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'Pretty faces may not boost sales'

A beautiful young model could actually influence the customer negatively, says a study.

india Updated: May 09, 2006 14:15 IST

A beautiful young model may not necessarily help sales. She could actually negatively influence the customer if she is irrelevant to the quality of the product, says a study.

Pretty faces are used to sell everything from computer processors to motor oil. But it is not really effective to use them to market something that has nothing to do with physical attractiveness, reported the science portal EurekAlert.

The research by Paul M Herr at the University of Colorado and others argues that an attractive model presents the first unified theory explaining how we respond to spokespeople and models, outlining the major processes involved in our perception of this type of advertising.                                                  

   Not always a 'pretty' sale!

"When consumers are focused on the ad and they believe their thinking to be unduly influenced by something about the spokesperson, attractive spokespeople may be less persuasive than relatively unattractive spokespeople," write the authors.

The study has appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Though she may very well be an expert, a woman in a bikini does not seem credible as an authority on computer processing speed, Herr said.

A consumer concerned primarily with the quality and features of the computer may suspect the undue influence of the model on his/her perception and compensate with a negative judgment.