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The presence of price in advertising

Keeping up to date with the latest psychological research is extremely important, it enables us to share the most recent knowledge into our digital signage solutions.

Previous research on the presence of price suggests that consumers use it as a predictor of quality, and a way to evaluate the product or service in terms of its potential enjoyment. Emerging research, however, has looked at the influence of price on enjoyment over time.

An interesting paper written by Haws, McFerran, and Redden explores, in their own words, the satiating effect on pricing.

Using music as the stimuli, participants listened to clips from five songs they chose, some of which had a price displayed next to them, some of which participants actually had to buy, and others displayed no price.

After measuring for song liking and how much they wanted to keep listening, they uncovered results establishing that the presence of price sped up satiation over the course of consumption; that is, enjoyment declined quicker in those who were exposed to the price of the songs and those who paid. The underlying psychological phenomenon here is loss aversion, which we will be talking about in a future blog, so keep your eyes peeled!

Now, we are confident in saying that no company would sell products or services without displaying a price, however, it is not uncommon to advertise goods and services without the price, calling for action from the viewer to find out the price.

A potential inference that could be made from the study is that those adverts displaying a price may not be as successful as adverts showing any price at enticing a sale. What we would like to know is if the effect is mediated by how much the product or service costs, i.e. would somebody enjoy their new phone for longer than somebody who paid more for the same phone?

As we are a digital signage company, we like to look at how research like this can be used in our implementations. Here, it would be interesting to analyse product/service evaluations and the purchase intention of a consumer who is exposed to both an advert displaying a price and another displaying no price.


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