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Loved-up? Keep it to yourself…

Red7 , March 14, 2014

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Pictures of romantic couples are a turn off for singletons.

An expert in consumer psychology  has found that single people are less likely to buy products if the ads feature shiny happy people.

Lisa Cavanaugh, assistant professor at the USC Marshall School of Business in Southern California, said that reminding people of relationships they don’t have makes them miserable.

As a result, they tighten the purse strings, buy cheaper brands and cut the calories.

The self-esteem of singletons plummets during holidays and wedding season, when the portrayal of relationships in ads soars, Prof Cavanaugh said.

In seven experiments, boffins used different study designs and types of relationship reminders (advertisements, greeting cards, magazine articles and scenarios), measured multiple indulgent choices (personal care products, clothing and accessories) and tested the hypotheses with student and adult populations.

Prof Cavanaugh said that marketers need to rethink the habit of using happy couples to sell everything from cookies to cameras.

She said: “By reminding people of relationships they don’t have, marketers inadvertently make consumers feel undeserving – less worthy of treating and rewarding themselves.

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