Building brand knowledge structures: Elaboration and interference effects on the processing of sequentially advertised brand benefit claims

Susan E. Heckler, Kevin Lane Keller, Michael J Houston, Jill Avery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Two experiments are reported that examine the effects of an ad campaign designed to link two different benefit claims to a brand. The findings indicated that recall for a subsequently advertised claim depended on the strength of existing brand-benefit links in memory. If prior advertising strongly established a benefit claim in memory, then proactive interference effects inhibited the recall of subsequently advertised benefit claims unrelated in meaning. Additional analyses suggested that these interference effects appeared to be a result of difficulties with encoding the newly advertised claims. If the original benefit claim was not as strongly established in memory, however, then unaided recall of the subsequently advertised benefit claims was actually higher than if there had been no prior advertising at all. In fact, less accessible and memorable claims, whether they preceded or followed more accessible and memorable claims, enhanced recall of the stronger claims. Additional analyses suggest that these elaboration effects occurred because prior or subsequent advertising improved brand awareness and thus later brand claim recall as a result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-196
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014



  • brand knowledge
  • consumer memory
  • elaboration effects
  • interference effects
  • sequential advertising claims

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