Sex in advertising campaigns can go both ways. On the one hand, it is an attention grabber. Being able to capture a consumer’s attention in this overly crowded world is potentially one of the best qualities an advertisement can have. Additionally, watching a sexual advertisement is a positive and rewarding experience.
On the other hand, sex can disgust people. Imagine watching tv with your friends, colleagues or family. All of a sudden, a naked woman is promoting the newest fragrance by some brand. You go red and avert your eyes. Seeing such a sexual image makes you feel dirty. How and why does sex sell, when it can bring about such different feelings in consumers?
If you need to buy a running T-shirt, which one would you choose? One with a solid, neutral color or one with a bright, colorful pattern? Which choice will give you more satisfaction one year later?
Research has found that our buying decisions are often inconsistent with what we prefer in the long run. Most people tend to choose T-shirts with a simple design and a neutral color, believing they would be happier with their choices later. However, in reality, people experience more long-lasting satisfaction with bolder, attention-catching designs and colors.
A box of chocolates weighs 500 grams. The hotel is only a 400 meter walk away from the center. The mansion is over 6,000-square-foot big. From weight to size or distance; customers are constantly exposed to quantitative information in their decision making.
However, as it turns out, our brain is awful at processing this quantitative information. We prefer information to be more discrete and sparking the imagination, say a box of 10 chocolates, a hotel that’s only a 5-minute walk away from the center, or a mansion of 10 bedrooms…
This finding applies to other quantitative information as well and has intriguing implications for nudging consumer behavior both for marketeers as well as public policy makers.
By letting customers build their own products, IKEA is able to sell their furniture for low prices since construction is one of the most costly aspects of furniture. Additionally, their customers have a higher liking for the IKEA products, because they have to build it themselves. This sounds contra-intuitive: We like it when others cook for us or clean for us, so why would we prefer to construct a table ourselves?
What is your budget? What is your bid? How much would you like to donate?
These questions have become quite commonplace online; customers are asked to choose what they would like to pay, rather than are provided with a pre-set value. For instance, eBay allows customers to bid on listed items, whereas charity website Doctors Without Borders allows donors to enter a chosen donation amount.
Customers are prompted to indicate their chosen value either via an open-ended text box or a slider scale. With the recent boost in popularity of online transactions via mobile phones, organizations have increasingly turned to the use of slider scales rather than text boxes to register monetary values.
But how has this switch to sliders affected customers’ payments? Do payment responses differ for text boxes and slider scales? As it turns out; yes, they certainly do!