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Attention, Memory, and Evaluation of Schema Incongruent Brand Messages. An Empirical Study

Author

Listed:
  • Georgios Halkias

    ()

  • Flora Kokkinaki

    ()

Abstract

A widely held conception in the marketing literature is to develop consistency and relevancy when communicating brand meaning to consumers. The underlying idea behind traditional theories of persuasive communication suggests that matching the message to consumers’ perceptions and experiences increases the effectiveness of communication. Based on the implications of schema theory in cognitive psychology, the present research challenges the above hypothesis and proposes that moderately incongruent brand messages may lead to more favorable results. An empirical study was conducted that investigated consumers’ cognitive and affective responses to advertising information that varied in terms of incongruity (i.e., congruent, moderately incongruent, and extremely incongruent) with their existing brand schemata. As predicted, the results supported a non-monotonic, inverted-U relationship across the degree of incongruity. Advertisements featuring moderately incongruent brand information resulted in more ad processing, better recall and recognition memory, as well as more favorable ad and brand attitude, compared to congruent and extremely incongruent advertisements. The practical implications and the theoretical relevance of these findings for future consumer research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Georgios Halkias & Flora Kokkinaki, 2010. "Attention, Memory, and Evaluation of Schema Incongruent Brand Messages. An Empirical Study," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 032, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:labsit:032
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    Keywords

    Schema incongruent brand messages.;

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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