Advertising Likeability and Its Effectiveness

Article excerpt


Advertising likeability is of great importance to marketers. Some marketers and advertising practitioners believe that advertising likeability has a direct link to its effectiveness. Advertisements that consumers like are likely to be effective because it helps them to process the information in the advertisement. Other researchers have also put forward the fact that there is no direct link between likeability and effectiveness as far as advertising is concerned. They believe that some advertisements may be liked by consumers but that does not guarantee its effectiveness. The main objective of this research was to investigate the relationship that exists between advertising likeability and effectiveness through empirical means. The technique of sampling adopted was convenience sampling: The instrument used in collecting data was structured questionnaire. The sample size was 500 respondents all of whom were students of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The research revealed among other things that, though likeability has a strong impact on advertising effectiveness, some customers had actually bought products whose advertisement they really disliked. Factors such as the choice of media, language and targeting the right audience were among other determinant of advertising effectiveness. It was therefore recommended that marketers and / or advertisers develop a holistic approach to advertising effectiveness by exploring other dimensions other than likeability.

Keywords: Advertising, Communication, Likeability, Consumers, Effectiveness.


The debate as to whether or not advertising likeability is important to the achievement of advertising objectives is ongoing among practitioners and academics. Franzen (2003) has indicated that advertising likeability translates to brand likeability. Research conducted by Advertising Research Foundation has shown that advertising likeability has been the strongest factor linked to persuasion and sales (Smith, et al. 2006). Biel (1990), however, holds the view that advertisements which were actively disliked could be very effective in the achievement of their objectives.

Kotler, (2003), defines advertising as 'any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identifiable sponsor'. Kitchen, (2001) also defines the subject as 'a communication via a recognisable advertisement, placed in a definable advertising media, guaranteeing delivery of an unmodified message to a specified audience in return for a published rate for the space or time used.'

According to Kotler, (2003) advertising objectives can be classified according to whether the aim is to inform, persuade, remind or reinforce. Touching on advertising objectives, Jobber (2007) has this to say. The ultimate aim of advertising is used to stimulate sales and increase profits; but of more operational value is a clear understanding of its communication objectives. He goes on to say that advertising can create awareness, stimulate trial, position products in the minds of consumers, correct misconceptions, remind and reinforce and provide support for the sales force.

Advertising effectiveness, therefore, has to do with the extent to which an advertisement stimulates sales and/or profitability. Effective advertisements stimulate sales and ineffective advertisements, as it were, do not stimulate sales. Advertising effectiveness is therefore measured by whether a consumer bought a particular product through the stimulation of its advertisement (Jobber 2007).

According to Staymond and Batra (1991), Advertising likeability deals with how consumers process advertising information and their involvement with it. Likeability therefore has to do with the extent to which consumers are ready to process information that is carried by an advertisement. Advertisements that are liked are those that engage consumers' minds and hearts. …