Like It Or Not, Liking Is Not Enough

Nigel Hollis

I find it strange that someone from Millward Brown should be writing an article with this title. However, there can be little doubt that there is a need to put the role of 'liking' in perspective. Millward Brown has long championed the role of liking (in the form of enjoyability) as a component of successful advertising, so even since the ARF's much-discussed Validity Project findings were announced (Haley, 1990), the role of liking has come under the microscope as never before, and several articles have been published seeking to explain the part that it plays in advertising. Some papers have sought to show how liking relates to traditional copy-testing measures, such as related recall in the case of Walker and Dubitsky (1994), and others have shouted how it correlates within-market recall, such as du Plessis' Recognition versus Recall (1994). However, none that I have seen attempt to replicate the ARF's goal of working back from identified sales effects for established brands to the copy-test measures that best predict them. Admittedly, Walker and Dubitsky refer to the validation of related recall in prior papers, but the paper cited, which examines the relationship for established brand advertising, appears to be based only on 10 cases, and the proportion of sales variation explained is small (Walker, 1990).