Advertising creativity and repetition: recall, wearout and wearin effects

Kevin Lehnert

Grand Valley State University

Brian D. Till

Xavier University

Brad D. Carlson

Saint Louis University

Introduction

Creativity in advertising is an important consideration in understanding marketing communications as it serves to help marketing messages break through clutter and leave a lasting impression in the consumer’s mind. The importance of the topic to marketers is highlighted by the considerable attention that advertising creativity has received in recent marketing literature. Specifically, creativity has been investigated as it relates to recall (Till & Baack 2005; Ang et al. 2007; Baack et al. 2008; Sheinin et al. 2011), attitude (Ang & Low 2000; Smith et al. 2007; Dahlén et al. 2008; Sheinin et al. 2011), strategic use of creative­ ads to elicit emotional responses (Heath et al. 2009; Yang & Smith 2009; Cornelis et al. 2012), and product evaluations and purchase intentions (Dahlén 2005; Smith et al. 2007; Dahlén et al. 2008). Perhaps most relevant for marketing managers, creativity is an important antecedent of advertising effectiveness (Reid et al. 1998; Dahlén, et al. 2008). However, the majority of research on creativity in advertising has focused on the creative process and the development of creative ads (Nyilasy & Reid 2009; Ashley & Oliver 2010; Stuhlfaut 2011) rather than how consumers respond to repeated exposure to creative advertisements. Although the importance of developing creative advertising is undeniable, understanding the impact of creativity on consumer responses to advertising should prove to be an important area of investigation as managers attempt to assess the potential added value of implementing highly creative versus less creative advertising.