As Oscar Wilde once said:
“I can resist everything except temptation.”
 The Kellogg School of Management, in Chicago confirmed the power of temptation while conducting a research study around the “restraint bias” – as people we miscalculate how much temptation we can handle. The study found that the people who were least confident about their ability to resist temptation fared best – but only because they kept the source of  temptation as far away as possible.

Restraint is challenged even more when there’s a benefit attached

Consumers are often more tempted to buy by emotional advertising than they realise. It focuses on the benefit and what buying a product or service could bring to someone’s life – you’ll feel refreshed, savvy, worry-free or just plain satisfied. So, if you’re selling something that’s genuinely desirable, you can use plain old temptation.

It’s not any marketing, it’s M&S marketing

Whilst other food retailers were waging a price war or discussing health benefits, M&S decided to sidestep all of that. Close up slow-motion photography, subdued lighting, a slow and sexy VO and restaurant style food descriptions take this away from being a rational decision and make it pure temptation.

M&S Food campaign using temptation

“That could be me!”

The Euromillions ‘Nicer problems to have’ campaign influences consumers with temptation. By showing a desirable lifestyle, this tempts people in to wanting to take the chance and buy a Euromillions ticket.

A still from the Euromillions "Nicer problems to have" campaign

What is Behavioural Economics?

Behavioural Economics has been around since the 60s. It blends elements of psychology and economics to identify the mental triggers, or bias, nudges and heuristics, that affect the decisions people make.

This blog series is your go-to guide for a snapshot into what these triggers are, and how they can be used in marketing to influence consumer behaviour.

A bit about us

As an agency, influencing behaviours is core to what we do and applying Behavioural Economics to marketing communications is a natural progression. If you are interested in understanding more about how we do this get in touch now.

Find out more about the connection between consumers and behavioural economics in our latest report on the top trends driving consumer behaviour. Download it here.

By Phil Monks

Deputy Creative Director