A. The advantages of congruent over incongruent media for advertising cars
B. The advantages of using magazines over television as an incongruent advertising medium
C. How incongruent media can be used for effective advertising
D. How advertising using only one type of media can increase brand awareness
NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in a business class.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:[Keep pace on the faster side throughout] Last time, we talked about the design and production of advertisements.Today we'll be discussing how advertisers decide where to display their ads.This is critical to a successful marketing campaign, because it builds up the consumers' "brand awareness"- their knowledge of a product made by a particular manufacturer.And studies show that the more you're aware of a product, there's a greater chance you'll buy it.
Now, most ads we see in the media-like in newspapers, television, or magazines- are placed where the product is matched with a medium of a similar "theme."Let's take, uh, the medium of magazines as an example.
If you were to flip though, say, an automotive magazine, what kind of ads would you expect to find? Jack?
MALE STUDENT:[Matter-of-factly; the answer is obvious] Ads for cars... car parts-tires, stuff like that...
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Good. When you have an ad for a certain product in media with a similar theme, we call that congruent media.
Congruent simply means, "it fits"-it's what you'd expect. Congruent media placement is the most logical choice for marketing a product.First, it's obvious that people reading a car magazine are interested in cars.So if you place a car ad there, you know you're reaching the right audience.Also, research shows that when people read an ad in a congruent medium, afterwards they have pretty good recall of what was advertised.
Now, there's another approach: that's placing ads in incongruent media.
Incongruent media are the magazines, newspapers, TV spots, where the "theme" doesn't match the theme of the product.Even though it seems counterintuitive, research shows this also is an effective marketing strategy.One study tested this by placing car advertisements in a magazine that had an incongruent theme, and it found that this contributed to consumers' positive attitude toward the ad... and the car being advertised.
MALE STUDENT:What kind of magazine was it?
FEMALE PROFESSOR:A cooking magazine.
MALE STUDENT:[Slightly incredulous] Wow, that worked? I'd've imagined it'd be a distraction to see something like that, y'know, out of place.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Well, keep in mind that potential car buyers don't read only car magazines. Most have other interests.Many of them probably subscribe to other magazines... a news weekly, a financial publication, something related to a special interest or hobby...So what marketers have to do, then, is carefully research potential customers, and look for overlapping interests... which magazines overlap most with the interests of the car buyer?Then, when they do choose to place ads in incongruent media, they know they'll be effective.
MALE STUDENT:[Understanding the point] ... OK....FEMALE PROFESSOR:Now this study suggests that, because the people reading a cooking magazine didn't expect to see a car ad, they actually paid more attention.And so, for example, when people who like reading about cars see a car ad in a car magazine, they might pass over it quickly, while here...MALE STUDENT:[Completing the thought]...they actually took more time to read the ad.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Right. People pay more attention- they process the information more carefully- when it appears in a medium with a different theme.This ultimately results in stronger brand awareness, which leads to a more favorable impression of that product overall. Jenny?
FEMALE STUDENT:[Disbelieving] So, according to this study, basically, when I see an ad in an unexpected place, it'll make me want to buy the product?
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Well, yes and no. The research shows that you'll probably remember that ad... and you're more likely to feel positive about that product.Now, whether you'll go out and buy it is another story.Of course, there are other factors at work here... you-you remember, those criteria we discussed last week....Anyway, this explains why most marketers today rely on a mix of congruent and incongruent media.
But there are limits to how incongruent the media should be. You don't want a total mismatch.So, in a magazine aimed at new parents, you often see car advertisements- since parents buy and drive cars.But, there are different types of cars, right? For example, placing an ad here for a big, roomy van, which is popular with big families, would make sense.But a snappy little sports car with only two seats? Well, that would clearly be too much of a mismatch.