Measuring soft-sell versus hard-sell advertising appeals.

The terms "soft sell" and "hard sell" are well known to advertising scholars and practitioners. Despite widespread use of these terms, generally accepted definitions do not exist. Attempts to measure soft-sell and hard-sell appeals have typically been unsophisticated, relying on a single item that classifies an ad into one category or the other. This study is designed to provide a deeper understanding of the concepts "soft sell" and "hard sell," and to examine whether they are better measured on a single dimension than on two distinct dimensions. The main objective of the study is to develop and validate a method for measuring soft-sell and hard-sell appeals. To this end, candidate items were generated via a review of prior literature, supplemented by content analysis, a free-association task, expert judgment, and focus groups. The measurement instruments were then purified and validated using a pretest with a sample of student participants, and further validated using a general consumer sample. Results indicate that soft-sell appeals can be measured using a 12-item, 3-factor index, whereas hard-sell appeals can be measured using a 15-item, 3-factor index.

Main Author: Okazaki, Shintaro.
Other Authors: Mueller, Barbara., Taylor, Charles.
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 2010
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