Platt Retail Institute: In-Store Advertising Clutter
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion, is a summary of a current
article from the Platt Retail Institute’s Journal of Retail
In-store, or point of purchase (POP), advertising helps trigger
memory recall, effectively introduces new products, promotes sale items and
educates consumers. Yet with the average person facing approximately 3,000
marketing messages each day, it appears as though marketers’ solution to
advertising avoidance is increasing the number of ads. This results in a
high degree of advertising clutter.
In analyzing magazines, Dr. Louisa Ha, chairman
of the Department of Telecommunications and an associate professor at Bowling
Green State University, identified three separate dimensions of advertising
- Quantity: The number of ads as well as the percentage of space taken
by the ad(s) compared to non-advertising content in a particular media vehicle.
- Competitiveness: The extent to which the advertised products are
alike and the proximity between ads for competing brands.
- Intrusiveness: The degree to which advertisements in a media vehicle
interrupt the flow of editorial unit.
At the store level, advertising, particularly when perceived as excessive, can
result in diminishing returns due to several factors. First of all, advertising
clutter can cause negative attitudes in consumers, such as skepticism or decreased
likability. Second, as individuals are unable to pay attention to all messages
to which they are exposed, clutter results in avoidance of advertising messages.
The third point concerns the fact that high levels of clutter are demonstrated
to decrease brand recognition. Another problem is decreased consumer attention.
Finally, research suggests high clutter generates confusion.
It is evident that
in-store advertising plays a crucial role in reinforcing a brand message. However,
a high degree of clutter can lessen the effectiveness of in-store advertising.
For this reason, retailers and marketers need a solution to help increase how
each message impacts the consumer. An integrated in-store communication strategy
may help to ensure optimum consumer impact. The issue of advertising clutter
has been studied in mass media environments. However, interestingly, there
is not much research on clutter in a retail environment. At this point, we
can only assume that in-store clutter tends to have an effect on advertising
effectiveness similar to mass media clutter. This topic certainly presents
an interesting avenue for future research.
Discussion Questions: How widespread is in-store advertising clutter across retail? What are the best solutions to improve the effectiveness of in-store advertising across the store?