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Reverse psychology in marketing

reverse psychology in marketing

I have written about undercover marketing, and writing about it, I started thinking about how reverse psychology is being used in marketing. Reverse psychology is when you are advocating a behavior that is opposite to the one you desire, but because you are doing the opposite, it will encourage people to do what you actual desire – the opposite of what you’re actually doing.

I know, this might sound a bit complex, but it’s really not.

Think about kids for a few minutes.

When I tell my kids to stay inside, they will many times want to do the opposite, and go outside and play. It’s the same when I tell them to not push a button, or not to watch something on TV. They will push the button and they will watch what I have told them not to. I have never tried reverse psychology with my kids, but I believe that it will work. And the same goes for most people, if we just know who our targets are, and how they’ll react, we’ll be able to advocate a certain behavior by doing the opposite.

The reason why reverse psychology in marketing works is that it generates curiosity, and it gives people the idea that something mysterious is going on.

You know how much I love pizza right? That’s why it’s awesome that one of the best examples of reverse psychology in marketing comes from Little Caesars and their campaign to get people not to call their restaurants to order pizzas.

What do you think happened? Do you think people stopped calling?

2 responses to “Reverse psychology in marketing”

  1. Khaja Moin says:

    I don`t think people will not call. Many will and those who`ve no interest to buy can convert.
    Am I right.
    Same things goes with blogging. I saw a blog with “Don`t subscribe” And it showered his mail box with lots and lots of emails.
    Anyway I won`t satisfy till I do it myself, next week is something interesting for me (thanks Jens) am going to try this for an ebook.

  2. Ruth Zive says:

    Hi Jens. I think you have to be pretty insightful and savvy to pull off the reverse psychology pitch. I work mostly in the B2B space and I think it would be a risky approach for my clients. But in retail or B2C, I can see how it would work. Interesting point of view!

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