Creating a Sincere Look: Face Ratios of Brand Mascots Affect Social Categorisation and Trust

Faculty/Professorship: Sales and Marketing  
Author(s): Messer, Uwe; Wölfl, Steffen; Feste, Jasmin
Title of the Journal: Marketing : ZFP ; journal of research and management
ISSN: 0344-1369
Publisher Information: München : Beck ; Vahlen
Year of publication: 2019
Volume: 41
Issue: 2
Pages: 37-47
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.15358/0344-1369-2019-2-37
Although humanised entities with recognisab-le faces such as brand mascots (e. g., Mr. Peanut, the Nesquik Bunny) are omnipresent in the marketplace, their facial characteristics have not received much attention in the mar-keting literature. We investigate the role of fa-cial width-to-height ratio (fWHR: bizygomatic width divided by upper-face height) for the perception of humanised entities such as mascots. Building on evolutionary research on face perception and stereotyping, the pre-sent research suggests that humanised enti-ties with a lower fWHR (i. e., a narrower face), compared to humanised entities with a higher fWHR (i. e., a wider face), receive more trust from perceivers. This effect occurs because humanised entities with narrower faces are perceived as warmer than those with wider faces. The effect does not occur when the en-tity is feminised. We present two experiments and a correlational study.
Keywords: Face Ratio, Facial Width-to-Height Ratio, fWHR, Brand Mascots, Social Categorisation
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Year of publication: 5. July 2019