Positive Effects of Negative Publicity: When Negative Reviews Increase Sales
Can negative information about a product increase sales, and if so, when? Although popular wisdom suggests that "any publicity is good publicity," prior research has demonstrated only downsides to negative press. Negative reviews or word of mouth, for example, have been found to hurt product evaluation and sales. Using a combination of econometric analysis and experimental methods, we unify these perspectives to delineate contexts under which negative publicity about a product will have positive versus negative effects. Specifically, we argue that negative publicity can increase purchase likelihood and sales by increasing product awareness. Consequently, negative publicity should have differential effects on established versus unknown products. Three studies support this perspective. Whereas a negative review in the New York Times hurt sales of books by well-known authors, for example, it increased sales of books that had lower prior awareness. The studies further underscore the importance of a gap between publicity and purchase occasion and the mediating role of increased awareness in these effects.
Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (09-10)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nedungadi, Prakash, 1990. " Recall and Consumer Consideration Sets: Influencing Choice without Altering Brand Evaluations," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 263-276, December.
- Aner Sela & Baba Shiv, 2009. "Unraveling Priming: When Does the Same Prime Activate a Goal versus a Trait?," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 418-433.
- Lynch, John G, Jr & Srull, Thomas K, 1982. " Memory and Attentional Factors in Consumer Choice: Concepts and Research Methods," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 18-37, June.
- David Godes & Dina Mayzlin, 2009. "Firm-Created Word-of-Mouth Communication: Evidence from a Field Test," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(4), pages 721-739, 07-08.
- Itamar Simonson & Ziv Carmon & Suzanne O'Curry, 1994. "Experimental Evidence on the Negative Effect of Product Features and Sales Promotions on Brand Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 23-40.
- Alba, Joseph W & Hutchinson, J Wesley, 1987. " Dimensions of Consumer Expertise," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 411-454, March.
- Hannah, Darlene B & Sternthal, Brian, 1984. " Detecting and Explaining the Sleeper Effect," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 632-642, September.
- Ian Skurnik & Carolyn Yoon & Denise C. Park & Norbert Schwarz, 2005. "How Warnings about False Claims Become Recommendations," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(4), pages 713-724, 03.
- Ken Hendricks & Alan Sorensen, 2009. "Information and the Skewness of Music Sales," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 324-369, 04.
- George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:29:y:2010:i:5:p:815-827. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.