Product packaging apparently is more powerful than advertising when it comes to getting people to believe marketing claims, research shows.
Tatiana M. Fajardo of Florida State University and Claudia of Townsend of the University of Miami sought to test whether a product claim on a package is more or less effective in persuading consumers than a claim placed in an ad.
The research consisted of three different studies. In the first study, 122 students were shown a Kickers energy display, with either an advertisement or packaging promotion on it in either close proximity, or the controlled condition. In the second study, 185 students were shown a photo of the Kickers energy spray with either a packaged promotion or ad promotion with a bottle of the spray sitting next to it. They were then asked to rate how much they believed the claim of the brand. The third study presented 339 participants with an ad or packaging claim for a kettle that included a picture of a teacup or a kettle.
Overall, the results showed that “when the marketing claim is close to the product, consumers perceive the marketer and the marketing material as more fair and less manipulative or deceptive.”
“The studies demonstrate that proximity between a claim and a product acts as a signal of the marketer’s credibility, decreasing inferences of manipulative intent. This, in turn, enhances claim believability and subsequent purchase likelihood. Presumably, claim-to-product proximity acts as a signal of the marketers’ credibility by increasing perceptions of claim verifiability.”
The full text of the study can be found here:
Fajardo, T. M., & Townsend, C. (2016). Where you say it matters: Why packages are a more believable source of product claims than advertisements. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 26(3), 426-434.