An important tenet of Gestalt psychology is that there is a cognitive drive to obtain a good Gestalt or configuration, one that is simple , familiar, regular , meaningful, consistent, and complete. The human mind is not above making minor or even major distortions of the stimuli to accomplish this purpose. The following principles are related to this cognitive drive.
Closure. If we see a symbol that would be a square except that a small segment of one side is missing, our minds will fill in this gap and a square will be perceived. This process is called closure. In the Asch experiment, in which rather strong perception in individuals were obtained from a short list of attributes, closure was occurring. A detailed picture of an individual emerged from a sketchy list of cues.
An advertiser can use the closure process to make a campaign more efficient. A 60_ second commercial can, for example, be run several times so that the content has been learned by a worthwhile percentage of the target audience. To combat forgetting, a shorter spot __maybe only 5 or 10 second long __ could be used. Or a radio campaign could be used to supplement a television campaign. Research by Edell and Keller has shown that a viewer of the short TV spot or a listener of the radio spot, will tend to visualize the omitted material .49 Thus , the material contained in the 60- second commercial will have been transmitted in a much shorter time. Fuathermore, the risk of boring the viewer with repeated showing is reduced. Another use of the closure concept is leaving a well- known jingle uncompleted. Those exposed will have astrong cognitive drive to effect closure by mentally completing the jingle . For example, Salem cigarettes mounted campaigns in which they presented “you can take Salme out of the country but you can’t… ,, The audience then had to provide the familiar ending “take the country out of Salem ,, The Hathaway shirt advertisement showing the man in a dress shirt and eye patch ran without any mention of Hathaway. Again the audience was expected via the closure process to insert the manufacturer,s name. The ad for J&B scotch whisky in Fihure 11-3 invites the reader to use closure to fill in the brand ,s initials. Activating the closure process in this manner can get the reader involed, even to the extent of stimulating effort on his or her part . Such involvement often enhances learning . Research by Cards and others has shown that forcing consumers to make their own inferences from an ad which rather than the ad itself drawing that conclusion explicitly.