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P. 1
Can Buy Me Love

Can Buy Me Love

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Published by peter_martin9335

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Published by: peter_martin9335 on Jul 31, 2009
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10/01/2012

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FACULTEIT ECONOMIEEN BEDRIJFSKUNDE
TWEEKERKENSTRAAT 2B-9000 GENT
Tel. : 32 - (0)9 264.34.61Fax. : 32 - (0)9 264.35.92
WORKING PAPER
C
AN BUY ME LOVE
:H
OW MATING CUES INFLUENCE SINGLE MEN
S INTEREST INHIGH
-
STATUS CONSUMER GOODS
 1
 
Kim Janssens
2
 Pandelaere Mario
3
 Kobe Millet
4
 Bram Van den Bergh
5
 Inge Lens
6
 Roe Keith
7
 
March 20092009/570
 
1
Financial support to the second author from the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research (GrantG.0501.08) and to the second and sixth author from the K.U.Leuven (Grant OT/04/06) is gratefullyacknowledged.
2
Kim Janssens is Ph.D. student at the School for Mass Communication Research, KatholiekeUniversiteit Leuven, Belgium
3
Mario Pandelaere is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Marketing, Ghent University, Belgium.
4
Kobe Millet is post-doctoral fellow of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research
5
Bram Van de Bergh is Ph.D. student at the Department of Marketing, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,Belgium
6
Inge Lens is Ph.D. student at the Department of Marketing, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
7
Keith Roe is Full Professor at the School for Mass Communication Research, Katholieke UniversiteitLeuven, Belgium
1D/2009/7012/22
 
Abstract
In two experiments we demonstrate that men display an enhanced interest in statusenhancing consumption upon exposure to mating cues. Men indicate a higher interestin high-status products (study 1) and more readily noticed high-status products (study2) after exposure to sexily, rather than plainly, dressed women. The effects arerestricted to single men, suggesting that the acquisition or consumption of a luxurious product functions as a mate attraction mechanism.2
 
C
AN BUY ME LOVE
:H
OW MATING CUES INFLUENCE SINGLE MEN
S INTEREST IN HIGH
-
STATUSCONSUMER GOODS
 With the purpose of catching and holding consumers’ attention advertisersoften make use of sexually provocative images (Dahl, Sengupta, and Vohs 2009). For instance, a couple of years ago, Axe® launched an ad campaign for men’s shower gel.The ad depicted a female body (not the face) wearing a rather tight bikini. The entire body was covered in mud and “wash me” was written on her abdomen. The taglinesaid “Get dirty”. Given that those provocative images often are of no or littlerelevance to the advertised product (Reichert and Lambiase 2003) advertisers thusseem to assume that consumers can be influenced by sexual cues. This assumption is based on the well-known male preference for young, attractive mates (Maner et al.2003). It appears that this insight is extensively applied in advertising practices(Colarelli and Dettman 2003) in order to draw consumers’ attention and to increasesales.Sexual cues may not only affect sales of products associated with the cues, butmay have more general effects as well. For instance, Wilson and Daly (2004) foundthat exposure to sexy women cues increased the rate of temporal discounting in men(for a similar finding see also Van den Bergh, Dewitte, and Warlop 2008). Thecurrent paper tests the idea that exposure to sexual cues also may increase men’sattention to and desire for high-status (luxury) consumer goods. Moreover, weexamine whether the effect of mating cues is restricted to single men, to test thehypothesis that acquisition or consumption of a luxurious product could function as amate attraction mechanism. Put differently, we conjecture that when single men areexposed to a sexy female a signalling response may be triggered.3

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