Posted by: teddykw | 9 February, 2010

The Cognitive Response Approach

Sumber: George E.Blech & Michael A. Belch, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION An Intergrated Marketing Communication Perspective, Sixth Edition, © The McGraw−Hill Companies, 2003: Halaman 157-158

One of the most widely used methods for examining consumers’ cognitive processing of advertising messages is assessment of their cognitive responses, the thoughts that occur to them while reading, viewing, and/or hearing a communication.26 These thoughts are generally measured by having consumers write down or verbally report their reactions to a message. The assumption is that these thoughts reflect the recipient’s cognitive processes or reactions and help shape ultimate acceptance or rejection of the message.

The cognitive response approach has been widely used in research by both academicians and advertising practitioners. Its focus has been to determine the types of responses evoked by an advertising message and how these responses relate to attitudes toward the ad, brand attitudes, and purchase intentions. Figure 5-8 depicts the three basic categories of cognitive responses researchers have identified—product/message, sourceoriented, and ad execution thoughts—and how they may relate to attitudes and intentions.

Product/Message Thoughts The first category of thoughts comprises those directed at the product or service and/or the claims being made in the communication. Much attention has focused on two particular types of responses, counterarguments and support arguments.

Counterarguments are thoughts the recipient has that are opposed to the position taken in the message. For example, consider the ad for Ultra Tide shown in Exhibit 5-9. A consumer may express disbelief or disapproval of a claim made in an ad. (“I don’t believe that any detergent could get that stain out!”) Other consumers who see this ad may generate support arguments, or thoughts that affirm the claims made in the message. (“Ultra Tide looks like a really good product—I think I’ll try it.”)


Exhibit 5-9 Consumers
often generate support
arguments in response to
ads for quality products

The likelihood of counterarguing is greater when the message makes claims that oppose the receiver’s beliefs. For example, a consumer viewing a commercial that attacks a favorite brand is likely to engage in counterarguing. Counterarguments relate negatively to message acceptance; the more the receiver counterargues, the less likely he or she is to accept the position advocated in the message.27 Support arguments, on the other hand, relate positively to message acceptance. Thus, the marketer should develop ads or other promotional messages that minimize counterarguing and encourage support arguments.

Source-Oriented Thoughts A second category of cognitive responses is directed at the source of the communication. One of the most important types of responses in this category is source derogations, or negative thoughts about the spokesperson or organization making the claims. Such thoughts generally lead to a reduction in message acceptance. If consumers find a particular spokesperson annoying or untrustworthy, they are less likely to accept what this source has to say.

Of course, source-related thoughts are not always negative. Receivers who react favorably to the source generate favorable thoughts, or source bolsters. As you would expect, most advertisers attempt to hire spokespeople their target audience likes so as to carry this effect over to the message. Considerations involved in choosing an appropriate source or spokesperson will be discussed in Chapter 6.

Ad Execution Thoughts The third category of cognitive responses shown in Figure 5-8 consists of the individual’s thoughts about the ad itself. Many of the thoughts receivers have when reading or viewing an ad do not concern the product and/or message claims directly. Rather, they are affective reactions representing the consumer’s feelings toward the ad. These thoughts may include reactions to ad execution factors such as the creativity of the ad, the quality of the visual effects, colors, and voice tones. Ad execution-related thoughts can be either favorable or unfavorable. They are important because of their effect on attitudes toward the advertisement as well as the brand.

In recent years, much attention has focused on consumers’ affective reactions to ads, especially TV commercials.28 Attitude toward the ad (A→ad) represents the receivers’ feelings of favorability or unfavorability toward the ad. Advertisers are interested in consumers’ reactions to the ad because they know that affective reactions are an important determinant of advertising effectiveness, since these reactions may be transferred to the brand itself or directly influence purchase intentions. One study found that people who enjoy a commercial are twice as likely as those who are neutral toward it to be convinced that the brand is the best.29

Consumers’ feelings about the ad may be just as important as their attitudes toward the brand (if not more so) in determining an ad’s effectiveness.30 The importance of affective reactions and feelings generated by the ad depend on several factors, among them the nature of the ad and the type of processing engaged in by the receiver.31 Many advertisers now use emotional ads designed to evoke feelings and affective reactions as the basis of their creative strategy. The success of this strategy depends in part on the consumers’ involvement with the brand and their likelihood of attending to and processing the message.

We end our analysis of the receiver by examining a model that integrates some of the factors that may account for different types and levels of cognitive processing of amessage.

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