What makes creative advertisements memorable? The role of insight

Shen, Wangbing, Bai, Haiping, Ball, Linden orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5099-0124, Yuan, Yuan and Wang, Meijiao (2020) What makes creative advertisements memorable? The role of insight. Psychological Research . ISSN 0340-0727

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-020-01439-5


Sudden insight is often observed during creative problem solving and studies have suggested that advertisements can likewise evoke an insight experience. To date, however, there is limited empirical evidence on whether advertisements can trigger ideational insight, and, if so, whether such insight plays a role in advertising memorability. This study aimed to explore the insight experience evoked by advertisements and to examine the role of such experimentally-induced insight in predicted memory and metamemory performance. Participants viewed standardized advertising images sequentially, with each image presentation being followed immediately by a second presentation either with or without a brief description of the advertising idea. Next, participants were asked to recall the three most impressive advertisements. Finally, participants were randomly divided to complete either immediate (5 min later) or delayed (3 days later) recognition tests and to provide retrospective confidence judgments (RCJs). Recall of creative advertisements was better than standard advertisements and most of them evoked insight. In addition, recognition accuracy was greater for creative advertisements relative to standard advertisements and metamemory performance as elicited through RCJs was enhanced. Further analyses confirmed the documented importance of insight for memory consolidation. The findings suggest that insight makes advertisements more memorable, especially those that are creative.

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