Measuring the Hidden Power of Emotive Advertising

Robert Heath
Bath School of Management

Pam Hyder
Standard Life

Winner: 2004 David Winton Award for Best Technical Paper
Winner: 2004 ISBA Award for Best Paper on Advertising Research


In 1961, in response to Vance Packard's famous polemic The Hidden Persuaders, Rosser Reeves (1961) declared: 'There are no hidden persuaders. Advertising works openly, in the bare and pitiless sunlight.' Doubtless there are some who believe that this is still the case, and that the way advertising works is totally transparent. But we know a lot more about how our minds and our brains work than we did 40 years ago, and what we have learned confirms that advertising, indeed communication in general, is a far more complex process than we used to think it was.