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Broadening the Empirical Generalisation: The Impact of Brand Usage on Memories of Advertising

Brand Users have higher advertising recall

Who you show an advertisement to will greatly impact how people respond to it. This paper from the archives explores the impact of prior usage on advertising effectiveness, finding users of a brand were more likely to recall that brand’s advertising than non-users.

In many ways, the findings of this paper is more relevant today, with digital technology and data-products enabling more-sophisticated targeting of advertising beyond simple demographics.

The abstract and full paper are available below :


It is well recognised that memories of advertising are affected by the usage of the advertised brand (Rice and Bennett, 1998; Sharp, et al., 2001; Sharp, et al., 2002). In two exploratory papers, users of a brand were found to be about twice as likely to recall and recognise advertising for that brand than non-users. Our paper further tests this empirical generalisation by using an alternative methodology with a broader range of measures and categories.

Using an experimental methodology, we investigated 431 users and non-users for a range of brands. Like Sharp, Beal and Romaniuk (2001; 2002), it was found that users of a brand were more likely (though slightly less than twice as likely) to recall that brand’s advertising than non-users. We also demonstrated, however, that the magnitude of this difference between users and non-users varied according to the measure used – that is, unprompted recall for users was 54% higher, on average, compared to non-users, and only 19% higher for recognition measures. In addition, we found this to vary based on the market type, with the difference between users and non-users being greater in FMCG compared to the durable markets.

Peter Hammer and Erica Riebe

ANZMAC Conference 2006

Full paper available here:

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