The implicit and explicit role of ad memory in ad persuasion: rethinking the hidden persuaders

Alastair Goode
Duckfoot Research and Development


The Assumed Role of Memory in the Persuasive Process of Advertising

Most practitioners still assume the role of memory in persuasion is that set out by such models as Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA) and DAGMA. The focus is on raising awareness of a brand, then communicating something about it via a brand positioning. The assumption is that consumers pay attention to ads and retain information in a way that will later allow them to consciously consider the proposition and act on it accordingly. Hence the assumed role of memory within this is that of a store for the ad information, which at some future point can be brought to the consumer's conscious mind (recalled) and acted on. Because of this, it has been assumed that ad recall will be a reliable index of ad success. Models such as the awareness index (Coleman & Brown 1986) are generally accepted as the benchmark for measuring ad success. In fact Brown himself has described ads that have a poor recall as a disaster and ads that achieve high recall as a triumph (Brown 1985).