Enjoy! Hedonic Consumption and Compliance with Assertive Messages
This paper examines the persuasiveness of assertive language (as in Nike’s slogan “Just do it”) as compared to nonassertive language (as in Microsoft’s slogan “Where do you want to go today?”). Previous research implies that assertive language should reduce consumer compliance. Two experiments show that assertiveness is more effective in communications involving hedonic products, as well as hedonically advertised utilitarian products. This prediction builds on sociolinguistic research addressing relationships between mood, communication expectations, and compliance to requests. A third experiment reaffirms the role of linguistic expectations by showing that an unknown product advertised using assertive language is more likely to be perceived as hedonic.
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