Branded Memorability 


People tend to only remember what is interesting and involving in a commercial. These creative elements that leave long-lasting memories, must serve the intended purpose of the advertisement. Which is why copy tests, like Millward Brown’s LinkTM, emphasize the importance of “functional creativity” — creativity that relates tightly to both the intended message and the brand.

To assess branded memorability, we typically ask this question in a copy test: There are some adverts that people remember but never know which brand they are for. Which of these phrases applies to this advertisement?

  • You could not fail to remember the ad was for [brand].
  • The ad is quite good at making you remember it is for [brand].
  • The ad is not all that good at making you remember it is for [brand].
  • It could have been an ad for any brand of [category].
  • It could have been an ad for almost anything.

The development of brand and advertising salience, as mentioned earlier, is a core objective of advertising. Salience is measured in terms of the percentage of consumers who claim they are aware. Top-of-mind awareness is the first brand (advertising) that comes to mind. Spontaneous or unaided awareness is brand (advertising) recall without prompting, and aided awareness is brand (advertising) recall with prompting.

Ipsos ASI’s day-after responses approach enables the company to track the proportion of respondents who claim they have seen the ad, and those who are able to play back elements of the ad that are either general or exclusive to the execution.

Once a commercial has been aired, advertising awareness and brand linkage is tested via brand-led claimed awareness as well as de-branded recognition.

Brand-led claimed ad awareness is not execution specific; it measures a perception or belief that a brand has been advertised. Typically we ask this question to measure brand-led claimed awareness: “Have you seen any television advertising for [brand] recently?”

On the other hand recognition is execution specific; it measures exposure to and recall of a particular piece of advertising creative that is shown in the form of a telepic. It is de-branded — so for example, if we were to use the telepic shown in Exhibit 23.0, the Coca-Cola branding on the bottles would have to be masked.

The question is phrased along the following lines: “I'm going to read out a description of [show you] an ad for a brand of [category] that has been on television recently, and I'd like you to tell me if you have seen the ad or not.”

Those respondents who claim to be aware of the ad are then asked what brand it was for.

Exhibit 23.7   Branded Memorability — visibility and recognition (brand linkage).

Exhibit 23.7 presents the results from a specific research study. In this example branded memorability is weak. Only a relatively small proportion (one in three) of the respondents claimed they definitely or probably saw the ad. Furthermore one in two who claimed to have seen the ad, could not recall the brand, and one in four (12.5/50) who claimed they knew what brand was advertised, got it wrong! This advertisement was weak both in terms of visibility as well as brand recognition.

While in this example the results are quite straight forward, conclusions should normally be based on benchmarks provided by the research agency. For instance, Ipsos ASI computes a benchmark measure called the Reach Index based on visibility and recognition or brand linkage:  

           = 33% × 37.5% = 12.5% (for the example in Exhibit 23.7).

A high reach index means more people noticed the ad and associate it with the brand.

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