Recognition Test

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 3222

Definition: Recognition Test

A recognition test is a test to determine whether the people remember a particular advertisement. It is a technique used to evaluate the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. It’s a widely used posttest for print ads.

Although both recognition and recall are widely used as measures to evaluate awareness of a brand or a certain advertisement campaign, they differ at a very basic level. While recall is an indirect way of tracing awareness, recognition is a direct technique. In case of recognition, to figure out if the subject can remember an advertisement, he/she is prompted using the actual advertisement.

Two popular recognition tests are- the Starch test and Bruzzone test.

The Starch Ad Readership Report lets the advertiser assess the impact of an ad in a single issue of a magazine, over time, and/or across different magazines. It is applicable to only print ads that have already run. The subjects are shown a magazine containing ads. For each ad, the interviewer asks if the subjects have noticed the ad (noting score), if they have associated the contents of the ad with the brand (brand-associated score) and whether they have covered more than 50% of the content (read-most score). Starch test helps assess:

• Pulling power of various aspects of the ad

• Effectiveness of competitors’ ads

• Alternative ad executions

• Consumers’ involvement in the ad or campaign

The Bruzzone test is conducted through mail surveys containing audio clips and frames from television commercials (without the brand name). The participants are then asked if they recognize the ad.

Criticisms against recognition tests:

• Possibility of false claiming: respondents may claim to have seen an ad even if they haven’t. The respondent might claim so if she has seen a similar ad somewhere or expects such an advertisement to appear in such a medium.

• Impact of interviewer sensitivities: there’s a potential for bias. The subject might say she recognizes the ad to try to impress the interviewer or for the fear of appearing ignorant/unknowledgeable.

• Reliability of recognition scores: The reliability and validity of the scores increases with the number of insertions tested.

It is hypothesized, by certain researchers, that recognition is an emotional task while recall is a more logical task- which means that recognition makes use of right hemisphere of brain while recall uses the left. Therefore, some believe that recognition tests may work better for television advertising than recall tests.


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