DAGMAR – Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results

Russell Colley (1961) developed a model for setting advertising objectives and measuring the results. This model was entitled ‘Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results- DAGMAR.’

DAGMAR model suggests that the ultimate objective of advertising must carry a consumer through four levels of understanding: from unawareness to Awareness—the consumer must first be aware of a brand or company Comprehension—he or she must have a comprehension of what the product is and its benefits; Conviction—he or she must arrive at the mental disposition or conviction to buys the brand; Action—finally, he or she actually buy that product.


Awareness of the existence of a product or organization is necessary before the purchase behavior can be expected. Once the awareness has been created in the target audience, it should not be neglected. If there is neglect, the audience may become distracted by competing messages and the level of awareness of focus product or organization will decline.

Awareness needs to be created, developed, refined or sustained, according to the characteristics of the market and the particular situation facing an organization at any one point of time.

Awareness grid










Sustain current levels of awareness




Refine awareness





Build awareness quickly.


Create association of awareness of product with product class need


In situations where:

Buyer experiences high involvement:

Is fully aware of a product’s existence, attention and awareness levels need only be sustained and efforts need to be applied to other communication tasks.

sales promotion and personal selling are more effective at informing, persuading and provoking consumption of a new car once advertising has created the necessary levels of awareness.

The LG golden eye ads that are repeatedly shown inspite of high awareness to ensure top of mind awareness and retain the existing awareness levels.

Where low levels of awareness are found, getting attention needs to be the prime objective in order that awareness can be developed among the target audience.

Sahara Homes ad that features Amitabh Bachhan saying “ jaha base Bharat”. Awareness level is low, however it is a high involvement decision. Thus adequate attention is required and awareness levels are raised with use of well-known and trusted celebrities.

Buyer experiences low involvement:

If buyers have sufficient level of awareness, they will be quickly prompted into purchase with little assistance of the other elements of the mix. Recognition and brand image may be felt by some to be sufficient triggers to stimulate a response. The requirement in such a situation would be to refine and strengthen the level of awareness so that it provokes interest and stimulates greater involvement during recall or recognition.

Parle G ad that talks about it being the largest seller “ Duniya ka sabse Zyada bikne waala biscuit”. Parle G as a brand already enjoys high levels of awareness and requires low involvement decision, thus communication is mainly intended to refine awareness.

If buyers have low level of awareness, the prime objective has to be to create awareness of the focus product in association with the product class.

When coils were popular in use and then the different repellants entered the market, awareness had to be created about their benefits and use.


Awareness on its own may not be sufficient to stimulate a purchase. Knowledge about the product or the organization is necessary. This can be achieved by providing specific information about key brand attribute

In attempting to persuade people to try a different brand of water, it may be necessary to compare the product with other mineral water products and provide an additional usage benefit, such as environmental claims. The ad of Ganga mineral water, featuring Govinda, which banked on the purity aspect. They related the purity of the water with that of river Ganga.


The next step is to establish a sense of conviction. By creating interest and preference, buyers are moved to a position where they are convinced that a particular product in the class should be tried at the next opportunity. To do this, audience’s beliefs about the product have to be moulded and this is often done through messages that demonstrate the product’s superiority over a rival or by talking about the rewards as a result of using the product.

Many ads like Thumbs Up featured the reward of social acceptance as ‘grown up’. It almost hinted that those who preferred other drinks were kids.


Communication must finally encourage buyers to engage in purchase activity. Advertising can be directive and guide the buyers into certain behavioural outcomes,

Use of toll free numbers, direct mail activities and reply cards and coupons.

Tupperware, Aqua Guard, are famous in Indian cities as a result of its personal selling efforts.

For high involvement decisions, the most effective tool in the communication mix at this stage in the hierarchy is personal selling. Through the use of interpersonal skills, buyers are more likely to want to buy a product than if personal prompting is absent.

Characteristics of Objectives

A major contribution of DAGMAR was Colley’s specification of what constitutes a good objective. Four requirements or characteristics of good objectives were noted

Concrete and measurable—the communications task or objective should be a precise statement of what appeal or message the advertiser wants to communicate to the target audience. Furthermore the specification should include a description of the measurement procedure

Target audience –a key tenet to DAGMAR is that the target audience be well defined. For example –if the goal was to increase awareness, it is essential to know the target audience precisely. The benchmark measure cannot be developed without a specification of the target segment

Benchmark and degree of change soughtanother important part of setting objectives is having benchmark measures to determine where the target audience stands at the beginning of the campaign with respect to various communication response variables such as awareness, knowledge, attitudes, image, etc. The objectives should also specify how much change or movement is being sought such as increase in awareness levels, creation of favorable attitudes or number of consumers intending to purchase the brand, etc. a benchmark is also a prerequisite to the ultimate measurement of results, an essential part of any planning program and DAGMAR in particular.

Specified time period—a final characteristic of good objectives is the specification of the time period during which the objective is to be accomplished, e.g. 6months, 1 year etc. With a time period specified a survey to generate a set if measures can be planned and anticipated.

Written Goal – finally goals should be committed to paper. When the goals are clearly written, basic shortcomings and misunderstandings become exposed and it becomes easy to determine whether the goal contains the crucial aspects of the DAGMAR approach.

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