appeal) or no involvement correspondence (neither type of involvement corresponded to appeal). For example, the optimizing appeal was significantly more effective in the high involvement correspondence cell than in those cells where either AMI or BRI, but not both were high, and in those cells where neither AMI or BRI were high.
The Principle of Optimal Advertising Contribution was supported. The experimental results are consistent with the notion that to be maximally effective, (a) advertising must communicate at the level of information consumers prefer to use at the brand response occasion as determined by BRI and (b) AMI and BRI must correspond.
The RAM of advertising effectiveness has several key implications for the planning and implementation of advertising strategy. First, it stresses the importance for advertisers to understand more "global" aspects of consumer decision making, not just tactical methodologies such as benefit segmentation. In order to develop a sound advertising strategy, advertisers must first be able to ascertain what level of information consumers are likely to be using when they make purchase decisions. Second, it asserts that advertisers need to focus on BRI as the critical input to determine whether to pursue an affective, quality cue, or attribute-based advertising strategy.
By studying the antecedents of AMI and BRI, the RAM offers a means to predict those situations when advertising is most and least likely to be able to directly influence brand choice. In situations where AMI and BRI can be expected to be relatively equal, advertising has the greatest opportunity to directly impact on choice. In those situations when AMI is expected to be less than BRI, advertising has less opportunity to directly influence brand choice. Effective advertising in this latter situation requires more expert manipulation of the controllable antecedents of AMI (e.g., highly relevant message content and unique, arousing executional elements). In this situation it may be prudent to "downgrade" advertising's role to influence consideration rather than choice. It may be best advised for other elements of the marketing mix such as packaging, POP, sales promotion, distribution intensity, and shelf-space dominance to take greater priority than advertising.
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