Price Promotion for Emotional Impact

Journal of Marketing, Vol. 78, No. 4, 2014

Posted: 23 Jul 2011 Last revised: 25 Jul 2014

See all articles by Aylin Aydinli

Aylin Aydinli

VU Amsterdam

Marco Bertini

ESADE - Ramon Llull University

Anja Lambrecht

London Business School

Date Written: April 9, 2014


Managers and academics often think of price promotions merely as incentives that entice consumers to accept offers that they might not have considered otherwise. Yet the prospect of paying a lower price for a product of given quality can also discourage deliberation, in a sense “dumbing down” the purchase encounter by making it less consequential. The authors examine this possibility in a dual-system theory of consumer behavior. Specifically, they argue that price promotion lowers a consumer's motivation to exert mental effort, in which case purchase decisions are guided less by extensive information processing and more by a quicker, easier, strong conditioner of preference: affect. Field data from a large daily deal company and four controlled experiments support this idea and document its implications primarily for product choice, in turn providing insight into the form and cause of brand switching that manufacturers and retailers can leverage to improve the allocation of promotional budgets and category management.

Keywords: Price promotion, pricing, dual-system theories, product choice, asymmetric brand switching

Suggested Citation

Aydinli, Aylin and Bertini, Marco and Lambrecht, Anja, Price Promotion for Emotional Impact (April 9, 2014). Journal of Marketing, Vol. 78, No. 4, 2014, Available at SSRN: or

Aylin Aydinli

VU Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV


Marco Bertini (Contact Author)

ESADE - Ramon Llull University ( email )

Avinguda de la Torre Blanca, 59
Sant Cugat del Vallès, 08172

Anja Lambrecht

London Business School ( email )

Regent's Park
London, NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

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