Like the Ad. Like the Brand? Chicken, or Egg?

Erik du Plessis
Charles Foster

In 1990 (1) Alexander Biel published a paper entitled: Love the ad. Buy the product? This reported the results of the Advertising Research Foundations (ARF) Copy Research Validity Project which showed ad liking to be the most predictive measure of advertising effectiveness, as detailed by Haley and Baldinger in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) (2).

Subsequently there have been many papers by research companies that felt their methodology for testing advertising is threatened by this loving of advertising proposition, arguing against the proposition that loving the ad can lead to buying the product.

Among those arguing against the effects of ad liking and its value as a measure of an advertisement is Rice.
He states, in the JAR, that: Liking does not cause noting, neither does noting cause liking. Usage causes both (3). In other words, people who love the ad do not buy the product, but people buying the product love and note the advertising.