The Shifting Response Curve

Erik du Plessis

From the 1970s until the 1990s media planning in the UK and us (therefore the world) assumed that the advertising response curve was sshaped, with effective frequency being at least three exposures. Recently, however, much has been made of Jones conclusion that the response curve is convex and that frequency above one is wasteful (Exhibit 1). No one suspects that the typical response curve has changed in the intervening 15 years or that Naples studied something very different from Jones.

More probably, the curve for a particular ad shifts over its life, making generalisation about response curves, their implications for media planning, and the extent to which recency planning theories are universal a dangerous and costly venture. All available evidence points to this, and to recency planning being fraught with dangers.