New marketing research from MIT looks into when aggressive, direct commands work better than polite pleas to drive consumer behavior
PROBLEM: Though calls to action are no longer as compulsory in marketing communication as they once were, they can still drive consumer behavior when worded correctly. To this end, researchers led by MIT Sloan's Ann Kronrod wondered, when are polite pleas in ads more persuasive than direct commands?
What That Venti Coffee Says About You
Holiday Shopping? Pay With Cash
RESULTS: Participants who were asked to think of chocolate reported better moods and higher purchase intentions when the language was aggressive. Those who thought of a bank account did not report positive moods and were swayed more by meeker messages.
CONCLUSION: Consumers don't mind taking orders when it comes to slogans for products that would make them happy. Purveyors of utilitarian goods like bank loans and insurance, however, should mind their manners.
IMPLICATION: Don Draper was right: "Advertising is based on one thing: happiness."
Image: Hans Villarica.
This article available online at: