Lookup NU author(s): Dr Joan Harvey,
Dr George Erdos
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It has long been the case that women were expected to adorn themselves with jewels, necklaces, paints and make-up. More recently, men have begun to wear jewellery, including necklaces and bracelets. The wristwatch has become a constant presence for both sexes, and is treated by some as a functional thing to wear [and indeed may eventually be replaced in that respect by the mobile phone] or by others to be decorative as well as functional. It has long been known that many consumer products have significance that goes well beyond their utilitarian or functional values, and the decorative nature of jewellery is often related to the self-image and the brand image being congruent with it. Taking the issue of wristwatches into a more specific section of the market, there are a large number of expensive brands advertised extensively in magazines which seem to be aimed at men; these advertisements often use celebrities [film stars, sportsmen], good-looking models or sometimes feature just the product itself. The prices (from £300 [$460] up to £18000 [$27500]) imply that these products have aesthetics, perceived status and self-image as very strong reasons for purchase rather than any functional or utilitarian reasons. This study takes advertisements for a range of these expensive watches, and, using semantic differential ratings and other measures including price estimation, compares them in terms of consumer perceptions in two countries.
Author(s): Harvey J, Kolman L, Erdos G
Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)
Conference Name: 21st Biennial Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics
Year of Conference: 2010