Scandinavian Working Papers in Business Administration

MAPP Working Papers,
University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, The MAPP Centre

No 74: Model-based development and testing of advertising messages – A comparative study of two campaign proposals based on the Meccas model and a conventional approach,

Tino Bech-Larsen ()
Additional contact information
Tino Bech-Larsen: The MAPP Centre, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: The Aarhus School of Business. The MAPP Centre, Fuglesangs Allé 4, 8210 Aarhus V, Denmark

Abstract: 1. Traditionally the development of advertising messages has been based on “creative independence”, sometimes catalysed by inductively generated empirical data. Due to the recent intensified focus on advertising effectiveness, this state of affair is now beginning to change. 2. Implementing theoretically valid and comprehensible guidelines for message development potentially enhances the effects of advertising messages and improves the possibility of measuring such effects. Moreover, such guidelines also have potential implications for the managerial communication processes (client-agency and intra-agency) involved in the development of advertising messages. 3. The purpose of the study described in this paper is to compare the development and effects of two campaign proposals, with the common aim of increasing the consumption of apples among young Danes (18 to 35 years of age). One of the proposals is the result of an inductive-creative process, while the other is based on the MECCAS model, ie, means-end based data collection employing the laddering method and subsequent use of the guidelines for message development formulated in MECCAS. 4. The comparison involved target group communication effects as well as the efficiency of the managerial communication taking place in the message development process. The target group communication was assessed by pretesting the two campaign proposals (n=500). Linear structural Elam (Elaboration likelihood) models were estimated for both proposals. The managerial communication was studied by interviews with the advertising agency and client staff involved. The project is a joint venture of the Association of Danish Fruit Growers, Odense, Denmark, and the MAPP Centre, and is financed by EU funds. The advertising agency involved is Midtmarketing, Ikast, Denmark. 5. The main results of the managerial study was that the implementation of the MECCAS guidelines for message development led to better agency-client communication, which resulted in an improved common understanding of the objective of the campaign. The pretest showed that the MECCAS-based message compared to the conventionally developed message was perceived as more focused by the target group, stimulated central processing better, and was more effective in terms of self-reported buying intention.

Keywords: Concept and design in advertising; Advertising campaigns; Effects of advertising

30 pages, July 1, 2000

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