Brand Familiarity and Advertising: Effects on the Evoked Set and Brand Preference

William Baker, University of Florida
J. Wesley Hutchinson, University of Florida
Danny Moore, Burke Marketing Services, Inc.
Prakash Nedungadi, University of Toronto
[ to cite ]:
William Baker, J. Wesley Hutchinson, Danny Moore, and Prakash Nedungadi (1986) ,"Brand Familiarity and Advertising: Effects on the Evoked Set and Brand Preference", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, eds. Richard J. Lutz, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 637-642.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, 1986      Pages 637-642


William Baker, University of Florida

J. Wesley Hutchinson, University of Florida

Danny Moore, Burke Marketing Services, Inc.

Prakash Nedungadi, University of Toronto


It is a well known fact that brand awareness, or familiarity, and brand choice are highly correlated (Axelrod 1968; Haley and Case 1979). This relationship undoubtably reflects the fact that choice increases awareness, if for no reason other than people will be exposed to the brands they choose more often than brands they leave on the shelf. Of greater interest is the proposition that brand awareness plays some causal role in the choice process. This is implied by the classic hierarchy of effects model of advertising effectiveness (Lavidge and Steiner 1961; Palda 1966) as well as the low involvement hierarchy proposed by Ray, Sawyer, Rothschild, Roger, and Reed (1973). In this paper we explore the theoretical and empirical bases of this proposition.

The Brand Familiarity Construct

In order to facilitate the present discussion, we will adopt a very particular working definition of brand familiarity and examine its viability.

DEFINITION. Brand familiarity is a unidimensional construct that is directly related to the amount of time that has been spent processing information about the brand, regardless of the type or content of the processing that was involved.

Thus, brand familiarity is the most rudimentary form of consumer knowledge. Moreover, this definition specifically assumes that brand familiarity is context-independent and is affected in more or less the same way by advertising exposures, purchase behavior, and product consumption or usage. This seems to be the simplest definition possible and is therefore a reasonable starting point for our investigation. In the remainder of this paper we examine two principal ways in which brand familiarity might affect brand choice: (1) by increasing the likelihood that the brand is included in the evoked set, and (2) by contributing to brand preference.


Wright and Barbour (1975) list three stages of a consumer decision - defining the pool of alternatives, reviewing relevant information in memory and applying a decision rule. The pool of alternatives has been referred to as an evoked or consideration set (Howard and Sheth 1969; Urban 1975). Evidence suggests that while consumers may have knowledge of a large number of brands in a product class, they may consider only a few of these for purchase on any particular occasion Bettman and Park 1980; Lussier and Olshavsky 1979). The composition of such an evoked set has important influences on subsequent probabilities of brand choice. First, a brand that is not considered cannot be chosen. Further, probability of choice is a function of both the number and nature of the other brands included in the evoked set (e.g., agenda effects, Tversky 1972). It is, therefore, important to examine in some detail factors that determine inclusion of a brand in the consumer's evoked set.

Brands can be included in an evoked set either by being recognized in the environment (in the case of a stimulus-based choice) or by being recalled from memory (in the case of memory-based choice; Bettman 1979; Lynch and Srull 1982). In both instances, the cues available to the consumer could determine the set of brands considered for choice. The traditional role ascribed to brand familiarity in such instances may be summarized in the following propositions:

PROPOSITION 1: In stimulus-based choice situations, brand familiarity enables quicker and easier perceptual identification of a brand and, therefore, facilitates inclusion in the evoked set.

PROPOSITION 2: In memory-based choice situations, brand familiarity increases the probability of a brand being recalled and, therefore, facilitates inclusion in the evoked set.

In the following sections we shall examine these propositions in greater detail.

Brand Recognition

Simple item familiarity, or strength, is no longer widely accepted as an explanation of recognition in the typical list learning tasks frequently studied by psychologists (see Crowder 1976, ch. 11; Mandler 1981). However, it can be argued that this is because the task requires items to be discriminated on the basis of the context at the time of encoding (i.e., the list in which they occurred). This task does not seem especially relevant for determining which brands will be included in a stimulus-based evoked set. More directly relevant are perceptual identification tasks, such as reading words and naming objects. For instance, word recognition tasks typically present words in some perceptually degraded fashion (e.g., visually masked, extremely brief duration, with missing letters, etc.) and require subjects to read the word aloud or simply indicate whether, or not, it is an actual English word. It seems plausible that the perceptual processes involved in such tasks are quite similar to those involved in quickly scanning a store shelf for brands to consider.

One of the most influential accounts of word recognition has been the logogen model of Morton (1969). This model originally assumed that words are represented by entities, called "logogens," that correspond to the meaning constituents of words (i.e., morphemes). The appropriate logogens must be activated in order for a given word to be identified and each activation lowers the threshold for subsequent activations. These lowered thresholds were intended to account for the fact that previous exposures to a word facilitate later word recognition (referred to as a "priming" effect). Thus, the logogen model provides a natural theoretical basis for brand familiarity on perceptual identification.

A number of recent empirical findings have questioned the validity of the logogen model, however. Morton (1979) found that facilitation occurred only at input. Specifically, if a subject was given the definition of a word and asked to produce the word in response. this did not facilitate later recognition of the word when visually presented. Further, he found that priming in the auditory modality did not generate facilitation in the visual modality. Morton (1979) extended his model by separating the input and output systems and by hypothesizing that the logogens for each modality were independent and distinct.

Recent research has fount, however, that priming effects can be even more context-specific. Of special interest is the finding that changes in the surface features of the stimulus, such as upper vs. lower case letters or identical vs. similar pictures of the same object, can significantly reduce the effectiveness of priming (Jacoby and Brooks 1984). This effect is most evident when initial processing is merely perceptual and does not involve naming the stimulus. We suspect that such merely perceptual processing is also more characteristic of advertising exposures. Some authors have interpreted this evidence as supporting the idea that the cognitive procedures in operation during encoding form some part of the memory trace (see Jacoby and Brooks 1984; Kolers and Roedigger 1984; Tulving 1984, 1985). Thus, advertising exposures will be most effective if the viewer engages in the same mental operations that will be required at the time of purchase (e.g., comparing brands, recognizing packaging and store displays, etc.).

The above information should not be overinterpreted. There is still considerable evidence that context independent familiarity can affect perceptual identification (again see Jacoby and Brooks 1984). What has been learned from recent research is that this is not the only, or even dominant, source of familiarity effects on perceptual identification. In fact, context independent familiarity may simply be the aggregate result of many context-specific traces. Such context-specific traces may correspond to lower-order logogens (Morton 1979), episodic memories (Jacoby and Brooks 1984; Tulving 1984, 1985), or activation patterns in a distributed memory network (McClelland and Rumelhart 1985).

Brand Recall

Most current accounts of recall postulate that information in memory is accessed via retrieval cues (Crowder 1976). Such cues may originate in the immediate environment, or they may be internally generated by the individual. In general, two types of retrieval cues could render a brand accessible on a particular choice occasion: (l) specific attributes or benefits, and (2) product class cues.

Specific attributes or benefits. Recent research on the usage situation suggests that a large percentage of variance in choice may be accounted for by considering the situation in which the product is purchased or consumed (e.g., Belk 1975; Day, Shocker and Srivastava 1979; Ptacek and Shanteau 1979. Currently, usage situations are believed to influence consumer choice by altering the importance weights of attributes in a multiattribute framework (e.g., Miller and Ginter 1979). In addition to affecting attribute utilities the usage situation exerts an important influence on choice by providing retrieval cues, specific to the situation. A consumer faced with product choice in a usage situation makes use of these retrieval cues to recall and consider brands strongly associated with them. Thus, for the product class of beverages, the usage situation of "lunch" may render the attributes "light" and "refreshing" salient, while the usage situation of "a wild party" may render "mixable with alcohol" and "popularity" salient. In both situations, beverages high on these attributes will be retrieved sod included in the evoked set.

As this discussion suggests, whenever situation specific cues trigger retrieval, a general familiarity with the brand may not be as important as familiarity with the brand in that situation. A beverage that is not "light and refreshing" may never be recalled in the context of lunch, although the consumer may be very familiar with it. On the other hand, a beverage with which the consumer is less familiar may have a higher probability of being recalled merely because it is perceived as being light and refreshing. As discussed earlier, the probability of retrieval will then have important influences on the probability of final choice. In many instances then, situation-specific familiarity may exert a greater influence on probability of choice than brand familiarity in general.

In an exploratory study subjects were given usage situational cues and asked to list the brands that came to mind, within specific product classes. Low correlations were obtained for probability of brand recall across situations, specially when the most salient or familiar brands were excluded from the analysis. The study was replicated across a number of product classes. While one or two major brands (e.g., McDonalds in the case of restaurants, Coke in the case of non-alcoholic beverages, or Burdines and Sears in the case of stores), tended to be recalled consistently whenever the product class was mentioned, probability of recall of other brands tended to be driven by situational cues. This suggests that except in the case of extremely familiar brands such as Coke, overall brand familiarity mag influence recall less than context-specific considerations. Further work is in progress to study the important role of contextual cues on choice (Nedungadi 1985).

Brand familiarity, devoid of context may still play an important role in retrieval in a number of instances. This is most certainly the case in product classes where the usage-situation does not account for large amounts of variance in choice. In addition, cues other than attributes sought often guide retrieval in a purchase context.

Product-class cues. The product class or subcategory to which the brand belongs could serve as a retrieval cue in many instances. A consumer may seek a "fruit juice" to have with a meal or a "soda" to mix with alcohol. Research on categorization processes has established the importance of "prototypicality" as a determinant of the strength of association between a category concept and members of the category (e.g., Rosch 1975; Smith & Medin 1981). Prototypicality of a brand is a measure of how representative the brand is of its product category. Operationally, prototypicality is measured by individuals' ratings of how "good an example" they consider the object of a category. When the product class serves as a retrieval cue, brands that are prototypical are likely to be recalled faster and more often (Nedungadi and Hutchinson 1985; also see Barsalou 1985; Rosch and Mervis 1975). This should lead to a higher probability of inclusion in the evoked set and probably to higher probability of choice.

Research on typicality has examined the influence of overall familiarity on representativeness. Ashcraft (1978) and Malt and Smith (1982) found that typicality increased as exemplars became more familiar. However, Barsalou (1985) compared the relative effects of overall familiarity (subjective estimates of frequency of encounter across all contexts) and context-specific frequency (subjective estimates of the frequency of category instantiation) information on prototypicality ratings and output dominance (frequency of production) of category members. Frequency of instantiation was found to be a better predictor of both prototypicality and output dominance than overall familiarity, across a large number of categories. In addition, an exemplar's similarities to the "average" and the "ideal" members of the category were found to be independently correlated with both measures.


This section of the paper will explore two processes by which brand familiarity may directly mediate choice behavior through brand preference formation. The first of these processes is the exposure effect which is directly related to Zajonc's (1968) mere exposure hypothesis. The second of these processes is the frequency effect which is derived directly from the automatic frequency counting mechanism proposed by Hasher and Zacks (1984).

In the present section we explore two propositions related to this thesis:

PROPOSITION 3: Brand familiarity generates a positive affective response to the brand that requires no effortful information processing, only brand perception. This affect may serve as an input to brand choice.

PROPOSITION 4: Brand familiarity can directly mediate choice behavior, but only when mediators which are the product of higher level information (i.e., performance attributes) are not available or cannot discriminate between brand alternatives.

The Exposure Effect

Zajonc (1968) has demonstrated that exposure to a stimulus can enhance the liking for that stimulus independently of cognitive evaluations or contextual associations. Basically, this stream of research has demonstrated that affect is a linear function of the logarithm of exposure frequency (see Harrison 1977). So, as exposure to a brand increases affective reactions to the brand become more favorable.

Zajonc takes the extreme position that the exposure effect can mediate liking without increasing subjective recognition, the perception of being more familiar with the stimulus object. Causal path analyses demonstrating significant mediational effects of exposure beyond subjective recognition (Moreland and Zajonc 1977, 1979) and experimental evidence of the effect occurring without subjective recognition (Wilson 1979) provide the supporting evidence for this position (Wilson 1979). The Moreland and Zajonc research, however, has been convincingly critiqued (see Birnbaum and Mellers 1979) and attempts to replicate the Wilson results have failed (Obermiller 1985).

Thus, while there is strong, consistent evidence of an exposure effect mediated by perceived familiarity with the stimulus, there is contradictory evidence regarding the mere exposure hypothesis. The key point for marketers is that subjective familiarity does mediate the exposure effect (Obermiller 1985; Stang 1975; Moreland and Zajonc 1977) and that brand directed attention without elaboration will generate this subjective familiarity (Obermiller 1985; Greenwald and Leavitt 1984).

Potential Causes of Exposure Induced Preference. The cause of the exposure effect is likely to be closely linked with the concept of stimulus habituation (Harrison 1977; ZaJonc 1968, 1980; Berlyne 1970). Essentially, novel stimuli generate high levels of arousal that trigger an avoidance response. Repeated exposure decreases arousal, facilitating stimulus habituation, affect formation, and an approach tendency.1 Therefore, the exposure effect may be considered a very basic, adaptive mechanism that on the basis of prior encounters tells us what is and is not safe to approach. Stimuli which have been encountered many times without ill effects are safer and, hence, more approachable than new, untested stimuli. In a marketing context, this approach may be perceived by consumers as perceived risk or what Obermiller (1985) refers to as uncertainty reduction, a component of perceived risk.

The unique factor in this "persuasion process" is the absence of any required cognitive or contextual elaboration to generate the affective response. The response occurs effortlessly and automatically as a natural consequence of exposure. Cognitive requirements are limited to stimulus-directed focal attention (Greenwald & Leavitt 1984). Thus, the exposure effect may be a product of the automatic processing system (Posner and Snyder 1975; Schiffrin & Schnelder 1977; Bargh 1984).

The Frequency Effect

Research by Hasher and Zacks (1984) suggests another process by which brand familiarity may mediate brand preference. It suggests that effects of automatic processing can provide the input to evaluative inferences consumers draw about brands. This research strongly suggests that an automatic frequency counting mechanism exists in memory. Basically, the mechanism effortlessly provides relative frequency information which can be the basis for consumer inference-making (i.e., "I've seen this more than other brands. It must sell well. It must be good. I'll buy it").

It requires only focal attention to operate and is not facilitated by higher order cognitive processing. This mechanism, like the habituation effect, is adaptive in that it allows individuals to effortlessly assess the subjective probability of one event over another. To differentiate this process from the exposure effect, it will be dubbed "the frequency effect".

Like the habituation process, the automatic accessibility of frequency information is adaptive in that it allows individuals to effortlessly assess the subjective probability of one event over another and to react accordingly. And, like the habituation process, it requires only sufficient attention to generate brand perception to operate.

The key difference between this process and the exposure effect is the cognitive requirement of a deliberate, prechoice evaluative inference based on the accessed frequency information. The amount of cognitive effort required to generate an evaluation through this process is greater than the exposure effect because it explicitly requires comprehension of the source of the affect (the frequency information) and an evaluative inference derived from that source. The evaluation generated by the exposure effect requires no such inference, only retrieval of affect.

Given this difference, from a marketing point of view the exposure effect may be operative when consumers are completely uninvolved in the decision process, while the latter process may be accurate when consumers are more involved, but either have no substantive information on which to judge alternatives or perceive no difference between alternatives on available information.

Moderators of Brand Familiarity Effects

Empirical research suggests that the duration of attention, not the number of prior exposures facilitates the exposure effect. Crandall (1972) demonstrated an exposure-effect relationship at two exposures when exposure duration potential was 50 minutes. At the other extreme Zajonc, Crandall and Rail (1974) did not find evidence of a significant exposure effect until a frequency of 243 exposures when the exposure duration was a fraction of a second.

Research by Obermiller (1985) suggests that the exposure effect is also facilitated by attentional strength. In this research, a greater average liking for brands occurred when attention towards the stimulus was facilitated rather than distracted. When cognitive elaboration (e.g., stimulus is not only perceived, but is given meaning) of the stimulus was facilitated, however, average liking decreased. Thus, the level of focal attention increases the strength of exposure-induced brand liking, but cognitive elaboration is inhibitory. This finding is consistent with the principle of higher order dominance which asserts that effects of elaboration (e.g., formation of performance beliefs) inhibit effects of focal attention (e.g., effortlessly retrieved affect) on brand evaluation (Greenwald and Leavitt 1984).

In summary, the exposure effect seems to be mediated by attentional duration and attentional level, not the rate of exposure and not by cognitive elaboration of the stimulus. Therefore, if the communication goal is facilitation of the exposure effect, then advertising should be designed to maintain focal attention towards the brand name or package without causing the consumer to negatively elaborate on the message. In contrast, if the communication goal is facilitation of the frequency effect, then the critical determinant of advertising success is to have more total exposures than the competition. Since the frequency effect operates through the automatic counting mechanism (Hasher and Zacks 1984), attentional strength and duration are irrelevant. Advertisements which are short, but effective in generating sufficient attention to cause brand perception will operationalize this strategy at the minimum cost in advertising dollars.

Attitudinal Versus Choice Effects

Since brand attitude formation does not require explicit interbrand comparisons, the absolute level of affect generated by brand familiarity will directly influence the level of brand liking. Except in the cases of habitual purchase behavior, however, brand choice explicitly requires interbrand comparisons. Thus, the relative level of brand familiarity among brand alternatives is the critical independent variable. The extent of the comparison is dependent on factors such as prior product class knowledge and decision involvement (Bettman 1979; Bettman and Park 1980).

With regard to the exposure effect, the nature of the exposure-frequency function suggests that both absolute and relative effects may be difficult to achieve if the brand(s) involved in the evaluation have high brand familiarity prior to subsequent exposures (Harrison 1977. In these cases, brand position on the frequency-affect curve may be at the asymptote. In the case of brand attitude, increased exposure may not be sufficient to generate a perceivable change in affect. In the case of brand choice, increased exposure may not create greater liking of a brand over an alternative. This suggests that the viability of the exposure effect as a communication goal may be limited to situations where subjective brand familiarity of the advertised brand is not on the asymptote of the frequency-affect curve.

With regard to the frequency effect, perceivable between brand differences in exposure-based habituation is not the issue. Operation of the frequency effect depends only on the recognition-that one brand has been seen more than another. The only requirement for an effect on either choice or attitude is that the difference in frequency of exposure between alternatives is large enough to perceive. The required size of this difference as total frequency of exposure increases among all alternatives is an empirical issue (e.g., 5 versus 1 exposure is very noticeable, but is 105 versus 101 exposures perceptible).

Evidence Directly Relevant to Marketing Applications

If brand familiarity can motivate purchase behavior. then it must be considered to be a viable marketing communications strategy in and of itself. Validation of brand familiarity effects in marketing contexts and the establishment of their limits are prerequisites to strategic applications. Below, evidence relating to marketing applications of brand familiarity is briefly reviewed.

Three early experiments that tested the generalizability of the exposure effect provided the first evidence that brand familiarity can directly mediate consumers' purchase decisions. First, "advertisements" consisting solely of Turkish words were placed in a school newspaper. Exposure frequency mediated attitude toward the words (Zajonc and Rakecki 1959). Second, nonsense syllables were differentially exposed to subjects and subsequently identified with boxes containing nylon stockings. Exposure generated familiarity significantly influenced brand preference and brand choice (Becknell, Wilson and Baird 1963). Finally, posters of fictitious candidates were placed about a university campus in varying frequency. No information other than the candidate names and the contested elected position were on the posters. Students who had seen the posters most frequently were most likely to vote for the most publicized candidates (Stang 1974, in Harrison 1977).

These three studies are important because they demonstrate that (l) brand name familiarity is a sufficient condition to enhance brand attitudes and brand choice and (2) that these effects occur in natural settings. One limiting characteristic of all three studies, however, is that no information was available to form evaluations other than exposure related information. Thus, these experiments support the potential for brand name familiarity based marketing strategies, but they were achieved in informationally spargee decision environments.

Recent studies have attempted to generalize effects of brand name familiarity into decision contexts where other evaluative information is present. Using an advertising format, Moore and Hutchinson (1985), measured subjects' reactions to affective associates to the brand (e.g., advertising background visuals) and levels of brand familiarity. Two days after exposure to advertisements, subjects' reactions to the ads' affective associates were the strongest mediators of brand liking. One week after exposure, however, brand name familiarity ratings were the dominant attitudinal mediator. The pattern of findings strongly suggests that brand name familiarity became the dominant mediator in delay because affective reactions to the ads were forgotten.

In another advertising experiment, subjects were provided brand attribute information, affective associations to the brand, and varying levels of brand name exposure (Baker 1985). Significant effects of brand name familiarity on purchase intention occurred, but like Moore and Hutchinson (1985), only after a week's delay from advertisement exposure. Interestingly, the significant effects of brand name familiarity occurred only when (l) the accessibility of advertisement execution information and brand attribute information was at its lowest level and (2) relative brand name familiarity (brand name familiarity relative to competing brand alternatives) was at its highest level.

Evidence from these two experiments suggests that if meaning is conferred to the stimulus through a complex cognitive process such as attribute belief formation (Lutz 1975) or simple process such as source evaluation (Petty, Cacioppo and Schumann 1983; Sternthal, Dholakia and Leavitt 1978; Holbrook 1978), then the direct effects of brand name familiarity on evaluation will be attenuated. The findings are consistent with the principle of higher order dominance (Greenwald and Leavitt 1984).

On the positive side, both sets of the results also suggest that higher order effects of advertising decay much more rapidly than effects of brand familiarity. This suggests that when information from advertisements are not effortfully integrated into brand memory structures, simple effects such as brand familiarity may dominate advertising-based brand evaluation, especially if there is any significant delay between the time of message exposure and brand evaluation.

Finally, neither the Moore and Hutchinson (1985) nor the Baker (1985) experiments provided evidence to discriminate whether the exposure effect or the frequency effect was the operative brand familiarity based process. Future research rust (1) empirically discriminate between these processes and (2) identify the factors that determine which of these processes will be operative in a given situation.

The Viability of Brand Familiarity Based Strategies

Given the evidence to date, it appears that brand familiarity is a viable independent mediator of brand liking and choice, but only in limited decision contexts. If sources of evaluation (i.e., brand attribute beliefs or source credibility) which require greater information processing intensity are not accessible or cannot discriminate between brand alternatives, then brand familiarity may be a viable marketing communications strategy. Two likely indicators of these types of situations are product class knowledge and decision involvement.

When a consumer has no prior product class knowledge then by definition there can be no memory-based opportunity for higher order knowledge to inhibit the accessibility of exposure-based affect (Greenwald and Leavitt 1984; Bargh 1984). And, if decision involvement is so low that automatically retrieved affect is likely to be the only input into the preference formation process at the point of decision, then facilitation of the exposure effect may be a viable advertising strategy.

If on the other hand, prior knowledge exists and is likely to be accessed and there is sufficient decision involvement to expect cognitive elaboration in the decision process, but there is no perceived difference between brand alternatives on performance dimensions, the facilitation of the frequency effect may be a viable advertising strategy.


The thesis explored in this paper is that brand familiarity exerts important effects on brand choice. The magnitude of brand familiarity effects and the processes mediating such effects have received little empirical and theoretical attention. The intent of the present paper was to discuss mechanisms that may account for familiarity effects and to examine the generality of such effects. After examining relevant literature we are led to the conclusion that brand familiarity is a viable, albeit limited, marketing tool for influencing consumer decisions.

Brand familiarity is likely to: 1) Enhance perceptual identification of a brand, 2) increase the probability of inclusion in the evoked set, 3) generate positive affect toward the brand, and 4) motivate purchase behavior. The primary caveat to these conclusions is that brand familiarity effects may be highly context dependent. Specifically, perceptual identification will be impaired if cues present in the environment during purchase do not match those present during previous exposures to the brand. Evoked sets are dependent upon the usage situation and hence, inclusion in the evoked set will be determined more by brand/situation associations than by overall familiarity with the brand. Finally, brand familiarity is unlikely to exert a robust effect on consumers' brand attitudes and decisions when extensive product knowledge is available or when involvement is high.


1. Berlyne (1970) theorized that novelty is pleasing, but familiarity is not. This is clearly a direct contradiction of the exposure effect thesis. Berlyne developed a two-factor theory of exposure effects. The first factor is stimulus habituation, which mediates positive affect. The second factor is tedium/irritation and leads to attitude attenuation. Berlyne argues that initial exposure leads to a positive habituation, but continued exposure promotes tedium/irritation, which attenuates affect. This process describes an inverted U-shaped relationship between exposure and affect.

The two factor process explanation is not really inconsistent with the exposure effect. The difference is in factor emphasis, which has led to different framework conceptualizations. Berlyne observed a large effect of tedium/irritation and gave the effect status equal to the habituation effect in his model. Exposure effect supporters view habituation-based affect as the "true" effect and consider situational tedium a moderator of the fact. The position taken in this paper is that the one-factor exposure effect model not only offers the most parsimonious explanation of exposure-based affect, but is also more relevant to explaining advertising exposure effects because:

1. It centers on the relationship between the stimulus and the individual, which is a central marketing concern. Situational irritation is an association to the stimulus, but not a reaction to the stimulus itself.

2. The effect of the tedium/irritation factor is apparently short-lived relative to the effect of familiarity. The temporary nature of irritational effects suggests its role is an exposure effect moderator rather than a central factor in the model.


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