Psychological Tests - Advertising Management

Pupil Dilation Test
In this we observe the pupil of the eye. It can widen when it sees something interesting and shrinks if the advertisement depicts violence or unpleasant things. It measures the dilation. The instrument is known as the pupilometer. The eyes of the respondents are watched to study the interest. If the pupil expands and the respondent open his eyes widely, it shows his interest in the product. If the pupil contracts and the respondent tends to contract the eyes then he is disinterested in the scene shown.
Movement of the Eye: The movements of the eyes is also an indicator of the interest of the respondent.

Galvanic Test
A galvanometer is used to indicate the gland activity, tension or the sweating of hands etc. change in perspiration indicates the change in emotions. One can have different emotions by seeing a sexy object or a fight or a dramatic scene. This change in emotion is reflected on the galvanometer.

Voice Variations
The pitch of the voice changes with emotional responses.

Post testing Method
After the advertisement has run for a considerable period of time, it is tested to measure its effectiveness.
These tests are: recall test, recognition test, attitude test sales test and enquiry test.

Recall Test
In this test, the respondents are asked to recall the ads they have seen and the brand is concealed and asked whether they had seen the ad through reading, listening or viewing (Aided recall). In unaided recall, no prompting is done and they are asked whether they had read, seen or heard the message. Respondents are lured by some inducements to answer the enquiries. It measures the effect of Media as well as individual advertising. Only factor of the advertisement is examined at a time.
Recall test: This comes under two categories, aided recall and unaided recall.
Aided recall: It measures the memory of the respondent by asking him to recall what he saw on the TV It is an objective test. The respondent is contacted on phone to find out the recalls of the commercial he had seen 2 hours earlier. Then the Ad may be provided by asking whether he remembers the Ad on some subjects like energy or an Ad on X brand. The recall test may takes may place in a day or two or even immediately.
Unaided recall: In this, Ad is provided to the respondent. Respondents are asked whether the advertisement included a particular picture or message. The name of the brand is not given. If they can recall then it may be concluded that the advertisement was effective.
Combined Recall Test
This is a combination of the above two methods of recall. The respondents are asked whether they have read the magazine or newspaper or heard the radio or seen the T. V. Ad.

  • The respondents must first be able to recall the editorial features of the Ad.
  • They are handed group, of cards in which the names of the advertised brands areprinted.
  • Then the respondents are questioned in depth to evaluate the accuracy of recall.
  • A copy of this is given to the respondents and asked as to how many times they have seen the Ad. Those who had seen the Ad one time are retained, the rest are discarded. The demographic factors like age, sex, occupation effect the recall. It measures there call of qualified readers. Other information whether the respondents is a prospective buyer or not is also found out.

The limitation of this test is the heavy cost. People have different memories. It can not effectively measure because the success or failure of the advertisement.
Recognition Test
This is conducted to see whether the Ad is recognized or not. This test can be conducted by mail surveys. The Ad can be broken into headlines, layouts, body, copy logo etc. and it is seen how these elements are remembered by the respondents. The recognition test can be conducted in a number of ways. The magazines are placed in the home of the respondents and they are requested to read that magazine on that day. Next day they are asked questions about the ad appearing in that magazines to assess the recall of ads.
It refers to the effectiveness of ad in Print Media. In this the consumers respond by asking for more information. Inquiries may be by phone calls, coupons returned or asking for free samples. The researcher tests the attention getting value, readability and comprehension. In this method, samples are drawn from urban areas where the magazine is circulated and read. Interviewers determine circulation and readership. Participants are asked to go through the magazine, and looking at the Ads provide specific responses. The results indicate that the respondents not only read the Ad but also took some action which is a relatively stronger indicator than recall or awareness. It stresses that the mere presence of an ad in a Media or magazine has no meaning unless it is read by the audience. It is also known as Readership Test. They try to find out how many people have read the advertisement. For conducting the test samples of magazines are sent to respondents and then it is found that how many or what percentage of the people read the magazine that was sent to them. It is also found out how many remember the Advertisement or the brand, and the number of readers attracted to the advertisement. It helps to find out the cost incurred on it. It is believed that there is high correlation between the reading of the advertisement and the purchase of the product. This technique was developed by Daniel Starch. The result of advertisement were measured under normal conditions. Competitive achievements can also be measured by this test. It is a simple test. This test has its limitations as well. Readers of the advertisement do not necessarily purchase the product nor do the nonreaders shy away from the product. By examining a few ads magazines and having a small number of respondents the test may not be valid. Bias can be a criterion for the respondent and the researcher. It is an uncontrolled test and distorted results are a possibility in it.
Eye Camera
The eye camera is used to measure the behaviour of the respondent. The audience is asked to view a series of pictures. His eye movements are measured by the camera. The eye can be fixed on the object which may be interpreted as interesting. He can move his eyes from one corner to the other. It can be discovered which part of the advertisement looks interesting to him.
Attitude Test
The attitude of potential customers can be measured on the attitude scale. The scale measures the customer’s attitude on a continuum from very favourable at one end to very and unfavourable at the other. These scales can be a five point Likert scale or a seven-point scale as shown with a neutral point between.

customer’s attitude
Attitude change: has already been discussed earlier in brief. It consists of semantic differentiated scale, the likest scale and the ranking techniques.

Semantic differential scale

The likest scale has been discussed earlier.
Ranking techniques: Products and brands are ranked in order of preference by the consumers.
Projective techniques: Like the sentence completeness test and; the one word association and the TAT test etc.
Sales Tests: Advertising and sales function are co related. Measurement of past sales over the years.
Field experiments. Experiments are conducted in the market under natural conditions.
Matched samples.In a similar area or a similar age group experiments are conducted on 2 sets of groups own who have seen the Ad and the others that have not seen the advertisement. Their difference in sales is studied to measure the effectiveness of the advertisement. Other scales for measuring the attitude is the Semantic differential scale. If the advertisement can change the attitude of the customer towards the advertiser’s product. It is considered effective.

Depth Interview
This is done by asking suitable questions from the respondent who unhesitatingly answers the questions. It brings out his uncons reactions. It is a kind of non-structured questionnaire. This technique is used for Exploratory Research. Pro-active questions are asked in a congenial atmosphere. The test includes sentence completion test, the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)and other expressive techniques to pretest the advertisements.

Day After Recall (DAR) Test
The measure of effectiveness of the Ad is that how many people can recall the Ad. In simple words magazines or Ads in any form is shown to the respondents and after one day (24 hrs.), the respondents are asked to recall the Ad. The effectiveness of the Ad is measured by the percentage of recall. It is most popular method of post testing of the Ads. The drawback of this program is that some people have better memories than others. Rational messages are easier to recall than emotional messages. Since the recall is to be made verbal the expression of the respondent must be considered as well.

How to Improve Advertising Effectiveness
Ad. effectiveness is the joint responsibility of the advertiser and the advertising agency. The advertising should be judged on its merit like attention value, comprehensibility, credibility, technical execution, overall impact, originality etc.

Jerome Mccarthy had said about 4 decades back that “Evaluating advertising effectiveness is not easy”. This holds true even today. The controversy raised by DAGMAR (Defining advertising goals for measuring advertising results) sales/communication being the objectives of advertising.If sales is the objective it can be quantitatively measured but sales can also be because of many extraneous factors. Even when communication is the goal it is difficult to measure its effectiveness. It can be however be measured with audiences ability to recall and recognize the message. The effectiveness of the Ads can also be measured by comparing the present sales with the past sales. Therefore, it becomes obvious that the exact measurement of effectiveness can be measured in a number of ways but it cannot be very accurate as many factors are to be considered and evaluated. These could be:

  1. The cost per thousand target buyers incurred on media category and media vehicle.
  2. Percentage of audience who read saw and noted the Ad.
  3. Consumer opinion on the ad contents and effectiveness.
  4. Change in attitude after seeing the Ad.
  5. No of enquiries received for the Ad.

Advertising efficiency can be improved by better message better positioning better use of media, clear objectives, pre testing of the Ad etc.

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