It Seems Factual, But Is It? Effects of Using Sharp Versus Round Numbers in Advertising Claims

Robert Schindler, Rutgers University, Camden
Richard Yalch, University of Washington, Seattle

It Seems Factual, But Is It?
Effects of Using Sharp versus Round Numbers in Advertising Claims

 

Robert M. Schindler, Rutgers University-Camden

Richard F. Yalch, University of Washington-Seattle

 

This paper compares sharp versus round numbers in advertising claims.  Round numbers have a salient conceptual basis (e.g., 10 years are a decade).  Sharp numbers do not (e.g., 7 years).  Estimates tend to be expressed with round numbers.  An experiment is described that examines whether consumers make the false assumption that claims using sharp numbers are less likely to be estimates (i.e., are more factual) than those using round numbers and, if so, whether this makes sharp-number claims more believable.  The results demonstrate that such assumptions do occur, particularly for those consumers considered to be advertising skeptics.

[ to cite ]:
Robert Schindler and Richard Yalch (2006) ,"It Seems Factual, But Is It? Effects of Using Sharp Versus Round Numbers in Advertising Claims", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 586-590.