Planning Media Schedules in the Presence of Dynamic Advertising Quality

Naik, Prasad A.; Mantrala, Murali K.; Sawyer, Alan G.
September 1998
Marketing Science;1998, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p214
Academic Journal
AbstractA key task of advertising media planners is to determine the best media schedule of advertising exposures for a certain budget. Conceptually, the planner could choose to do continuous advertising (i.e., schedule ad exposures evenly over all weeks) or follow a strategy of pulsing (i.e., advertise in some weeks of the year and not at other times). Previous theoretical analyses have shown that continuous advertising is optimal for nearly all situations. However, pulsing schedules are very common in practice. Either the practice of pulsing is inappropriate or extant models have not adequately conceptualized the effects of advertising spending over time.This paper offers a model that shows pulsing strategies can generate greater total awareness than the continuous advertising when the effectiveness of advertisement (i.e., ad quality) varies over time. Specifically, ad quality declines because of advertising wearout during periods of continuous advertising and it restores, due to forgetting effects, during periods of no advertising. Such dynamics make it worthwhile for advertisers to stop advertising when ad quality becomes very low and wait for ad quality to restore before starting the next "burst" again, as is common in practice.Based on the extensive behavioral research on advertising repetition and advertising wearout, we extend the classical Nerlove and Arrow (1962) model by incorporating the notions of repetition wearout, copy wearout, and ad quality restoration. Repetition wearout is a result of excessive frequency because ad viewers perceive that there is nothing new to be gained from processing the ad, they withdraw their attention, or they become unmotivated to react to advertising information. Copy wearout refers to the decline in ad quality due to passage of time independent of the level of frequency. Ad quality restoration is the enhancement of ad quality during media hiatus as a consequence of viewers forgetting the details of the advertised messa...


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