Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Skinny is no longer in Vogue

           Vogue magazine has announced that they wouldn't use any models under 16 years old,or any that looked like they were suffering from a disease,such as anorexia or bolemia. Obviously, these models were attractive to some people, in some way, or they wouldn't have been used as models.

            What are some of the things we've learned about attractiveness in social psychology studies, and what affect should they have on marketing? According to social psychologist Elliott Aronson, when we see a young football player holding up a can of shaving cream,and recommending it, we know he's getting paid to do this. And yes, it makes him less trustworthy. But less effective?

            Not necessarily. A majority of heads of households said they didn't trust football star Joe Namath---but they bought what he endorsed.What made up for the untrustworthiness? He was attractive and likable.

            A beautiful weoman could influence an audience on a topic unrelated to her beauty. And she has greater influence when she tells you she's trying to influence you!

            Sound scary? Don't worry. The research shows this only works on trivial issues, not moral or other important ones. Research also shows that our opinions are most influenced by people who are both trustworthy and expert. That's what we in marketing` should go for.What's more, trustworthiness and effectiveness can be increased if the communicator argues a position opposed to her own self interest. Somewhat harder to pull off.

           In any case, we're all being influenced all of the time. Even the influencers are being influenced. That's the power of being attractive.

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