DAGMAR Approach for Setting Advertising Objectives

DAGMAR Approach is a model developed by Russell H Colley for setting advertising objectives and measuring the results for an advertising campaign. Colley prepared a report for the association of national advertisers titled “Defined Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results” which stressed on communication effects of advertising as the logical basis for setting advertising goals and objectives against which results should be measured. Since then his approach came to be known as DAGMAR Approach.

According to Colley, “Advertiser`s job, purely and simply, is to communicate to a defined audience, information and a frame of mind that stimulates action. Advertising succeeds or fails depending upon how well it communicates the desired information and attitudes to the right people, at the right time and at the right place.”

Colley also stated the features of a good advertising objective, they are:

  1. Advertising Objectives must be stated in specific and measurable communication tasks.

  2. It must specify a target audience

  3. It must set a standard or benchmark and specify the desired change against which results can be measured

  4. It must specify a time period for achieving the objectives

According to DAGMAR Approach, advertising objectives must involve specific communication objectives which can be measured to determine the success or failure of an advertising campaign. Under DAGMAR Approach, communication objectives are based on hierarchy of effects model and are divided into four stages:

(1) Awareness: At this stage the targeted audience becomes aware about the brand or product.

Advertiser`s Objective – Make people aware about the product.

(2) Comprehension: At this stage the customers get more information about the product and understands the benefits of using the product.

Advertiser`s Objective – Provide information about the product.

(3) Conviction: At this stage a customer evaluates different products and plans to buy the product.

Advertiser`s Objective – Create a favourable mental disposition to buy the product.

(4) Action: This stage involves the actual purchase of a product by the customer.

Advertiser`s Objective – Motivate the customer to buy the product.

DAGMAR Approach example

Example of an Advertising Objective Statement using DAGMAR Approach:

A company selling study material of brand X, sets the following advertising objective:

To increase among 50,000 students in Lucknow, who are preparing for CAT, the ability to identify brand X as one of the best study material and persuade them that it will help them to clear CAT examination of 2017, from present 5% to 25% in 6 months. 

Advertiser`s Objectives:

  1. Target Audience: 50,000 students in Lucknow preparing for CAT

  2. Communication Objectives: Ability to identify brand X as one of the best study materials and persuade that it will help to clear 2017 CAT Exam

  3. Desired Change: From present 5% to 25%

  4. Time Horizon: Six Months

DAGMAR Approach – Advertising Objectives Checklist

Colley also developed a checklist of 52 specific advertising tasks to establish objectives, few of which are:

  1. Perform complete selling function

  2. Advertise a special reason to buy

  3. Remind people to buy

  4. Simulate impulse sales

  5. Create awareness about product or brand existence

  6. Create favourable emotional disposition towards the product

  7. Impart information regarding benefits and superior features of the product

  8. Combat and offset competitive claims

  9. Correct false impressions, wrong information and other obstacles to sales

  10. Aid sales force with sales promotion and selling activities and boost their morale

  11. Establish brand recognition and acceptance

Reference: Advertising and Sales Promotion – S.H.H. Kazmi and Satish K Batra


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