When Brands Go Dark: Examining Sales Trends when Brands Stop Broad-Reach Advertising for Long Periods

Published on Jun 23, 2021in Journal of Advertising Research3.154
· DOI :10.2501/JAR-2021-009
Nicole Hartnett5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UniSA: University of South Australia),
Adam Gelzinis1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 2 AuthorsByron Sharp27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UniSA: University of South Australia)
Because of various financial reasons, or a change in strategic focus, sometimes brands stop broad-reach media advertising for a year or longer. These long dark periods have not been subject to much study, so little is known about the likely consequences. This exploratory study addresses this omission by documenting the sales performance of 41 beer, cider, and spirit brands that advertised intermittently over almost two decades. Changes in aggregate brand sales are reported for the years when brands stopped advertising relative to the last advertised year. On average, brand sales declined immediately in the first year and every subsequent year of advertising cessation. Decline generally was faster for smaller brands and for brands that already were declining in sales before advertising cessation.
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