The natural history of antismoking advertising recall: the influence of broadcasting parameters, emotional intensity and executional features

Tob Control. 2014 May;23(3):215-22. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050256. Epub 2012 Nov 10.


Background: The necessary first steps for televised media campaign effects are population exposure and recall. To maximise the impact of campaign funding, it is critical to identify modifiable factors that increase the efficiency of an advertisement reaching the target audience and of their recalling that advertisement.

Methods: Data come from a serial cross-sectional telephone survey with weekly interviews of adult smokers and recent quitters from the state of New South Wales, Australia, collected between April 2005 and December 2010 (total n=13 301). Survey data were merged with commercial TV ratings data (Gross Rating Points (GRPs)) to estimate individuals' exposure to antismoking campaigns.

Results: Multivariable logistic regression analyses indicated that GRPs and broadcasting recency were positively associated with advertisement recall, such that advertisements broadcast more at higher levels or in more recent weeks were more likely to be recalled. Advertisements were more likely to be recalled in their launch phase than in following periods. Controlling for broadcasting parameters, advertisements higher in emotional intensity were more likely to be recalled than those low in emotion; and emotionally intense advertisements required fewer GRPs to achieve high levels of recall than lower emotion advertisements. There was some evidence for a diminishing effect of increased GRPs on recall.

Conclusions: In order to achieve sufficient levels of population recall of antismoking campaigns, advertisements need to be broadcast at adequate levels in relatively frequent cycles. Advertisements with highly emotional content may offer the most efficient means by which to increase population recall.

Keywords: Cessation; Media; Social marketing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Marketing*
  • Television*
  • Young Adult