The Hidden Power of Advertising: How Low Involvement Processing Influences the Way in Which We Choose Brands. (Book Reviews)

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Author: Colin McDonald
Date: Winter 2002
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd. (UK)
Document Type: Book review
Length: 832 words

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Robert Heath

Admap Publications (Admap Monograph No. 7) 2001 124 pp, soft cover, [pounds sterling]45.00

ISBN 1 84116 093 8

Ever since Vance Packard published The Hidden Persuaders, the advertising industry has feared, and been at pains to deny, the idea that advertising can work subliminally, below the level of the conscious mind. Most professionals still hold firmly to this denial. Yet the evidence now mounting up, and summarised in this book, seems to undermine that position, and puts the question firmly back into the frame.

Robert Heath has been developing his case for a few years now, in conference papers and articles, but this book is the most complete account he has yet given. The new model of advertising effectiveness he presents overturns some traditional (and still widely held) beliefs, but is already becoming influential, and will certainly become much more so. This is enough to make it an important book. Paul Feldwick in his introduction says: 'be prepared to unlearn a number of things that you have always supposed to be just "common sense".'

Chapters 1-4 are scene-setting. Krugman's early experiments showed that TV advertising communicates non-verbally and at low attention levels. This did not dent, though it did modify, the prevailing attachment to linear persuasion...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A83150217