IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Shape of Advertising Response Functions Revisited: A Model of Dynamic Probabilistic Thresholds

Listed author(s):
  • Demetrios Vakratsas


    (McGill University and ALBA, Faculty of Management, 1001 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1G5)

  • Fred M. Feinberg

    (University of Michigan Business School, 701 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109)

  • Frank M. Bass


    (School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas, 75083-0688)

  • Gurumurthy Kalyanaram


    (GK Associates)

Registered author(s):

    Prior work in marketing has suggested that advertising —levels beneath which there is essentially no sales response—are rarely encountered in practice. Because advertising policies settle into effective ranges through early trial and error, thresholds cannot be observed directly, and arguments for their existence must be based primarily on a "statistical footprint," that is, on relative fits of a range of model types. To detect possible threshold effects, we formulate a switching regression model with two "regimes," in only one of which advertising is effective. Mediating the switch between the two regimes is a logistic function of category-specific dynamic variables (e.g., order of entry, time in market, number of competitors) and advertising levels, nesting a variety of alternative formulations, among them both standard concave and S-shaped responses. A sequence of comparisons among parametrically related models strongly suggests: that threshold effects exist; that market share response to advertising is not necessarily globally concave; that superior fit cannot be attributed to model flexibility alone; and that dynamic, environmental, competitive, and brand-specific factors can influence advertising effectiveness. These effects are evident in two evolving durables categories (SUVs and minivans), although not in the one mature, nondurable category (liquid detergent) studied.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 109-119

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:23:y:2004:i:1:p:109-119
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Fred M. Feinberg, 2001. "On Continuous-Time Optimal Advertising Under S-Shaped Response," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(11), pages 1476-1487, November.
    2. Fred M. Feinberg, 1992. "Pulsing Policies for Aggregate Advertising Models," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(3), pages 221-234.
    3. Hartl, Richard F., 1987. "A simple proof of the monotonicity of the state trajectories in autonomous control problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 211-215, February.
    4. Webb, Peter H, 1979. " Consumer Initial Processing in a Difficult Media Environment," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 225-236, December.
    5. Gustav Feichtinger & Richard F. Hartl & Suresh P. Sethi, 1994. "Dynamic Optimal Control Models in Advertising: Recent Developments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(2), pages 195-226, February.
    6. Douglas Bowman & Hubert Gatignon, 1996. "Order of Entry as a Moderator of the Effect of the Marketing Mix on Market Share," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(3), pages 222-242.
    7. J. Miguel Villas-Boas & Russell S. Winer, 1999. "Endogeneity in Brand Choice Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(10), pages 1324-1338, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:23:y:2004:i:1:p:109-119. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.