Tuesday, April 13, 2010

imaginary licensing effect

The licensing effect happens when individuals engage in something that boosts their self-image (giving to charity, dieting), they are more likely to engage in something self-indulgent subsequently. And vice versa (being self-indulgent leads to subsequent self-image boosting behaviors).

An article in the latest Sloan Management Review reports on some research that this also happens when people just imagine the self-image boosting behavior. If you plan to go on a diet next week or imagine yourself giving to charity, you are more likely to be self-indulgent. Yet another example of us fooling ourselves so that we can do whatever we want. In this case literally having our cake and eating it too.

They suggest some good marketing ideas. If a store puts
donation bags or charity collection messages at the entrance of a store/web site, it would allow visitors to imagine giving or planning to give later and then they would buy more or higher margin stuff. It's a little hypocritical, but it would work.

Social Media Advertising

A recent study by Psychster had some interesting findings on web ads. What I want to focus on today was the one that surprised me. The ad types that were most perceived as ads (banner ads and signing up for company newsletters from an ad link) were in the mid-range in "I would buy products from this brand". And banner ads were also among the highest in "I would recommend this brand to a friend." So users in the study were receptive to the ads, despite all that has been said about them.

Of course, it was a very artificial task, so the results have to be taken with some huge grains of salt. The users did not interact with real pages or ads. They watched a video of someone interacting with the ad with a narrative explaining what was happening. So there was no possibility of banner blindness and all users had to interact with the ad because they had to watch the video to the end.