Application of The Agenda Setting Theory

to the Field of Advertising


Sutherland and Galloway (1981) state that applying the theory of agenda setting to the field of advertising results in the implication that the underlying function of adverting does not attempt to persuade the attitudes and purchasing behaviors of consumers. Rather, it strives to focus the attention of consumers on what values/attributes or products/brands to consider when formulating attitudes and arriving at purchase decisions (26).

In, "The Impact of Television Advertising: Learning without Involvement," Krugman (1965) suggess that ". . . persuasion. . . i.e. overcoming a resistant attitude. . . " is a nonfactor when evaluating the impact of advertising on the purchase behaviors of consumers (353). Instead, Krugman posits that potential consumers experience an "overlearning" effect from initial and subsequent exposures of advertisements. This overlearning effect łasserts that as advertisements are learned, forgotten, and repeatedly re-learned, a movement of information from short-term memory systems into long-term memory systems occurs. This movement ultimately permits "significant alteration in the structure of our perception of a brand or product, but in ways which may fall short of persuasion or of attitude change" (Krugman, 353). Such significant alterations in the perceptions of consumers shift the relative salience of the attitude assigned to a given brand by advertisements for that said brand.

Go to Brand Salience as a Predictor of Consumer Behavior page for more on this topic.