Effects of Advertising Likeability: A 10-Year Perspective

Edith G. Smit
University of Amsterdam

Lex Van Meurs
Intomart GfK

Peter C. Neijens
University of Amsterdam


Likeability has always been important for advertisers, but in 1990 the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) in the United States put it prominently on the research agenda by conducting the ARF Copy Research Validity Project (Haley and Baldinger, 1991). The ARF showed that advertising liking was the strongest factor linked to persuasion and sales. In the early 1990s several other studies showed the positive effects of advertising likeability (e.g., Aaker and Stayman, 1990; Biel, 1990; Biel and Bridgewater, 1990; Dubitsky and Walker, 1994; Du Plessis, 1994a, 1994b; Eagleson and Rossiter, 1994; Greene, 1992; Haley, 1990, 1994; Haley and Baldinger, 1991, 2000). We wonder whether the role of likeability has changed since then, especially because the media and advertising market has changed tremendously.