Marketers frequently use scarcity promotions, where a product or event is limited in availability. The present research shows conditions under which the mere exposure to such advertising can activate actual aggression that manifests even outside the domain of the good being promoted. Further, we document the process underlying this effect: exposure to limited-quantity promotion advertising prompts consumers to perceive other shoppers as competitive threats to obtaining a desired product and physiologically prepares consumers to aggress. Seven studies using multiple behavioral measures of aggression demonstrate this deleterious response to scarcity promotions.
Kristofferson, Kirk, Brent McFerran, Andrea C. Morales, and Darren W. Dahl (2017), "The Dark Side of Scarcity Promotions: How Exposure to Limited Quantity Promotions Can Induce Aggression", Journal of Consumer Research, 43 (5, February), 683-706. DOI: 10.1093/jcr/ucw056
Journal of Consumer Research
The Dark Side of Scarcity Promotions: How Exposure to Limited Quantity Promotions Can Induce Aggression
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