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Being around friends can impair your memory

You’re watching a basketball game with some buddies and decide to order pizza during the commercial. Researchers from Indiana University found that people in a group setting exposed to brand information – such as an ad for Pizza Hut -- have a hard time recalling the brand’s competitors. In other words, being around friends when deciding where to order takeout might cause you to forget completely about that local pizza place you’ve been wanting to try.

"When groups of individuals are exposed to brands in the shopping environment, their memory for other brands within the same product category is impaired," write Charles D. Lindsey and H. Shanker Krishnan (Indiana University). "The current research examines retrieval in a collaborative group setting, which is a novel context for brand memory research."

Appearing in the March issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, the study found that this effect is magnified for very familiar brands. Lindsey and Krishnan argue that this happens because individuals in the group are exposed not only to the advertisement but also to mentions of the brand by other members of the group.

"The practical implications of this research imply that a group premium (over and above the standard market share premium) seems to exist for advertising brands during programming where a higher percentage of viewers are group-based," conclude the authors.

Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
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