The Diagnosticity of Advertising Generated Brand Attitudes in Brand Choice Contexts.

William Baker, The University of Akron


Advertising theory tends to presume, sometimes implicitly, that advertising mediates brand choice through its effect on brand attitudes. This article addresses the limitation of using brand attitude measures at or near the time of advertising exposure to predict the relative ability of a set of alternative advertising message appeals to directly influence brand-choice decisions. The results suggest that the ability of advertising-generated brand attitudes to predict advertising effects on brand choice declines when (a) consumers’ motivation to deliberate is greater at the time of brand choice than at the time of attitude formation, (b) the message appeal of the brand assigned the most favorable attitude rating is not accessible, not perceived to be at least as diagnostic as competitor appeals, or both, and (c) attitude differences among brand alternatives are small.