous piling up of disparate and conflicting pasts in the present as a ‘crisis’ of accumulation of the past. To deal with this crisis adequately, we must pay increased attention to the management of heritage. This should not only refer to processes of preservation and conservation, but also to active decisions to delist or cease to conserve particular forms of heritage once their significance to contemporary and future societies can no longer be demonstrated. Deaccessioning and disposal must become a key area of attention for critical heritage studies in the coming decades if heritage is to remain sustainable and uphold its claims to relevance in contemporary global societies.
Article
An experimental study was conducted with 283 members of civic groups and college students to determine to what extent the type of television program surrounding a political commercial and the type of political commercial influence the effectiveness of those commercials. Results indicated that commercial type had a significant effect on candidate evaluation, issue recall, and vote likelihood. The study also reveals that some types of political commercials are more likely to increase vote likelihood when placed in specific types of television programming.
Article
The authors develop and validate a measure of advertising creativity that is intended for a collectivistic, holistic population. Scale-development procedures result in a four-factor correlated model comprising originality, considerateness, clarity, and product relevance. The second dimension, considerateness, appears to mirror the culturally unique propensity to value the collectivistic Confucian norms of the society and the contextual elements of the advertisement. Reliability and validity of the scale are examined.
Article
Anecdotal evidence suggests that sexual harassment may cause women to doubt their abilities, attributing their success to their professor's or supervisor's attraction to them rather than to their qualifications. Two experiments assessed whether a decrease in confidence could result from something as seemingly harmless as flirting. In Experiment 1, a male confederate posing as an advertising executive asked 56 female students to draw an advertisement, which he then praised. He behaved either flirtatiously or neutrally. In Experiment 2, female and male students interacted with a flirtatious or neutral advertisement executive of the other gender. In both experiments, women's self-creativity ratings decreased significantly more from pre-to posttest in the flirtatious condition than in the control condition. Men were affected less than women by the ad executive's flirtatiousness. The results suggest that flirtatiousness by an authority figure may have negative consequences for women's self-confidence.
Article
The purpose of the study was to compare differences in creative styles (Kirton, 1976) and personality types between Americans and Taiwanese and to examine the relationships among various personality types and creative potential. Creative potential was measured by the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking-Figural, and personality types were measured by the Keirsey Temperament Sorter II. Ninety-three American and 76 Taiwanese college students specializing in teacher education participated in this study. The results indicated that Americans are more adaptively creative than Taiwanese, whereas there is no difference between the two groups in Innovative creative style. The results also indicated that there are significant relationships between Adaptive creative style and Intuition, between Creative Strengths and Intuition, and between Creative Strengths and Perceiving. It is concluded that there is a cultural difference in creative potential and personality types and that there are relationships between particular subscales of creativity and personality types. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The ability to control how we process information by remembering which is important and forgetting which is irrelevant is essential to maintain accurate, up-to-date memories. As such, memory success is predicated on both successful intentional encoding and successful intentional forgetting. The current study used an item-method directed forgetting paradigm to elucidate the cognitive and neural processes that underlie both processes while also examining the relationship between them to understand how the two may work together. Results indicated that encoding-related processes in the left inferior PFC and medial-temporal lobe (MTL) contribute to subsequent memory success, whereas inhibitory processes in the right superior frontal gyrus and right inferior parietal lobe contribute to subsequent forgetting success. Furthermore, connectivity analyses found a negative correlation between activity in the right superior frontal cortex and activity in the left MTL during successful intentional forgetting but not during successful encoding, incidental forgetting, or incidental remembering. Results support the theory that intentional forgetting is mediated by inhibition-related activity in the right frontal cortex and the interaction of this activity with that of encoding-related activity in the MTL. Further support for this inhibitory-related account was found through a clear dissociation between intentional and incidental forgetting, such that intentional forgetting was associated with regions shown to support inhibition, whereas incidental forgetting was associated with regions supporting encoding.
Article
abstract We enhance the theoretical precision of cultural intelligence (CQ: capability to function effectively in culturally diverse settings) by developing and testing a model that posits differential relationships between the four CQ dimensions (metacognitive, cognitive, motivational and behavioural) and three intercultural effectiveness outcomes (cultural judgment and decision making, cultural adaptation and task performance in culturally diverse settings). Before testing the model, we describe development and cross-validation (N = 1,360) of the multidimensional cultural intelligence scale (CQS) across samples, time and country. We then describe three substantive studies (N = 794) in field and educational development settings across two national contexts, the USA and Singapore. The results demonstrate a consistent pattern of relationships where metacognitive CQ and cognitive CQ predicted cultural judgment and decision making; motivational CQ and behavioural CQ predicted cultural adaptation; and metacognitive CQ and behavioural CQ predicted task performance. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of our model and findings.
Article
What brain mechanisms underlie learning of new knowledge from single events? We studied encoding in long-term memory of a unique type of one-shot experience, induced perceptual insight. While undergoing an fMRI brain scan, participants viewed degraded images of real-world pictures where the underlying objects were hard to recognize ("camouflage"), followed by brief exposures to the original images ("solution"), which led to induced insight ("Aha!"). A week later, the participants' memory was tested; a solution image was classified as "remembered" if detailed perceptual knowledge was elicited from the camouflage image alone. During encoding, subsequently remembered images were associated with higher activity in midlevel visual cortex and medial frontal cortex, but most pronouncedly, in the amygdala, whose activity could be used to predict which solutions will remain in long-term memory. Our findings extend the known roles of amygdala in memory to include promotion of long-term memory of the sudden reorganization of internal representations.
Article
To provide a future vision of alternative viewpoints moving forward in creativity research, four different perspectives are offered. The first perspective, “Wildfire 2008: Creativity with a Human Touch,” offers surprising humanistic and individualistic practitioner insights from breakthrough campaigns. The second viewpoint, “Creative and Effective Advertising: Balancing Spontaneity and Discipline,” emphasizes the role of discipline in developing creative advertising that is effective while still being spontaneous. The third perspective, “Defining the Necessary Components of Creative, Effective Ads,” provides a functional model of how creativity works in ads. In the last viewpoint, “The Concept of ‘Imaginative Intensity’ in Advertising,” an imaginative intensity concept is offered for future research consideration as the role of the consumer, agency, and clients change.
The creativity assessment packet
  • C Lin
  • M Wang
Lin, C., & Wang, M. (1994). The Creativity Assessment Packet. Taipei, Taiwan: Psychological Publishing.
Creative and effective advertising: Balancing spontaneity and discipline
  • D W Stewart
  • Y Cheng
  • H Wan
Stewart, D. W., Cheng, Y., & Wan, H. (2008). Creative and effective advertising: Balancing spontaneity and discipline. Journal of Advertising, 37(4), 135-139.
Preliminary work for modeling questionnaire data
  • Z Wen
  • B Huang
  • D Tang
Wen, Z., Huang, B., & Tang D. 2018. Preliminary work for modeling questionnaire data. Journal of Psychosocial Science, 41(1), 204-210.