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ADPLAN: Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification, and Net Equity

The ADPLAN Framework developed by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, is used to determine the effectiveness of an advertisement from a strategic position. ADPLAN stands for attention, distinction, positioning, linkage, amplification, and net equity. 



ADPLAN explanation




When watching a visual advertisement, grabbing the viewers’ attention is the first step. Whether it be a visual of a tropical getaway, an adorable puppy, or their favorite song playing in the background,  the viewer needs to see the initial value in watching the rest of the commercial. If the audiences’ attention is not captured, the rest of the framework is ineffective.



Once the audiences’ attention is caught and they have committed to watching the commercial, distinction must be apparent between the brand and their competitors. For example, if you are watching a car commercial for Honda, and then you watch a Toyota commercial, if there is no noticeable difference, your company is at risk of getting lost in its competitors. Marketing strategies may need to be reevaluated to set yourself apart from the competition.



The positioning of the advertisement includes two main subsections: frame of reference and point of difference. The frame of reference should include the category and/or industry that the brand chooses to compete in. The point of difference then includes the main attributes that make the brand stand out when compared to their competitors. Correct positioning will help a brand leverage that competitive advantage and help the viewers see value over others.



The linkage refers to the customer being able to link the advertisement to the brand or benefits talked about. If the viewer cannot remember what was mentioned, then your advertisement is considered ineffective.



For an advertisement to amplify, that means that it sticks with the viewer. You want your audience to remember the advertisement and have it evoke conversation. If it does not resonate with the audience then it will simply be forgotten about. 


Net Equity:

Net equity refers to the overall branding of the product or service. Does your advertisement remain consistent with what the brand stands for and represents? When someone sees the ad, will they recognize what brand it is for? It’s important to have a strong brand and stay consistent with it.



The ADPLAN Framework was developed by students to strategically determine the effectiveness of advertisements during the NFL Super Bowl. It touches on a lot of key components that humans need in order to remember what was mentioned and how it can be related. This framework can be used for OTT advertisements along with video and display.

Click to find out the results from the 2021 Super Bowl.

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Ivy Ferko