Effects of a Scarcity Message on Product Judgments: Role of Cognitive Load and Mediating Processes

Junsang Yeo, Dongguk University, Republic of Korea
Jongwon Park, Korea University, Republic of Korea
The present research examined the effect of a scarcity message in a persuasive marketing communication on consumer product judgments. Two experiments consistently showed that the effect depends on cognitive resources available at the time of message processing. In experiment 1, participants received a promotion pamphlet that contained either a scarcity or a non-scarcity message in either a cognitive distraction or no distraction conditions. The scarcity message, compared to the non-scarcity message, led to more favorable evaluations of the target product only when the cognitive resource was distracted. Experiment 2 replicated this finding and in addition, showed that the effect of the cognitive distraction was due to its influence on activation of persuasion knowledge, i.e., marketers’ manipulative intent in the scarcity message rather than its influence on discounting process based on perceptions of the manipulative intent.
[ to cite ]:
Junsang Yeo and Jongwon Park (2009) ,"Effects of a Scarcity Message on Product Judgments: Role of Cognitive Load and Mediating Processes", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 718-719.