Counting Media Calories

Erwin Ephron
Ephron, Papazian & Ephron

We are just beginning to understand the natural laws of advertising.Don't panic, they could have been written by Weight Watchers. 


  1. Don't  pig out
  2. Don't skip dinner
  3. Eat a balanced diet
  4. Count the calories honestly

The first law seems to be don't pig out: moderation makes advertising work better. Consumer markets show decreasing marginal response to high levels of advertising each additional exposure contributes a little less, so shovelling it in in bursts or flights is not costeffective. Weight Watchers tells the planner to save some doughnuts for tomorrow.

The second law is don't skip dinner: more continuous advertising brings increasing marginal response and each week added to a campaign produces more than the week before it is like compound interest. This means that spreading the advertising across time is more costeffective. Besides, not eating can give a brand a headache.