Community: a Hidden Value in the Advertising Effectiveness Awards

Christine Wright-Isak and Ronald Faber

Measuring advertising effectiveness is an issue of increasing relevance in today's business climate where accountability is a central goal of managers (Ellis and Johnson, 1993). The Advertising Research Foundation has held workshops and conferences, and has a standing committee to investigate the issue (Cook and Kover, forthcoming). Numerous speeches by executives whose firms have undertaken the challenge in various situations demonstrate the many ways to approach the issue, and the many articles on advertising impact in academic journals tell us that advertising's contribution to business is multidimensional and complex (Wright-Isak, Faber and Homer, forthcoming).

Although there is no single formula for demonstrating advertising effectiveness, both academia and business continue working to address the problem. In 1993 the Consumer Psychology in Advertising Conference focused on measuring advertising effectiveness. While there was no apparent consensus on a definition of advertising effectiveness, a pattern was observable in the ways attendees seemed to regard the issue. Academic research tends to focus on the effects of specific ads that can be assessed in controlled settings, whereas business tends to search for models that will account for the contribution advertising makes to business results. Differences also exist between agency and client personnel on whether to focus on the success of the creative message or ultimate product success. This lack of consensus is a divisive force in agency-client relations, in practitioner relations and in alternative conceptions of advertising's value in the marketing mix.


Evaluating advertising effectiveness