Several authors have proposed frameworks to help advertisers predict and plan advertising effectiveness. Rossiter and Percy's advertising grid (1997) recommends that the ad appeal should match the purchase motivation or attitude base. They suggest that for utilitarian brands informational advertising is more effective than transformational advertising. Likewise, for hedonic brands transformational advertising is more effective than informational advertising. These recommendations were tested in an experiment with different products and different ads. Advertising effectiveness was measured by brand and ad evaluations. In contrast with Rossiter and Percy, we find that advertising that mismatches rather than matches the motivation for the brand is more effective. Our finding can be explained in two ways. Firstly, schema theory suggests that a moderate degree of incongruity between advertising and brand perceptions and unexpected but relevant information in the mismatching ad results in favorable evaluations, as compared with a matching ad. Secondly, research on attitudes and persuasion suggests that, if typical product category ads are associated with negative affect, the particular ad functions as a counterattitudinal message, which is more persuasive in the case of a mismatch rather than a match with the category ads. We find evidence for both explanations.

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Loef, J, Antonides, G, & van Raaij, W.F. (2001). The Effectiveness of Advertising Matching Purchase Motivation (No. ERS-2001-65-MKT). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from