The sleeper effect refers to a phenomenon where individuals initially discount or disregard a message but later come to accept it as true, even if they do not remember the source of the message. Weinberger suggests that this effect could be particularly relevant for advertising, as many consumers are initially skeptical of advertising messages and may be more likely to remember the product than the brand or the specific advertisement.
Weinberger notes that there has been some research into the sleeper effect in the context of advertising, but the results have been mixed. Some studies have found evidence of the sleeper effect, while others have found no significant effect. One potential explanation for this inconsistency is that the sleeper effect may depend on the type of message being conveyed and the context in which it is presented.
Weinberger also discusses the potential implications of the sleeper effect for advertising. On the one hand, the sleeper effect could be seen as a positive for advertisers, as it suggests that even if a consumer initially discounts an advertisement, they may be more likely to remember and act on it later. On the other hand, the sleeper effect may be more difficult to measure and track than other advertising effects, as consumers may not remember the source of the message.
To address these concerns, Weinberger suggests that advertisers should focus on creating memorable and engaging messages that are likely to stick in consumers’ minds, even if they do not initially accept them as true. He also suggests that advertisers should consider tracking not only immediate responses to their advertisements but also longer-term effects, such as changes in brand perception or purchase behavior.
Overall, Weinberger’s article highlights the potential relevance of the sleeper effect for advertising and suggests that more research is needed to better understand its impact in this context. While the sleeper effect may not be a panacea for advertisers, it does offer some interesting insights into how consumers process and respond to advertising messages.