Origins of The Psychology of Advertising by John Eighmey
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Origins of The Psychology of Advertising by John Eighmey

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Presentation illustrates and elaborates on the scholarly article about Harlow Gale who, in the late 1890s, was the founder of The Psychology of Advertising. The cite for the article is: John......

Presentation illustrates and elaborates on the scholarly article about Harlow Gale who, in the late 1890s, was the founder of The Psychology of Advertising. The cite for the article is: John Eighmey & Sela Sar 2007), "Harlow Gale and the Origins of the Psychology of Advertising," Journal of Advertising, Vol. 36, No. 4. pages 147-158.

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  • 1. Origins of Psychology of Advertising John Eighmey 211 Murphy Hall eighmey@umn.edu Copyright 2013. John Eighmey. All rights reserved.
  • 2. The Psychology of AdvertisingPresentation based upon:John Eighmey & Sela Sar (2007), “Harlow Gale and the Origins of The Psychology of Advertising,”Journal of Advertising, Vol 36, No. 4, pages 147-158.
  • 3. What is psychology?
  • 4. Who was the first person to study the psychology of advertising? Call for a lifeline?
  • 5. Who was the first person to study the psychology of advertising? Sigmund Freud?
  • 6. Who was the first person to study the psychology of advertising? Harlow Gale
  • 7. In 1895, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota, Harlow Gale,began to carry out laboratory experiments designed to assess therelative attention value of various characteristics of advertising.
  • 8. Sidney Sherman (1900) “Advertising in the United States,” American Statistical Association, No.52.
  • 9. Minneapolis street car advertising at time of Gale’s studies Minneapolis Street Car Advertising in 1896!
  • 10. Minneapolis street car advertising at time of Gale’s studies Minneapolis Street Car Advertising in 1904!
  • 11. Origins of advertising research:In the fall of 1895, Harlow Gale sent aquestionnaire to 200 businesses in theTwin Cities. Twenty were 20 returned.Gale wanted to learn the practitioner’sperspective on the kinds of activitiesThat encompass advertising.He asked practitioners to list and rankthe activities in order of importance.The responses led Gale to expand hislist of advertising media beyond traditionalprint media to include things such as:placards, signs, bulletin boards, storewindows, novelties such as pencils andtoys, clocks, rulers, directories, deliverywagons, samples, catalogs, banners,coupons, theater programs, and floats.
  • 12. Origins of advertising research:On the basis of his survey results,Gale offered what may be the firstconceptual definition of advertising: “The direct kinds of advertising might be characterized as any intentional means used to associate in the buyer’s mind any article or group of articles of commerce with a particular make of that article or with a particular seller of it.”
  • 13. Daniel Starch, writing in 1914: “Commercial advertising, with which we are here concerned, is the offering of a commodity, usually through print, in such a manner that the public may be induced to buy it.”
  • 14. During the 1896-97 academic year, Gale began a seriesof experiments about the effects of magazine advertising
  • 15. Gale attempted to simulate the experienceof seeing ads in magazines
  • 16. Series AMagazine Ads 58 ad pages from Century, Harpers and Cosmopolitan were rotated across the trials Wundt’s “gravitiy controlled” tachistiscope from 1897 appears more complicated than Gale’s approach
  • 17. Imagine you are in a darkened laboratory room in 1895…
  • 18. Trial 1.When the light flashes, please report the matter first seen.
  • 19. Trial 2.
  • 20. Trial 3.
  • 21. Trial 4.
  • 22. Trial 5.
  • 23. Series AMagazine Ad Pages Association with Product Association with ProductStimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 35.9% 5.9% 41.8% Words 51.6% 6.7% 58.3% Cuts 32.2% 26.0% 58.2% Cuts 29.5% 12.2% 41.7% 68% 32% 100% 81% 19% 100% Association with Product Association with ProductStimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 34.2% 2.7% 37.0% Words 42.2% 7.9% 50.1% Cuts 31.8% 31.2% 63.0% Cuts 26.6% 23.3% 49.9% 66% 34% 100% 69% 31% 100%
  • 24. Series AMagazine Ad Pages 400 350 300 250 RW IW 200 RC IC O 150 100 50 0 Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5
  • 25. Series BSpecial Sheets
  • 26. Series BSpecial Sheets Special Sheet #1 Special Sheet #5 “Two relevant and two “Two relevant and two irrelevant sets of words, irrelevant quarter page cuts.” each a quarter page.”
  • 27. Series BSpecial Sheets 60.00% 50.00% 40.00% Special 30.00% Harpers Century 20.00% 10.00% 0.00% RW IW RC IC
  • 28. Series BSpecial Sheets Association with Product Association with Product Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 35.9% 17.7% 53.6% Words 53.7% 11.7% 65.4% Cuts 25.6% 20.8% 46.4% Cuts 16.5% 18.1% 34.6% 61% 39% 100% 70% 30% 100% Association with Product Association with Product Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 37.5% 10.4% 47.9% Words 47.3% 10.4% 57.8% Cuts 30.0% 22.1% 52.1% Cuts 21.3% 20.9% 42.2% 68% 33% 100% 69% 31% 100%
  • 29. Series BSpecial Sheets450400350300 RW250 IW RC200 IC O15010050 0 Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5
  • 30. Series A versus B •  Magazine Ad Pages •  Special Sheets Association with Product Association with ProductStimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 46.8% 7.3% 54.1% Words 42.2% 7.9% 50.1% Cuts 28.0% 17.9% 45.9% Cuts 26.6% 23.3% 49.9% 75% 25% 100% 69% 31% 100%400 450 400350 350300 300250 RW RW IW 250 IW200 RC RC IC 200 IC O O150 150100 10050 50 0 0 Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5 Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5
  • 31. Series BSelected Special Sheets Selected Special Ad Sheets #1. 2 relevant and 2 irrelevant sets of words, each a quarter page #3. 2 quarter page sets of words, one relevant and one irrelevant; two quarter page cuts, one relevant and one irrelevant #5. 2 relevant and two irrelevant cuts of different shapes #10 Two relevant and two irrelevant quarter page sets of words
  • 32. Series BSelected Special Sheets Association with Product Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 45.2% 26.0% 71.2% Cuts 13.3% 15.5% 28.8% Association with Product 59% 41% 100% Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 51.3% 22.3% 73.6% Association with Product Cuts 12.3% 14.1% 26.4% Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant 64% 36% 100% Words 51.6% 21.0% 72.7% Cuts 12.9% 14.4% 27.3% 65% 35% 100%
  • 33. Series BSelected Special Sheets 160 140 120 100 RW IW 80 RC IC 60 40 20 0 Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5
  • 34. Comparison of Table Totals •  Magazine Ad Pages •  Special Sheets •  Selected Special Sheets Association with Product Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 46.8% 7.3% 54.1% Cuts 28.0% 17.9% 45.9% 75% 25% 100% Association with Product Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 42.2% 7.9% 50.1% Cuts 26.6% 23.3% 49.9% 69% 31% 100% Association with Product Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 51.3% 22.3% 73.6% Cuts 12.3% 14.1% 26.4% 64% 36% 100%
  • 35. Comparison of First Exposures •  Gale then focused on the initial exposure to Series A and B •  Magazine Ad Pages •  Special Sheets •  Selected Special Sheets Men Women Total Association with Product Association with Product Association with ProductStimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 35.9% 5.9% 41.8% Words 35.0% 4.3% 39.3% Words 35.0% 4.3% 39.3% Cuts 32.2% 26.0% 58.2% Cuts 32.0% 28.7% 60.7% Cuts 32.0% 28.7% 60.7% 68% 32% 100% 67% 33% 100% 67% 33% 100% Association with Product Association with Product Association with ProductStimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 35.9% 17.7% 53.6% Words 37.5% 10.4% 47.9% Words 37.7% 15.4% 53.1% Cuts 25.6% 20.8% 46.4% Cuts 30.0% 22.1% 52.1% Cuts 24.9% 22.0% 46.9% 61% 39% 100% 68% 33% 100% 63% 37% 100% Association with Product Association with Product Association with ProductStimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 22.7% 37.8% 60.5% Words 33.8% 22.5% 56.3% Words 27.1% 31.7% 58.8% Cuts 18.5% 21.0% 39.5% Cuts 22.5% 21.3% 43.8% Cuts 20.1% 21.1% 41.2% 41% 59% 100% 56% 44% 100% 47% 53% 100%
  • 36. Comparison of First Exposures •  Magazine Ad Pages - Series A •  Special Sheets - Series B •  Selected Special Sheets - Series B(S) •  Results for Series B(S) led Gale to speculate attention may be due to chance 250 200 150 Series A Series B Series B(S) 100 50 0 RW IW RC IC
  • 37. Series C •  Test of 13 sheets consisting of items clipped from ads •  Combinations of RW, IW, RC and IC •  Each item said to have 32 chances to be noticed on one of 13 sheets
  • 38. Series C •  Test of 13 sheets consisting of items clipped from ads •  Combinations of RW, IW, RC and IC •  Each item said to have 32 chances to be noticed on one of 13 sheets
  • 39. Series C •  Test of 13 sheets consisting of items clipped from ads •  Combinations of RW, IW, RC and IC •  Each item said to have 32 chances to be noticed on one of 13 sheets •  Gale described results as “startling in comparison with the old ones”
  • 40. Series C •  Test of 13 sheets consisting of items clipped from ads •  Combinations of RW, IW, RC and IC •  Each item said to have 32 chances to be noticed on one of 13 sheets •  Gale described results as “startling in comparison with the old ones” •  Results said to be confounded by •  Lack of precision in defining relevant and irrelevant cuts •  Varying sizes for the type and cuts 60 50 40 Trial 1-M All Trials -M 30 Trial 1-F All Trials-F 20 10 0 RW IW RC IC
  • 41. Series D •  Test of six sheets of clippings from ads with cuts linked to article advertised •  Relevancy and irrelevancy of items said to be more precisely determined •  Each article was represented by words and a cut •  Words and cuts equally divided between relevant and irrelevant •  Outcome showed gain for relevant cuts
  • 42. Series E •  “To obviate this disturbing element of varying size another series E was prepared” •  Gale’s first test of single page mock-up ads •  10 mock-up ad sheets with two items (words or cuts) per page •  The 10 pages were the permutations of 4 items (RW,IW,RC,IC), 2 at a time •  The two combinations of irrelevant words and cuts were not tested Sheet #1 RC - Quaker Oats Man RW - “Quaker Oats”
  • 43. Series E •  Test of 10 mock-up ad sheets with two items (words or cuts) per page •  The 10 pages were all permutations of 4 items (RW,IW,RC,IC), 2 at a time •  The two combinations of irrelevant words and cuts were not tested •  This series is said to confirm relevant words as gaining greatest attention Association with Product Stimuli Relevant Irrelevant Words 30.7% 25.3% 56.0% Cuts 18.4% 25.6% 44.0% 49.1% 50.9% 100.0%
  • 44. Series E •  Test of 10 mock-up ad sheets with two items (words or cuts) per page •  The 10 pages were all permutations of 4 items (RW,IW,RC,IC), 2 at a time •  This series is said to confirm relevant words as gaining greatest attention •  Further analysis of Gale’s data shows challenges of isolating variables
  • 45. Effects of Repetition •  Gale combined the data from Tables I, II and III •  Simulation of repeated exposures to an ad 60 80 70 50 60 40 50 Relevant Words Relevant Words Irrelevant Words Irrelevant Words 30 40 Relevant Cuts Relevant Cuts Irrelevant Cuts Irrelevant Cuts 30 20 20 10 10 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Tables 1 & 2 - Men Table 3 - Men 70 80 70 60 60 50 50 40 Relevant Words Relevant Words Irrelevant Words Irrelevant Words 40 Relevant Cuts Relevant Cuts 30 Irrelevant Cuts Irrelevant Cuts 30 20 20 10 10 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Tables 1 & 2 - Women Table 3 - Women
  • 46. Gender and Attention to Advertising •  Gale examined data from Series A, B and C (Tables I, II, III & V) •  Men appear to focus on literal interpretations (words, relevancy) •  Women appear to notice a balanced range of stimuli
  • 47. Effects of Page Position on Attention •  Gale examined attention to single words in horizontal quartiles •  The quartile above the middle was favored
  • 48. Effects of Type Size and Page Position on Attention •  Gale examined four varieties of type size placed in horizontal quartiles •  Again, the quartile above the middle was favored
  • 49. Effects of Type Size, Style and Page Position on Attention •  Four varieties of type size, and two type faces were placed in horizontal quartiles •  Study participants viewed pages through a 2 inch camera shutter •  The left side of the page was favored •  Women favored the quarter above the middle, men the quarter below the middle
  • 50. Effects of Color on Attention •  Gale tested the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, black and white •  Colors were placed in one-inch squares on a nine-inch square card •  Cards were viewed using is first apparatus (darkend room, light, table) •  Cards were rotated during the trials Cards rotated for each of 50 trials for each participant, nine men and seven women
  • 51. Effects Color on Attention •  Against black, green and red tied as the most attention getter colors for women •  Green was the most attention getting color for men
  • 52. Effects Color on Attention •  Against white, red was the most attention getter color for women •  Black was the most attention getting color for men
  • 53. Survey of the Effects Advertising on Purchasing Behavior •  Gale conducted surveys of students in his junior-level classes •  Students were asked “why” they made certain purchases •  Four response categories - Own experience - Recommendation of friends - Advertising for the item - ‘No reason’ given •  Own and other’s experiences grouped, advertising grouped with ‘no reason’ •  Gale concluded, “Tho the actual classification was rather uncertain, the rough results of all these tests together on seventy-nine males and fifty-eight females was 31% due to advertising with the males and 35% with the females.”
  • 54. Experiment on the Effects Advertising Claims on Intentions •  Six mock-up ads were constructed in four different product categories •  Study participants were asked to rank the six ads and to give a reason for each •  Here, Gale can be seen as attempting to link specific beliefs to attitudes
  • 55. Effects Advertising Claims on Intentions to Buy Soap •  22 men and 15 women chose the soap ad #2 as their first choice •  18 men and 6 women gave age of the firm as their first reason why
  • 56. Effects Advertising Claims on Intentions to Buy Soap •  Age - a signal of reliability - was the most frequent rationale for brand choice •  Government approval was the second most frequent rationale •  Low price was third •  Notice the category ‘attractive ad’ that presages ‘attitude toward the ad’
  • 57. Summary of Effects Advertising Claims on Intentions to Buy •  Age (along with reliability) was the most frequent rationale for brand choice •  Notice the importance of ‘attractive ad’ •  Price, or getting a good deal, was the fourth most utilized rationale •  Gale indicated men may be more influenced by age and bargains •  Gale indicated women may be more influenced by ad attractiveness and reliability
  • 58. The concept of “attitude toward the ad” •  To understand the concept, Gale looked for correlating reasons why •  Gale saw this as evidence for unconscious reasoning •  Gales language - this category of the “good ad” - suggests use of Gestalt Theory
  • 59. Gale speculated about the role of interpersonal influence •  Reputation for reliability was a key reason-why •  Age of firm is a signal of public acceptance -- reliability •  Survey participants voiced interest in consulting others before buying •  Gale related these findings to his earlier survey estimate of advertising influence
  • 60. Gale’s Summary
  • 61. Starch Test of Magazine AdReadership
  • 62. Daniel Starch (1923, page 501) made a graphof the data Gale presented on page 50 (Figure2) of his 1900 monograph.
  • 63. Psychology of AdvertisingFor more information see:John Eighmey & Sela Sar (2007), “Harlow Gale and the Origins of The Psychology of Advertising,”Journal of Advertising, Vol 36, No. 4, pages 147-158.