Evaluative Conditioning 2.0: Direct versus Associative Transfer of Affect to Brands


Steven Sweldens
  • Speaker
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University Rotterdam

Event Information

Type
PhD Defence
Programme
Marketing
Date
Fri. 29 May. 2009
Contact
Time
11:00 hours
E-mail
Location
Senate Hall, Woudestein Campus
Number


Abstract

A basic assumption in advertising is that brands become more well-liked after they were presented in positive contexts. This assumption is warranted because studies on ‘evaluative conditioning’ have demonstrated that when a brand is repeatedly presented together with positive affective stimuli (e.g., beautiful people, nature scenes, celebrity endorsers …), this results indeed in a long-lasting positive effect on the evaluation of the brand. This dissertation deals with the primary question of what is causing this change in attitudes. It is shown that there are at least two fundamentally different psychological processes that can cause this change in brand attitude. First, it is possible that through the establishment of memory associations between the brand and the positive affective stimuli, the brand becomes more positively evaluated (associative affect transfer). Second, it is also possible to transfer positive affect directly to the brand. In this case, affect ‘rubs off’ to the brand without the need to establish memory associations (direct affect transfer). The conditions under which affect transfer will be associative versus direct are identified. It is also demonstrated that achieving direct affect transfer carries distinct advantages for advertisers. With direct affect transfer – as opposed to associative affect transfer – the brand becomes immune to the negative effects of its endorsers falling from grace, to interference of the memory traces and to consumers’ counter arguing strategies.
 

 
Contact information:
Olga Novikova
Email
Stijn van Osselaer
Stijn van Osselaer
Professor of Marketing
  • Promotor
Gerrit van Bruggen
Professor of Marketing
  • Member Doctoral Committee
Chris C. Janiszewski
  • Member Doctoral Committee
Dirk Smeesters
Former Professor of Consumer Behavior and Society
  • Member Doctoral Committee
Olga Novikova
  • Coordinator