ERIC Number: ED284212
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Simple Writing Doesn't Mean Simple-Minded: The Issue of Readability of Print Advertising Copy.
Wesson, David A.
A study investigated the relationship between readability of advertising copy and conventional measures of ad readership. It was hypothesized that readership scores would be higher for advertisements containing copy with the highest and lowest computed readership grade levels. Fifty-five full-page advertisements that met arbitrary minimal copy length criteria were chosen from a women's and a men's magazine. The copy from each ad was transcribed onto a computer and analyzed using a program for computing Gunning Readability Index scores. Comparable-sized ads were grouped to accommodate analysis of the extremes of low and high that the hypothesis dictated. Results supported the hypothesis and suggested the possibility of "pure cases," since there appeared to be a reader preference for copy written with short words and short sentences characteristic of a "poetic" style and for copy with longer words and sentences characteristic of more "technical" style. When the copy mixed these characteristics, readership appeared to suffer. (A table of results is included.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Advertising Copywriting; Advertising Effectiveness; Audience Awareness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (70th, San Antonio, TX, August 1-4, 1987).