61% WASTED?: The Wanamaker Rule

Remember John Wanamaker’s famous remark that half his ad budget was wasted but he didn’t know which half? A recent study by a Wharton professor concludes Wanamaker was too kind in guessing a 50% futility rate. ‘Actually, it is closer to 61%,’ says a summary in the Wharton Impact newsletter of research by Leonard Lodish. For the hundreds of brands studied, just 39% of increases in advertising weight yielded increased market share or sales volume. Among other findings of the study: ‘Heavy concentration of advertising at the beginning or end of a media campaign is likely to be more effective than distributing advertising throughout the plan.’
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)