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July's chart of the month: Longer ads enhance memory effects

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Storytelling has helped us learn, educate and evolve since the dawn of time. Our brains like order, and if there is no order they try and create it. We rely on ‘reconstructive memory’ to fill in the blanks and make sense of what we’ve experienced.

In advertising terms, this means that longer ads often have a stronger sense of narrative and are therefore more comprehensive. Longer ads act as ‘anchors’ for our memory, providing a basis for positive brand memory and reducing the need for reconstructive memory to kick in.

When a short ad is seen after a long ad, there is a 51% uplift in explicit memory effects versus just 9% for seeing a short ad in isolation. This is including the gap of several days between viewing the ads and testing.

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