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Corporate Slogans Cause Students To Rebel: Study

First Posted: 09/22/10 02:16 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 06:50 PM ET

Corporate Slogans Shopping

From the Associated Press:

Corporate slogans can make shoppers rebel, according to a recent study.

In an article for the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers said corporate slogans exhorting consumers to save money could lead shoppers to want to spend more, while tagwords associated with luxury could inhibit spending.

In one exercise, 435 college students were shown brands associated with value, including Walmart and Kmart. After being flashed the brands, they students said they were less inclined to spend. But after students read slogans that promoted savings and deals, such as "Focus on value, think us," students tended to want to spend more money.

When students were shown brands deemed "luxury" such as Tiffany and Neiman Marcus, they tended to be willing to spend more money. However, exposure to catchphrases that promoted spending, such as "Luxury, you deserve it," often resulted in students saying they would spend less money.

The researchers, marketing professors from three universities, said their study suggested that consumers often want to do the opposite of what corporate slogans tell them to do. The study said that shoppers often understand and resist – perhaps unconsciously – retailers' attempts to persuade them to act in a certain way.

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Filed by Leah Finnegan  |