Uncover the Hidden Power of Television Programming.And Get the Most from Your Advertising Budget

By Bowers, Thomas A. | Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Uncover the Hidden Power of Television Programming.And Get the Most from Your Advertising Budget


Bowers, Thomas A., Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly


Uncover the Hidden Power of Television Programming...and Get the Most from Your Advertising Budget. Kevin J. Clancy and David W. Lloyd. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.,1999. 236 pp. $66 hbk. $29.95 pbk.

This book represents an attempt to market a doctoral dissertation by giving it a title and cover designed to attract marketing and advertising professionals and publishing it as a paperback book. Despite those efforts, however, it is still a dissertation, albeit an ambitious one. As a book for marketing strategists, it doesn't deliver quite what the title seems to promise-how to make advertising more effective. It offers tantalizing hints about how to use the authors' discovery, but an advertiser would apparently need to hire a consultant to get full benefit.

The authors' premise is that viewers will respond more positively to television advertising when it is placed in programs in which they have a high level of involvement. That is not a new idea, of course, but the authors say that studies which failed to demonstrate that unequivocally were flawed because they used unnatural, forced-viewing conditions.

Lloyd's dissertation research was a controlled laboratory experiment involving 470 women aged 18 to 49 from a Midwestern metropolitan area. They were assigned to various treatment groups, including both "natural" and artificial viewing conditions. In the "natural" condition, approximately fifteen women were placed in a setting resembling a residential living room and encouraged to take refreshments, look through magazines and newspapers, and talk to others while watching the television programs. In the artificial, no-distractions condition, slightly larger groups sat in folding chairs in front of a TV set and were admonished not to talk to each other.

The authors placed real commercials for actual products in regular network television programs. They developed sophisticated measures of viewer involvement and used five measures of advertising response: unaided proven recall, aided copy-point recall, commercial credibility, purchase interest, and behavioral intentions change. They analyzed the data with multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) and multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVA).

Their results showed a positive relationship between program involvement and advertising response. The response scores were higher in the artificial condition than in the natural condition, leading the authors to conclude that such conditions inflate the relationship between involvement and response to inaccurate levels. …

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