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Served straight up: Effects of verticality cues on taste evaluations and luxury perceptions

Author:
van Rompay, Thomas J.L., van Hoof, Joris J., Rorink, Jens, Folsche, Marloes
Source:
Appetite 2019 v.135 pp. 72-78
ISSN:
0195-6663
Subject:
cognition, marketing, prediction, taste, visual perception
Abstract:
Based on the embodied cognition framework and research addressing transfer effects between visual perception and taste, the point of departure for this study is the widespread association between vertical orientation and connotations related to luxury and (economic) power. Specifically, this study tests whether vertical orientation not only affects impressions of product luxury, but also influences actual taste evaluations, including perceptions of taste strength (intensity) and taste liking. Results confirm these predictions by showing that participants in a Dutch coffee house gave higher ratings on these constructs when they were exposed to an ad display depicting vertically-oriented rather than horizontally-oriented visual cues during a coffee sample test. Findings furthermore stress the influence of design cues as opposed to more traditional product claims. Implications for marketing and design practice are discussed.