The Journal of Advertising Research has been instrumental in supporting new ideas about how advertising works, no matter how unpopular their implications. In 1971, Herb Krugman presented evidence that television watching was low involvement compared to print. Three years later, Andrew Ehrenberg postulated that repetition-not persuasion-was how advertising influenced most people. Received wisdom, however, still holds that television advertising works persuasively and works best at high attention levels. This article critically examines this assumption, concluding that the continued success of television advertising in building strong brands most likely will depend not on its ability to persuade but on how well it is able to influence emotions at low levels of attention.
Heath, R. G., & Stipp, H. (2011). The secret of television's success: emotional content or rational information? After fifty years the debate continues. Journal of Advertising Research, 51(1), 112-123. https://doi.org/10.2501/jar-51-1-112-123