Salient stimuli in advertising: The effect of contrast interval length and type on recall

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Salient auditory stimuli (e.g., music or sound effects) are commonly used in advertising to elicit attention. However, issues related to the effectiveness of such stimuli are not well understood. This research examines the ability of a salient auditory stimulus, in the form of a contrast interval (CI), to enhance recall of message-related information. Researchers have argued that the effectiveness of the CI is a function of the temporal duration between the onset and offset of the change in the background stimulus and the nature of this stimulus. Three experiments investigate these propositions and indicate that recall is enhanced, providing the CI is 3 s or less. Information highlighted with silence is recalled better than information highlighted with music.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-179
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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