Content Analysis as a Predictive Methodology: Recall, Readership, and Evaluations of Business-to-Business Print Advertising

John L. Naccarato
Liggett-Stashower, Inc., USA
and
Kimberly A. Neuendorf
Cleveland State University, USA

This article calls for the application of content analytic techniques to advertising as a method of predicting advertising effectiveness. A comprehensive empirical investigation examines the effect of both form variables (e.g., headline size, use of color, illustration placement) and content variables (e.g., subject matter, use of humor, use of fear appeals) on recall, readership, and evaluations in the context of business-to-business print advertising. The prediction of four different outcome variables is successful, with total variance accounted for ranging from 12 percent to 59 percent. Significant predictors vary substantially across the dependent indicators, indicating that different advertisement characteristics are likely to be needed to achieve various advertiser goals.