Macquarie University
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Can advertising creativity overcome clutter?: affect, attention, and memory

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posted on 2022-03-28, 22:32 authored by Ahmed Hamed Abdullah Al Shuaili
In the marketplace, advertising clutter refers to the high volume of advertising consumers are exposed to daily. This high quantity of advertisements has negative effects on unfamiliar brands which always face difficulties competing with other more familiar brands from the same product category. This thesis shows that unfamiliar brands have to work harder to overcome advertising clutter. Many academic researchers and marketers find that advertising creativity is an important strategic tool that should be considered when trying to attract consumer attention, increase advertisement and brand liking, and improve advertisement and brand memory. Thus, the thesis investigates “does advertising creativity overcome clutter?” and measuring that effects on attention, affect, and memory. This thesis includes one theoretical and two experimental papers to address the effects of advertising creativity on brand familiarity and competitive advertising interference. It also uses eye-tracking techniques to measure attention. The experiments were designed as realistic experiments, one session time, using a within subjects design. Participants were exposed to a digital magazine which was designed into the eye-tracking software. The ads in this magazine included 24 advertisements which were manipulated to be attributed to both familiar and unfamiliar brands. Of these, eight were highly creative advertisements which won major advertising creativity competitions. Eight control and eight interference advertisements were also selected. A pre-test identified familiar and unfamiliar brands. The data were analysed by using GLM models for attention and affect and also logistic regression models for memory. Four dependent variables used to measure attention, which are total fixation duration toward the advertisement, total fixation duration toward brands, non-fixation duration toward the advertisement, and non- fixation duration toward brands. Memory measures were advertisement recall, brand recall, advertisement recognition, and brand recognition. The results show that advertising creativity for familiar brands has a negative influence on brand affect and brand recognition. However, advertising creativity enhances visual attention for the advertisements of unfamiliar brands, and it also improves affect toward the ad, affect toward the brand and brand recognition for most situations. In addition, brand familiarity moderates the effect of creativity on ad recognition. Creativity enhanced ad recognition more for unfamiliar brands than familiar brands. And there were no significant effects of creativity on either ad or brand recall. The results also show that attention has a strong relationship with affect and memory. And attention itself was influenced by proactive competitive interference. However, competitive advertising interference has no significant effects on affect toward the ad. And there was negative effects of interference on affect toward the brand. The effects of competitive advertising interference on memory was positive in most conditions. Each paper provides implication and future research suggestions. And the thesis conclusion chapter includes implications and future research for both academic and practitioner research.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction to the thesis -- Chapter 2. The first paper -- Chapter 3. The second paper -- Chapter 4. The third paper -- Chpater 5. Thesis conclusion.


Bibliography: pages 192-211 Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing and Management

Department, Centre or School

Department of Marketing and Management

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Scott Koslow


Copyright Ahmed Hamed Abdullah Al Shuaili 2016. Copyright disclaimer:




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