The Stopping Power Of Advertising Measures And Effects Of A Visual Complexity

2570 words - 11 pages

Report: The stopping Power of Advertising Measures and Effects of a Visual Complexity
Rik Pieters, Michel Wedel, Rajeev Batra (2010)


1. Introduction 2
2. Starting Point 3
3. Feature Complexity 3
4. Design Complexity 4
5. Brand Identification Difficulty 5
6. Hypotheses 5
7. Data and Analysis 6
8. Results 7
8.1. Effects on Attention to Advertising 7
8.2. Effect on Ad Comprehensibility and Attitude Toward the Ad 7
9. Main Conclusions 8
10. Bibliography 9


As the world is getting more competitive over the years, companies are using advertising as part of a marketing program to boost sales ...view middle of the document...

There are two main schools of knowledge on this subject. Aitchinson (1999) and Book and Schink (1997) advocate simplicity and that advertising should be all about clean and simple points, “clutter-free design”. The reason is that complexity is harmful for advertisement since it will make people care less about to the brand and its respective message. Therefore, it can be concluded that simple advertisements will ease the recall of the brand and the comprehension of the message
On the other hand, there are authors who favor ads as a mess (in the good sense of the word), meaning complexity would be a positive influence in its effectiveness. According to Chamblee Nelson, Tan Putrevu, and Lord, (Chamblee Nelson et al.,
1993; Putrevu, Tan, and Lord, 2004), complexity will make costumers’ rhythm slower, and as a consequence the consumer pays more attention to the message in a sort of challenging way.
Once more, the authors distinguish two types of visual complexity: feature complexity – “Advertisements are visually complex when they contain dense perceptual features.” and Design complexity - “when they have an elaborate creative design“.
According to some academic research “the effect on advertising depends on the match between processing resources available to the consumer and those demanded by advertising”. Design complexity also helps advertising attention and likability while feature complexity damages it. .
Feature Complexity

As mentioned before, visual complexity concerns two other different concepts: feature and design. The first one damages advertisement, while the second one beneficiates it.
When mentioned, feature complexity highlights the detail and variation in the basic features of an advertisement such as colors, patterns, luminance and edges. The More variation in features the more complex images are.
In a computer image of an advertisement, the complexity is reflected in variation with the level of pixels. The more variation in the features, the more computer memory is needed to store an image. Following this thought, a new convenient measure of feature complexity will be available.
Design Complexity

Regarding design complexity, this concept will lean on the structured variation in terms of specific shapes and objects with some arrangements in the advertisements. Decisions about the design complexity are under direct control of advertisement agencies.
For this matter, several principles have been proposed: asymmetry in the shapes increases complexity, Attneave (1954); dissimilarity between objects in shape, color and size increase complexity, Wertheimer (1992); and other authors even claim that the number or amount of detail and irregularity in the images increases also complexity.
However, and with several contributions, the author identifies six general principles of design complexity:
I. Quantity of objects: the design complexity is higher when advertisements contain more objects;

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