Changing brand attitudes by pairing a brand with affectively laden stimuli such as celebrity endorsers or pleasant pictures is called evaluative conditioning. We show that this attitude change can occur in two ways, depending on how brands and affective stimuli are presented. Attitude change can result from establishing a memory link between brand and affective stimulus (indirect attitude change) or from direct “affect transfer” from affective stimulus to brand (direct attitude change). Direct attitude change is significantly more robust than indirect attitude change, for example, to changes in the valence of affective stimuli (unconditioned stimulus revaluation: e.g., endorsers falling from grace), to interference by subsequent information (e.g., advertising clutter), and to persuasion knowledge activation (e.g., consumer suspicion about being influenced). Indirect evaluative conditioning requires repeated presentations of a brand with the same affective stimulus. Direct evaluative conditioning requires simultaneous presentation of a brand with different affective stimuli.

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Keywords brand attitudes
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Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Journal of Consumer Research
Sweldens, S.T.L.R, van Osselaer, S.M.J, & Janiszewski, C. (2010). Evaluative Conditioning Procedures and the Resilience of Conditioned Brand Attitudes. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(3), 473–489. doi:10.1086/653656