Cognitive Responses to Advertising in Pakistan

We asked Pakistani consumer regarding ongoing TV advertising. Below is the summary of feedback received:


  1. The Daimler Chrysler “Masterpiece” Ad:

In this particular advertisement, which was printed in a recent issue of Time magazine, the people who were asked to comment about the ad were all praise for it. Each respondent admired the pictures and the claims made in the ad. The products were studied in great detail and they left a visibly good impression on each respondent.

However, when the same respondents were asked to write down their thoughts and feelings about the ad, a mixture of responses came to the fore. Such as:


  • “The advertisement aptly reflects the high degree of professionalism that is characteristic of Daimler Chrysler.”
  • “The ad is merely a promotional gimmick. All companies indulge in such practices.”
  • “By praising its work force too much, the ad has diverted its focus from its customers. They should have involved their customers in the ad as well. Even though I agree with what it has to say, I think any other company would make the same claims.”


Based on these comments, we may conclude that although the ad evoked many support arguments from the receivers, yet, most of these were accompanied by certain statements that can only be classified as source derogations. Moreover, the cognitive responses of the receivers seemed more or less to be congruous with their preferences for the product.



  1. Caltex Wins The Race Hands Down!

This advertisement was distributed among automobile drivers only and their responses to each ad were noted down. The advertisement received a highly positive response from the receivers and was equally highly preferred by them as well. The more prominent and expressive responses are mentioned in the following:


  • “The ad practices what it preaches. I mean, its claims are not at all exaggerated; I tried that oil and it works great on my car.”
  • “I fully agree with Caltex’s claims that have been made in this ad. That new formula oil has my engine running like new. There’s simply nothing like it.”
  • “To do justice to this ad, I can only say one thing: Caltex’s new Havoline oil leaves all other brands gasping for breath.”


Needless to say, all these statements can be classified as support arguments for the ad. One must acknowledge Caltex’s well designed advertising strategy and must give even more credit to the performance of the product being advertised.




  1. MCB gets the 3rd Degree!

As much as Caltex was exalted and praised by the receivers, an MCB ad was equally vociferously derided by a number of people to whom the ad was shown. Although the advertisement itself was ostensibly based on sound marketing principles of advertising, the responses it evoked were not at all encouraging for the product’s prospects. Here are a few of those responses:


  • “MCB sucks! Its service is awful and the rate of return on most of its schemes is abysmally low.”
  • “I don’t have an account in MCB, but my father used to be an account holder there. He recently switched to Citibank so I’m not too sure whether all of MCB’s customers are as satisfied as they say they are.”
  • “See one banking advertisement and you’ve seen them all! How can I possibly believe in MCB’s claims when all the other bank ads are saying more or less the same thing?”


Most of these responses (in the form of thoughts and feelings) can be classified as counter arguments for the ad. The last comment would more likely be classified as a source derogation than as a counter argument. Not surprisingly, the preferences for availing MCB’s financial services were also quite low in the minds of these consumers.



  1. 50/50 has 50/50 Chance of Success:

This cute little advertisement got a mixed response from the receivers that were asked to express their feelings about them. The ad is quite simple and straight forward. Here’s what the respondents had to say about them:


  • “LU is a leading biscuit company and most of its brands are pretty good. Why should this one be any different?”
  • “The biscuits shown in the ad seem quite bland to me. I don’t think they would be very high on my list of preferences.”
  • “I’ve tried this biscuit before and it’s not anywhere near as good as the ad says it is. In fact, the prospects of anybody developing a taste for it are, well, 50/50 (laughs).”


While the first opinion may be taken as a support argument for the ad, the other two comments are clearly counter arguments. Very few people preferred this brand over other brands of biscuits.



You may also like...