Andrew A. Mitchell and Jerry C. Olson note that “attempts to understand the effects of advertising repetition have been frequent in the marketing literature [e.g., Darrel G. Clarke, “Econometric Measurement of the Duration of Advertising Effect on Sales,” Working Paper, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, 1975; Robert Avery, Andrew A. Mitchell and Russell Winer, “Issues in Modeling the Carryover Effects of Advertising,” Proceedings, Educators Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1976, pp. 473-477; Alan G. Sawyer, “The Effect of Repetition of Refutational and Supportive Advertising Appeals,” Journal of Marketing Research, 10(1973), 23-33; Alan G. Sawyer, “The Effects of Repetition: Conclusions and Suggestions About Experimental Laboratory Research,” in G. D. Hughes and M. L. Ray (eds.), Buyer/Consumer Information Processing, (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1974), 190-219; Edward C. Strong, “The Use of Field Experimental Observations in Estimating Advertising Recall,” Journal of Marketing, 11(1974), 369-378.]. “Repetition is an important part of advertising. Repetition is an important part of advertising,” notes the website. It is through through repetition that the brand establishes credibility, familiarity, and becomes the first thought when a need for that type of product or service arises, etc., the article explains:

Repetition is fundamental to the success of any advertising program. The marketplace proves out this fact, as does scientific research. Science has shown through studies that a person must see [a] product NINE times before they will feel apathy toward it and be inclined to buy it.1

The “Cognitive Effects of Advertising Repetition” by Mitchell Olson suggests a theoretical framework of conceptual perspective “based upon attitude formation and information processing theory. This framework recognizes the limitations of consumers’ ability to process information and directs attention toward the effects of repetition on specific cognitive elements – specifically, beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intentions.”

An experiment was conducted in which these cognitive effects were examined for two types of print advertising – explicit verbal claim vs. nonverbal image-type appeals – each over four levels of repetition. Repetition had no effect on any of the cognitive structure variables, but type of ad did. The obtained data demonstrate the usefulness of this conceptual perspective in examining advertising effectiveness issues of both practical and theoretical importance.…

Although several methodologies have been used to study repetition, including econometric methods and field experiments, the need to understand these effects at the individual level, within a theoretically-sound behavioral science framework, suggests laboratory experimentation as the most promising methodological approach.…

Future research on repetition effects, or in fact, any advertising effectiveness research, should carefully measure the beliefs underlying attitudes, in an attempt to more fully understand the effects of advertising repetition on consumer attitudes and intentions.2

“The effects of advertising repetition on measures of recall, comprehension, cognitive responses, attitudes toward the brand, attitudes toward the ad, purchase intentions, and brand choices” was investigated by Cornelia Pechmann and David W. Stewart:

Central to the advertising repetition question are the concepts of wear-in and wear-out. Wear-in pertains to the notion that consumers often must be exposed to an ad more than once before the ad has any discernible positive effects, and wear-out to the notion that after consumers have been exposed to an ad repeatedly, the ad may lose its effectiveness and may actually produce negative effects.… In general, laboratory studies have found only modest support for a wear-in effect but have found strong support for a wear-out effect. Field studies, on the other hand, have frequently found evidence of a wear-in effect but have found only modest support for a wear-out effect.

Since laboratory studies typically use forced exposure settings and massed repetitions and measure advertising effects immediately after exposure, laboratory studies are more likely to identify a wear-out effect and less likely to identify a wear-in effect. Since field studies use natural viewing situations and distributed exposures and typically measure advertising effects at least one day after exposure, field studies are more likely to identify a wear-in effect and less likely to identify a wear-out effect.3


1 “The Importance of Repetition in Advertising,, at (retrieved: 24 October 2011).

2 Andrew A. Mitchell, Jerry C. Olson (1977), “COGNITIVE EFFECTS OF ADVERTISING REPETITION”, in Advances in Consumer Research Volume 04, eds. William D. Perreault, Jr., Atlanta : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 213-220.

3 Cornelia Pechmann and David W. Stewart, “Advertising Repetition: A Critical Review of Wear-In and Wear-Out,” Marketing Science Institute, 1990, at (retrieved: 24 October 2011).

See also

Aristotle’s Rule of Three, at Catapult the Propaganda

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