A Dress to Impress and a Toy to Enjoy. How Consumer Motivations Can Be Used in Luxury Ads

Year of publication: 2008
Author(s): Liselot Hudders & Patrick Vyncke
Appeared in: New Trends in Advertising Research, 27-44


This paper explores the effectiveness of using consumers’ motives for the consumption of luxury goods as cues in luxury advertising. On the basis of previous research, we distinguished two social (i.e. status and beauty) and two personal (i.e. excellent quality and self-directed pleasure) motives for luxury consumption. In this paper we aim to investigate their relevance for consumers when consuming luxury products, thereby distinguishing between high versus low socially visible products. To get a deeper understanding of consumers’ motives for luxury consumption, we rely on evolutionary psychology. The results of an exploratory study on the one hand and a large-scale survey on the other hand revealed the great importance luxury consumers attach to personal compared to social motives for luxury consumption and showed that they also preferred ad pictures representing these motives to ad pictures representing social motives.

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