Advertising as a reminder: Evidence from the Dutch state lottery

Chen He, Tobias Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Consumers who intend to buy a product may forget to do so because they suffer from limited attention. Therefore, they may value being reminded by an advertisement. This reminder effect of advertising could be important in many markets but is usually diffi- cult to document. We study it in the context of buying a product that has existed for almost 300 years: a ticket for the Dutch State Lottery. This context is particularly suitable for our analysis because the product is simple, it is very well known, and there are multiple fixed and known purchase cycles per year. Moreover, radio and TV advertisements are designed explicitly to remind consumers to buy a lottery ticket before the draw. This can conveniently be done online. We develop an approach to distinguish reminder effects of advertising from other effects, such as conveying information about the size of the jackpot. The key idea is that reminder effects are short lived. We use minute-level advertising and online sales data and find that the reminder effect of advertising is strong. Reaching 1% of the population by a radio advertisement leads to an increase in online sales of 1.55% in the four hours after the advertisement is aired. For TV advertisements, the increase is 0.78%. We show that the effects generally last longer for radio advertisements. We also provide direct evidence that reminding consumers not only affects the timing of purchases but also leads to market expansion. Finally, we estimate a model of consumer behavior under limited attention to quantify the effect on total sales. We find that total sales would be 16.7% lower without the reminder effect of advertising and that shifting advertising to the week of the draw would lead to a 9.2% increase in sales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-909
Number of pages18
JournalMarketing Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • reminder advertising
  • limited attention
  • adoption model


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