I’m glad this article is trending because this is an important point in ad efficiency.


The ad (see below) was a huge hit and, for many of a certain age, remembered to this day. However, it is often remembered incorrectly as a Samsonsite ad. The brand was actually American Tourister.

I attempted to write my college thesis on how your self confidence affects your response to ads with sex appeal (thinking that those with high self confidence would not fall prey to sexy imagery). Instead, the main conclusion I drew was that sex appeal distracts all consumers from the the product being advertised, making sexy ads less impactful. 

Not only were sexy ads not effective according to my ad metrics, but I found that the metrics often move in different directions! For example, my subjects had a higher purchase intent for a Motorola phone advertised in Motorola’s famous Megan Fox Superbowl Ad, but they could not remember the brand of the phone! Ad fail.

The Mashable article refers to people who do not think there is a reason for ad agencies. Well, I say an ad that’s entertaining, memorable and delivers on these three metrics might be worthy of a professional’s fee.

3 Ad Metrics used in my thesis:

Brand Recall – measures how well a consumer remembers the name of the brand advertised in a given advertisement after a given amount of time. It is used to measure an ad’s effectiveness under the assumption that consumers who remember the brand name will be more likely to purchase products by that brand in the future.

Brand perception – measure which takes into account the emotional connection and respect of a brand for consumers after viewing an ad. It is becoming more popular as some researchers believe that brand perception is more closely linked with ad value than ad or brand recall.

Purchase intent – measures how an advertisement influences a consumer’s propensity to buy a certain product. While it is the only advertising metric that is directly linked to financial gain for an advertiser, it is also one of the toughest to measure.